To establish a lifelong habit of healthy eating you need to start it right from his early growing years. Getting your child to eat healthy food is not so easy. Sometimes it becomes a problem for mothers to get them something healthy because kids get attracted towards junk food more easily and fill their stomach with them. Reason of rejection could be anything but result is always same, poor health.
Every child is unique and should be accepted like that. So plan his food according to his needs, taste, routine and temperament not your needs and taste. Since, they are growing and their sense of taste and smell are developing they will take some time to accept particular food.
The quantity and frequency of food taken by a child varies according to his/her height, build gender and activity level. Mostly children eat according to their need by themselves but you have to provide them right options. Make them available the right food and you do not have to force them to eat again and again.
A balanced diet for children should contain carbohydrate-breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables to form major part of diet, protein sources can be meat, fish, soy products and milk, moderate amount of fat, vitamins and minerals. To avoid iron deficiency vitamin C should be taken that improves absorption of dietary iron.
Keep plenty of healthy food such as fruits, raw vegetables, low fat crackers, and yogurt for children to eat between meals. Fruits and vegetables if given from an early age would be accepted by them after some time.
Between the ages 2 to 20 tremendous changes takes place in human body. Height and weight increases and muscles grow stronger. Good nutritional food is required to meet this need which should be fulfilled by taking a balanced diet. According to studies 1300 calories a day is required by a two year old, 1700 calories for 5 year old, 2200 calories for 16 year old girl and 2800 calories for 16 year boy.
Energy needed by children is to be provided by the food taken so the food must have good nutritional value to meet their increasing demands.
Some good food habits to adopt
1. Offer veggies in different way, Cut them in funny shapes, make funny face with veggies in his plate and tell to finish. You have to live your childhood again to read your Childs mind.
2. Eat veggies in front of your child to encourage them. Talk about its good nutritional values in simple way not making it too complicated to understand.
3. Milk offered daily would certainly be refused by your child so, offer other dairy and non dairy sources of calcium such as yogurt, cottage cheese, baked beans, almonds and plain whole milk .
4. Instead of fries, aerated drinks, pizzas tell him to eat a homemade pizza made from whole wheat base and veggies on it. Give him yogurt based cool smoothies, go for own sweet potato/carrot fries.
5. Bake cookies, muffins at home, take your child’s little help. They would love to have their own homemade cookies, muffins.
6. Blend fruits in smoothies and shakes that will ensure fruit intake. Serving bite size fruit pieces with little ice-cream or sweet yogurt is also welcomed by kids.
Eat together, children imitate their parents so eat healthy if you want to make them eat healthy.