Thursday, 11 Jul 2024

Say Yes to Health: Healthy Food Habits That You Must Inculcate in Your Child’s Routine

Congratulations! You are a proud parent of a little one and watch him develop both physically and mentally each day. As a parent, you would want to contribute your best to ensure that your child learns and adopts healthy habits from the very beginning.

Researchers have found evidence that drumming healthy habits into your kid’s life at an early age can prove to be a boon when they have transformed into healthy adults. Such habits would not only help keep them physically healthy, but also keep your munchkin mentally sound.

However, it can be a challenge to shape your kid’s eating behaviour positively. 

Whether you are trying to cajole your kid to give veggies a chance or attempting to persuade your tween into making healthy choices, here a few tips that are worth a try:

Encourage Smart Eating at School

If your tiny tot is a fussy eater, knowing what to pack can be a bit tricky. However, by choosing fresh and colourful ingredients, any dish can be made wholesome and appetising. There are a variety of oats recipes for babies that can be tried with all sorts of flavours, and veggies and fruits. Ditch the soggy sarnies for millet dosas, and pancakes, stuffed with natural ingredients. 

Prepare a list of your child’s school lunch options and challenge them to identify the healthiest one.  This way not only does your child becomes aware of the options they need to choose from but will also gain experience in making healthy food decisions. 

Set a Good Example

Kids, especially preschoolers, love to mimic their parents and learn from them. You being their most important role model must take advantage of this monkey-see, monkey-do behaviour by making healthy eating choices in front of them. The example you set could put your kid on a course of healthy living for a lifetime. Enjoy eating fruits and veggies and aim to avoid worthless calories. Replace sugary drinks with water, and have a variety of foods on offer. 

Keeping some healthy starry snacks made with ragi and jowar as post-meal treats shall motivate your fussy eater to finish the meal. Helping your kid to develop a taste for different types of foods can make it easier to plan family meals. By demonstrating healthy eating, you are making it easier for your kids to adopt the same habits.

Never Skip Breakfast

There’s overwhelming evidence that suggests that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for kids. On the face of it, breakfast might seem like any other meal. However, the effect it has on your kid’s body is immense.  A healthy breakfast has been proven to improve children’s cognitive behaviour and give them the energy they need for the day. It also gives them the nutrients they need to grow and develop. 

While it’s important for kids to have breakfast every day, what they eat is crucial too. Serving a balanced breakfast discourages overeating and keeps the digestive system in check. If you prefer a healthy breakfast cereal, choco ragi puffs can tantalise your li’l one’s taste buds without making you feel guilty. The same goes for wholegrain cookies in delightful flavours such as ragi and chocolate. 

Stick to a Strict Meal and Snack Schedule

Sticking to a strict meal and snack schedule can keep your kids from grazing throughout the day. As a general rule of thumb, most kids require three meals and one to two snacks a day. However, it is advisable to consult your child’s pediatrician if you are concerned about them not eating enough or overeating. 

Instead of handing over snacks on quick demand, treating them like mini-meals is a better approach. Snacking can be scheduled at regular intervals throughout the day based on your child’s appetite and age. For a fussy eater who won’t just eat plain meals, customisation is the key. Oats for babies, for instance, are super-filling, versatile option that can be used to cook a variety of healthy meals such as fruit porridges and salads. 

Remember, the initial years of your child are most crucial. It’s the perfect time to instill healthy eating habits to help your child become proactive and the best version of themselves. Happy parenting!