A Healthy Diet for your child
By Shehara Rizly
With all the instant and fast food outlets sometimes it is quite hard for parents to decide whether time or health is more important. If you want your family to be healthy a well balanced meal will never go wrong. Try new methods of making healthy meals and make them look interesting too as first we see what we eat, so kids just like the idea of eating something that looks good too. Here are some tips to think about.
Experts now believe that some food preferences are shaped even as early as infancy, when the child tastes their first solid food. In Sri Lanka, the red rice congee is the first solid food given in most homes, this will ensure that your child gets the nutrients needed. Later on try with some vegetables
An easy way to get your children to eat healthier and win their ‘stomachs’ is to mix good food (which they might hate) with the ones they like. But the food in disguise should not overpower the others. Another similar but not so ‘disguised’ way is to dip fruits and vegetables in sauces or other special dips to make them more palatable.
Don’t punish with food
When the more lenient measures won’t give results, parents often resort to threats and punishments. A child will eat when they are hungry. So allow them to leave the table
when they think they had enough. But if they do not eat anything and ask for their favourite
food or expect a snack later, do not give in. Let them have the same meal as the snack. Do not
try to bribe the children out of bad behaviour by promising them food they like.
Make the dining table a pleasant place
Children will make good behaviour into habits only if you get them to practise it everyday. Start from the dining table. It is better that everyone can sit around to enjoy the meal together. Make sure everyone is comfortable. Ban teasing or threatening at the table. Do not bring out family issues on the table, though it might be tempting. Let everyone enjoy the meal and take time to eat slowly. Have a light conversation at the table and get everyone to participate.
Keep away from television
Eating in front of the television is one habit your children can do away with. Studies have found that children who watch television have unhealthy eating habits compared to children that eat away from television. When the attention is taken away from food, they tend to consume more fat and sugar with fewer fruits and vegetables. Try to have more ‘family meals’ with your television switched off. It will foster better eating habits and more importantly, improving the bonding among family members.