If you’ve given up on getting your child to eat healthy food, we know how you feel. Statistics reveal a startling trend with an increasing number of children being diagnosed with low energy, decreased attention spans, poor memory and anxiety. Your child’s performance at school may not be entirely his or her fault. It could very well be one too many late night family pizza parties!
Contrary to what the television commercials promise, energy drinks are not a substitute for a wholesome diet. Assuming that your child has a natural aversion to vegetables and giving in to their pleas for fast food is not the answer, either.
While books on parenting warn against coaxing and cajoling your child to “finish what’s on your plate”, your parental instinct may override this well-meaning advice. How then, do you solve this crisis with your child’s health hanging in the balance? Let’s combine forces to finally crack this enigma so that your child can blossom into everything that you’d want him to be.
Your child looks up to you when it comes to healthy eating. If you gorge on a slice of pizza, your child is likely to resist that platter of vegetables on the table. Grown-ups need to be on their best behaviour when it comes to teaching children how to eat healthy.
Over millions of years of evolution, humans have derived all the nourishment their bodies needed from nature’s bounty. With children, the basic principles of healthy eating remain the same. Limit processed food to the least amount possible. Include raw foods such as fruits and fibrous vegetables like tomato and cucumber in their diet for a host of health benefits.
Your child may be a budding chef in the making. Maybe you just haven’t discovered it yet@ The next time you’re in the kitchen, ask your child to help you wash the celery, bring you the cheese from the refrigerator and take in the aroma of freshly cut avocado just before they go into the pan. The experience of being involved in cooking the meals they eat can give your child a much better appreciation of the food they eat.
Bland boiled vegetables are tasteless. No wonder, your child refuses to eat them. A dash of coriander, a hint of lemon and a sprinkling of chat masala can instantly turn an otherwise uninviting meal into a culinary blockbuster. Don’t believe us? Add a pinch of cinnamon to your child’s bowl of oatmeal; you may be amazed at how quickly it vanishes from sight!
If you’ve been scolding your child for being a fussy eater, it is not helping matters! Children learn quickly from what they are told by parents and peers. Children are not fussy eaters by birth. It is a learned behaviour that is conditioned by months, if not years, of negative feedback. To change how your child eats, change what you’ve been telling them about their eating habits!5