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Building healthy habits in the formative years of a child lays the foundation for the healthy living. By teaching them to enjoy healthy eating at a tender age helps for the overall development and growth for life.
So, what as a parent, you should do?
1. EATING BREAKFAST EVERYDAY
Eating breakfast within couple of hours after waking up is the healthiest habit for a child to learn. The first meal helps in setting a day and it also helps in maintaining healthier weight. Wake up your child 10 mins earlier, so that the child has time to eat comfortably. Also, keep a variety of food items each day than just a paratha or bread every day. This way your child would look forward to have a breakfast.
2. TEACH YOUR CHILD TO MAKE INTELLIGENT FOOD CHOICES
Children are inclined towards eating junk food or fast food like chips, burger, pizza, French fries. These food item should be given occasionally or can be given as a reward once in a while for achieving something big or good behavior. Parents should encourage their child to choose food items like fruits, nuts, milk etc.
3. INVOLVE CHILDREN IN DECIDING THE MENU
Taking your child’s input in deciding the menu will make him learn about the nutritional value of food items. It will also make the child feel part of the family.
This way, you can teach your child about different healthy food items, calories etc.
4. MAINTAINING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD
Keep a trust on your child if he/she hungry or not. Let your child decide if he/she has eaten enough or not. Do not force your child to eat if he is not hungry.
5. ENJOY THE MEAL TOGETHER
Eat minimum one meal together. Enjoying the meal together as a family plays an important role for overall development. It gives you an opportunity to understand each other, to connect with each other.
Also, try to avoid eating while sitting in front of Television.
6. BE A ROLE MODEL
Children learn from what they see. If you develop healthy habits yourself, the child will follow. Always enjoy and be happy while eating, make good choices when you go out. Set a positive example for your child to follow.