Feeding a toddler is always been challenging for mothers. As food habit of a growing child directly impacts on weight, growth and overall health of a child, it is necessary to develop healthy eating habit among them.
Ideally it is suggested that after six month of birth the child should get add on food along with breastfeed. Apart from selecting low fat and fibrous food, parents should follow some well established process to develop healthy food habit among their child.
- Stick to Healthy Food only: It is seen that out of love and affection and induced by TV advt. we as a parent offer fast food to our child as a snacks, Tiffin box or even lunch or dinner. Unknowingly we inculcate wrong food habit of child by doing so. While cooking food, we should prepare food which includes low fat dairy products, whole grain breads and cereals along with bright colored vegetables. Allow your child to choose food on their own and role of parents here is to be guide.
- Observe your child: It is very important to recognize your child hunger level whether he/she is feeling hungry or full. It is very common among toddlers that some day they will eat like anything on other day don’t enjoy any food. As a parent, we should not run after the child for every bite. If leaving behind unconsumed food is a regular habit of the child, it is needed to reduce the proportion of food served. Insisting on finish the plate in such condition may lead to overeating.
- Have dinner with family: As today all the family members are running from morning to evening and hardly have any family time, it affects food habit of a child adversely. With family, a child feels protected and enjoys every activity. So it helps them to take healthy food in observation of parents. It would be a nice idea to involve the child in menu selection at home or even outside. It will develop the sense of selection of healthy food in growing children.
- Establish yourself as a role model: It is established that growing child follows their parents most. If parents take healthy diet, the child observes them and follow same food pattern. If parents take junk food and insist on the child to take fresh healthy food, it is not justified anyhow. Avoid carbonated drink in front of the child.
- Restrict to have food while watching TV: Eating while watching TV distracts the attention of the child and there is less tendency of feeling fullness and may lead to over eating by the child. It impacts adversely on the digestive system of the child.
- Encourage liquid intake: As 75% of our body consists of water. It is important to promote milk, juice and water intake of child. It maintains nutrition level of the child. By that way skipped food of the child can be maintained by juice or milk. Even skipped snacks can be substituted by milk or juice.
Author is an Educationist, Motivational Speaker and Founder Director: KIDZ aura Playschool, a proposed chain of 5500 + Playschools. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and call +91 8932804640