Are you feeling the generation gap when it comes to your child’s food choices? While you grew up learning the golden rules of eating, your child has grown up learning about the latest fad food. And it sure is a monumental task to get your child to have milk when he wants a fizzy drink. Nutritional mealtime habits are tough but not impossible to inculcate.
Family meals provide an opportunity to educate children about the nutritional benefits of various foods. An informed child will make better choices. And with regular participation in family meals children are more likely to eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and grains and less likely to eat unhealthy snacks or get into smoking and drinking alcohol.
You should avoid coaxing or threatening your child to eat a particular food. Conflicts during mealtimes may result in your child overeating unhealthy food as a mark of rebellion.
A better idea would be introduce the child to nutritional food one at a time along with his favorite dishes. Take a little pain to present it well and flavor it with some exotic herbs. Children get tempted by food that looks colorful. Don’t be disheartened if your child still doesn’t eat it. Prepare it again after a week and slowly he will develop a liking for it. You can be a role model for your child, by savoring what you want him to eat.
As parents you are likely to be confused about the kind of diet that is wholesome for your child. Here is a checklist of what your child must eat:
- Fresh fruits and green vegetables: serve them as part of an attractive salad bowl.
- Fibrous foods like whole-grain breads, cereals. You can serve them for breakfast with a glass of milk. These are good for your child’s digestive system.
- Grilled, roasted and steamed food can be opted for, as against fried food.
- Protein is essential for muscle growth. Meat, eggs, dairy products, beans and peas are a rich source of proteins.
Just as Rome was not built in a day, your child won’t adopt nutritional mealtime habits overnight. You need to brainstorm and create ways to prepare nourishing food so he develops a taste for them. But, once in a while let him have a small portion of his favorite chocolate cake.