As a parent of a growing child, you might worry about whether your child is eating enough or you could be worried that your child is eating too much and going over a healthy weight. As a caring parent, you give your kid healthy food and opportunities to eat it and it’s up to the child to decide how much to eat or whether to eat at all. It’s quite normal for children’s appetites to change from day to day. One day your kid might want to eat in excess, so just ensure that you fill it up with healthy food. On other day it might not want to eat. Don’t worry, as it’ll probably make up for it at the next meal or even the next day. It’s not good to force your child for food if it doesn’t want to eat, as forcing it teaches the child not to listen to its appetite.
Healthy Eating with ‘Tummy Talk’
Knowing the way your kid’s tummy speaks with its brain can help you deal with worries about your child undereating or overeating. Your child’s brain understands its tummy is full only about 20 minutes after the food goes inside. Also, the hunger of your child is partly determined by its tummy clock – how much it ate the previous day at the same time. Providing meals at regular times encourages an appetite at regular times. You can make use of this to set up a healthy eating routine.
Health Eating Habits for your Child
Healthy eating habits begin at home. Providing your child healthy nutritious foods is imperative. It also helps to surround your child with messages about healthy eating habits and food. This can help your kid make healthy food choices. Given are some ideas:
• Try having a bowl full of fresh fruit within easy view
• Have your kitchen and fridge full with lots of healthy, nutritious options
• Try selecting fruits and vegies of various colours, textures and tastes – the more variety you have, the more likely your child will find something that it’s interested in eating
• If possible, get your kid involved in planning and preparing meals. If your child has helped to make the meal, it’s more likely to eat it
• Ensure that you enjoy healthy meals together as a family as frequently as possible. Also, look for opportunities to eat together at breakfast and on weekends
• Make sure that you turn off your TV while eating as this way your child will pay attention to eating the fresh food choices you provide
• Go through some books that have healthy food messages for your kid – for instance, books with pictures of fruits and vegetables. Make your child to point out various types, colours, shapes and so on
Eating at regular intervals and in a proportionate manner serves to be an important part of good nutrition for children. If you don’t know the ways to make it happen then consulting a good dietician or nutritionist might help a great deal.
Arati Shah is an astute sports nutritionist (http://www.cafenutrition.com/sports-nutritionist/
) having expertise in offering all types nutrition to different individuals and corporate. Having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition along with a Post-Graduation in Sports Sciences and Nutrition from S.N.D.T Juhu, she is one of the top nutrition experts in Mumbai who can also guide the concerned parents about the right nutrition for children (http://www.cafenutrition.com/child-nutritionist-nutrition-for-children/
) with same efficacy. She heads the Nutrition team in Mumbai and takes personal interest in each and every client of Café Nutrition.