As a mother to a super active daughter, the foremost concern for me was her daily nutritious diet to gain a healthy amount of weight. From the day I introduced solid food, I fed her a fresh, home-cooked meal with varieties. Though ready-to-eat foods were also kept as a backup to bring some change in the palate, thankfully, she never preferred the taste and resisted them every time I tried to feed.
It is important to develop healthy eating habits from the beginning as they will be carried forward for a longer time in their growing years. Sometimes due to unforeseen and inevitable reasons, preparing fresh meals can take a back seat. But during that phase, too, I pushed myself to at least make something quick for her. As most of the toddlers are not very fond of eating vegetables initially, I made sure that she consumed them in fresh juices and soup. Adding seasonal fruits and vegetables in different forms in her diet is continued till now.
Raising a child with good food habits can be a mammoth task, but if we try to inculcate the following practices, you can easily achieve this:
· Try not to force-feed the baby as it might act as a booster for resistance to food.
· Make eating a fun time. Keep talking and playing with the baby to make this time interesting.
· Do not run behind to feed your kid. Sit on the dining table or a quieter place where there is a minimum distraction.
· Include all types of vegetables and fruits as it will help you find out the favorite foods and the ones which child does not prefer to eat. This will help you figure out ways to prepare them differently.
· Do not give up if the child resists one food initially. Take a break and give the same after some days. As growing up, their taste buds keep on changing.
· Never compare your child’s development milestones with other children. Every baby is different, and comparing would mean stressing yourself and putting pressure on the child.
· As long as possible, avoid giving sweets and packaged foods. After a certain age, it won’t be easy to control them from eating these; therefore, keep them as treats only once a week/month after 2 years of age.
· Politely make the relatives or the visitors understand not to directly give packaged foods (Chocolates, chips, candies, etc.) to them as they quickly become smart enough to know how and from whom to extort junk foods.
· After a year of introducing solid foods, try to eat as a family together as it will exhibit the importance of family time. This practice also helps the child develop the habit of smart eating.
· Kids follow their parents a lot. Therefore, make sure you too eat healthy food and snacks.
· Involve your kids in grocery shopping and preparing food at home to create interest and involvement.
Intake of adequate nutrition from childhood is critical not only for physical growth but for mental development too. Acquiring healthy eating practices is directly proportional to a long and wholesome life…