Choose healthy eating habits for kids | 24 Mantra

Meal time suggestions for parents of toddlers and young children


Meal time suggestions for parents of toddlers and young children

Health and Nutrition

How to healthy eating habits for kids?

Most parents during their child’s toddler years go through at least once the dilemma of whether their child is eating enough, whether they are choosing the right healthy eating habits for kids. Usually, this fear is overcome with a visit to the child’s doctor. As long as the child is growing normally there is no need to worry.

Toddlers new found freedom

According to Collins dictionary a toddler is a young child who has only just learned to walk or who still walks unsteadily with small, quick steps. Because of the newly found ability for walking they are enjoying their freedom and are very active. Hence it’s important to inculcate the correct healthy eating habits for kids at this point. Toddler generally starts losing the baby fat like the chubby cheeks.

Picky eaters

There are some children who make meal time a nightmare for their parents. They refuse to eat anything that is served or something they liked last week they refuse to even look at this week. Fussy or picky eaters usually outgrow the problem with the passage of time. Choosng healthy eating habits for kids can be difficult during these times. It can be a frustrating phase but help your child get a balanced diet during this period.

Here are some tips for parents with toddlers

Whatever you offer the child has to be nutritious. Give more importance to quality of the food served to the child rather than the quantity. Whatever food is placed in front of the child should be nutritious.  Parents have to understand that good eaters, does not always mean big eaters, moderate eaters are good eaters too.

It is not necessary for the toddler to eat everything served on the plate. · Keep in mind that what a toddler eats and how much may differ from day to day. Being picky is part of growing !

Keep meal times stress free zones. It is difficult with fussy toddlers but it is necessary not to look stressed. Do not force or bribe them as it will become a habit with parents and the toddler. If you are stressed it rubs off on the child too.

Try to stick to a routine. But at the same time keep in mind young children will eat only when they are hungry. ·Have a proper time for snacks too.

Make meal time interesting. Make the food in a manner that is attractive for the child, curious shapes and colours might help make the right healthy eating habits for kids.

Vegetable issue. Most toddlers do eat cereals and fruits. And usually, they drink milk. But getting them to eat vegetables is a problem. Keep offering veggies, one day they will start eating. ·

Do not make elaborate meals.  Because they do not appreciate it and also you are not disappointed. Keep it simple.

Rejection of new foods. This is very normal and is usually a temporary thing till they get used to it. Repeated exposure to the food in small amounts will get them used to it but do not force them to try it. Encourage the child to try out new foods and praise them if they do it. · New food in small amounts should be offered at the start of the meal when the toddler is hungry. ·

Snack time. Ensure that no-calorie dense sweets or snacks are given before the meal so that the toddler will have his main meal properly. · Make sure the snacks you give them are nutritious because toddlers do not have three main meals like adults. ·

Most important is set an example. Be role models by eating healthy foods as children learn from us. Eat home cooked food as much as possible. Do not eat in front of the television. Make mealtime family time as it will be a good habit that will help them in adulthood also.

Take the child to the doctor if you are still worried. If there is a medical issue it has to be dealt with. Usually, the doctor’s visit will clear all your doubts and fears. Enjoy your time with your children, they will grow up and be off within no time.

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