Good nutrition and a balanced diet will help your child grow up healthy. Whether your child is a toddler or a teen, you can take steps to improve nutrition and encourage smart eating habits. Five of the best strategies are:
- Have regular family meals. Regular well structured meal times will provide a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Never skip meals particularly breakfast. Do you eat the same food and at the same times as your children? Children are natural mimics and will take their cues from you.
- Serve a variety of healthy foods and snacks. Look for fibre rich foods and try to ensure that there is a healthy balance of fruit and vegetables in their diets. All children will ask for sweets and chocolates and while some consumption is acceptable it is important to limit their access to these foods. Allow them a set amount each day/week. Try to monitor the foods they eat outside the home as you may be surprised by the amount of ‘junk foods’ that they eat.
- Be a role model by eating healthy yourself.
- Avoid battles over food. Battles result in stand offs which don’t help anyone. Choose your time to discuss food with each child. Respect their wishes within reason – they may simply dislike the taste of some foods.
- Involve your child in the process. Cooking with Mum or Dad or helping lay the table will involve your child in the process of meal times.
This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.
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