Do you want your child to grow up healthy and strong? Are you always looking for a way to eat a lot and well? Don’t make these mistakes in your diet.
Good nutrition in a child is essential for its integral development. But what is “eating well”? Decades ago it was believed that chubby children were healthy children. Today that concept is outdated and also, it is known that an obese child is more likely to suffer obesity in adulthood and its consequent complications.
There are several guidelines that can help us improve the diet of our children. Parents always want the child to eat “everything” and “a lot.” However, many times we make mistakes that go unnoticed and that will “educate” the child’s palate in the wrong way. If a child drinks soft drinks and eats snacks more than once a week before the age of 3, it is to be expected that the child’s palate will strengthen those flavors and reject others. There is also a predisposition of each child in particular towards certain flavors, as well as there is an age when children stop eating many things that they used to eat. My 4 year old daughter doesn’t want to try anything that is red, orange, and green; So that’s how we are at home, juggling so that you eat varied and healthy.
The mistakes to avoid
Up to 3 years of age is the stage where children strengthen their eating habits, so a good nutritional education is essential to cover all their physical requirements, and thus maintain good eating habits throughout childhood.
1. Don’t be obsessed
Many parents feel uneasy when their children don’t get enough to eat. According to the Spanish pediatrician Carlos González, children self-regulate in that sense. They know how long they want to eat. Your stomach is too small compared to what we often put on your plate. If you become obsessed with eating everything you have served, you will generate a rejection on the part of the child and a bad experience and relationship with food.
2. Re-offer foods you didn’t want before
There was a time when my daughter ate carrots like crazy. Then, she stopped eating it completely. However, I tried again and now I offer it to you with some preparations. If your child did not like or currently does not like a food, you can try changing the cooking method and even changing the recipe and the seasonings used, but without disguising it too much.
3. Don’t force it
Of course, you should insist a little so that he eats, but without going to the extreme of making him eat by force. That would make him associate mealtime with a hard time. There are days when you may feel bad and do not want to eat, others will eat with good taste. Try to see what foods he eats more than others and maybe you can vary the recipes with his favorite ingredients.
4. Don’t mix the flavors so much
In the desire for the child to eat everything, many mothers tend to homogenize flavors. That is, camouflage the tastes with sauces, or make a mix by adding that vegetable that you do not like. Sometimes it may be necessary to do so, but it is not convenient that the flavors are always disguised since this way the child will not get used to trying new flavors.
5. Put away the snacks
It’s still missing for lunch or dinner and your child asks you for something to eat. Keep any cookie, snack or candy out of their reach; Not only will it take away your hunger but you will be creating a bad habit. Leave the snacks for special moments or for sporadic situations. The more these foods rich in fat and sugar are eaten, the more addiction they generate.
6. Do not use dessert as a reward or “soup” as a punishment
If there is something that irritates me, it is hearing “if you eat all the food I will give you a treat as a treat.” Or even worse is hearing “now as a punishment you must eat all that plate of vegetables.” Don’t use food to reward or punish, as they will associate food with forced duty and will only do what you ask for candy. A person in my family often tells my children “if they eat all the food I bring them a prize.” Then I have a hard time explaining to my children that they should eat because they want to and not because someone is going to give them something.
7. Abusing processed and pre-cooked foods
Yes I know. It is easier to open the freezer and cook some chicken legs or hamburgers. But, have you ever thought about how many additives and preservatives they have? Try to leave those foods as a last-minute salvation, when you have no other option, and try to cook fresh foods that provide nutrients and vitamins.
If many of the mistakes here are those you make on a daily basis, try to reverse the bad habits and focus on providing your child with healthy foods and good eating habits. And you, what mistakes do you make, and what habits should you change when eating your children?