Teaching your child healthy eating habits early on will help develop a healthy diet. Your child will grow up to be a fit and strong adult. So good to do! But what are ways to raise your child healthy?
Set a good example yourself
Children imitate what they see from their parents, not just young children. This also applies to eating behavior. You can say that a child should eat healthily, but if you don’t show that yourself, your message will not get through. If you eat healthily, your child is more likely to do the same.
Maintain a healthy home environment
If your home is healthy, your child will be more likely to be tempted to eat healthily. And vice versa: if your house is full of goodies and unhealthy food, you are more likely to grab it yourself and your child will ask for it more often.
Make clear agreements about food
By making good agreements about food, your child knows where he stands. This provides peace of mind for you and your family and ensures less nagging and fighting. For example, we eat at the table, or as a snack, we eat fruit or vegetables. After dinner we don’t eat anything else, so not eating means no sandwich if you get hungry in the evening.
Have regular eating and drinking moments
Fixed eating moments provide clarity and structure to the day. An example of a good daily schedule is breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and a hot meal. This teaches your child not to eat and drink all day long. It’s also better for the teeth.
Let your child taste often
Only after 10 to 15 tastings are children used to a new taste. That is why it is good to let your child taste something often. A small bite is enough.
Value desirable behavior
Has your child tasted something he didn’t like? Or did he not whine about sweets all day? You can praise desired behavior. What motivates and increases the chance that your child will show it more often. Describe what you like and why. By explaining the positive effect of what he did, you reinforce your compliment and that helps.
If children understand why healthy eating is important, they will also be more likely to eat healthier. If your child understands why there are agreements and rules about food and drink, then there is a greater chance that they will understand and whine less.
Make healthy eating attractive
Enjoying food is important! By making healthy food attractive, you entice your child to eat healthily. The more fun you enjoy eating together, the easier it will be to raise healthy.
Involve your child in meal preparation
You can teach your child early on what is involved in preparing a meal. Think about choosing what to eat, go shopping, and cook together. That is fun to do and often children want to taste it sooner. And they learn a lot from it.
Comfort your child with attention
Is your child in pain or sadness? Trust works best with attention. Prevent your children from comforting with something tasty, then you teach your child a routine that you would rather not.