How To Teach Your Child About Healthy Eating

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Good nutrition is vital when it comes to fueling children as they grow. But, getting them off to the healthiest possible start will instil healthy eating habits that follow them well into adulthood. Children learn habits through others, if you eat certain types of foods, then they’ll be more likely to eat them too – this is the same for both healthy diets and diets that include high amounts of junk food. Teaching your children healthy eating habits and routines can make all the difference, so here are some ways you can teach your child about healthy eating.

Sit Together At The Table During Mealtimes

Eating meals at the table together is one of the best ways for kids to make healthy eating choices and learn table manners. By sitting at the table together as a family, your little one will pick up on how to use cutlery, engage in conversation and are more likely to finish their meals. Even if your child isn’t ready to eat solid foods yet, even just sitting at the table in a highchair means that they’ll pick up habits. A meal shouldn’t take longer than 30-40 minutes, so try to limit meals to this length of time as they’ll lose focus.

Let Kids Choose What Goes Onto Their Plates

It’s good to let kids choose what goes onto their plate rather than just plate their meal up and expect them to eat it. If they aren’t sure what foods are, then they are unlikely to eat them and this could create food aversion in the future.

Whilst it is important to consider allowing children to pick what goes onto their plate, you need to remember that you are not a to-order cook, so make a decision about what you are serving for tea and let your child pick from what’s on offer. For example, if you’ve made chicken, potatoes, peas and broccoli, and they don’t want broccoli and instead want extra peas, then go ahead. But if they want a whole different meal, then say no. It’s important to remember that kids will enjoy some meals more than others, so will leave leftovers when it comes to certain meals.

Enjoy Mealtimes

If mealtimes are full of stress and are rushed, then that will pass onto your children and they’ll soon begin to dislike mealtimes, which will just add to the overall angst. It’s important to let your child explore and enjoy their food and, whilst this might cause you some worry in terms of mess, it will help to create healthier eating habits overall.

When your child is 6 months old, they will start weaning from milk onto solid foods, and this is where you can really build and develop their food interest. There are some tools you can invest in to reduce mess during mealtimes at this age, such as weaning bibs to protect clothes from mess and spills whilst eating and baby washcloths to wipe mucky hands and messy faces.