The way you eat affects the way your child will eat. So it’s important to become a role model for your child in developing healthy eating habits and a positive attitude toward food. Provide your child healthy meals and encourage them to eat nutritious food. This will help them in promoting good health and avoiding obesity among preschoolers.
Here are some ways to help your child promote a healthy and positive relationship with food:
Don’t Follow a Restrictive Diet Plan for Your Child
It’s not advisable to place your child on a restrictive diet unless supervised by a doctor for medical reasons. Limiting what they are eating might be harmful for their health and interfere in their growth and development.
Reduce the Amount of Fat in the Diet
Cutting down the amount of fat is a great way to reduce calories without affecting the nutritional requirements of your child. This also helps in avoiding obesity. Include low-fat or fat-free daily products, breads, cereals, and poultry without skin.
Don’t Excessively Restrict Treats or Sweets
You should be aware of the sugar content of the foods you are serving to your family. Include foods that are high in sugar content in moderation in your family’s diet. Instead of dictating, give them a variety of healthy foods and help them make healthy choices.
Eat Together as a Family
Try to eat together with your family during mealtimes and make it pleasant with sharing and conversation. Don’t scold or force your child to eat. Show them that mealtime is about sharing and creating a comfortable environment during mealtimes.
Turn off TV While Eating Meals
Turn off the TV or other devices while you are having a meal with your family. It would be very helpful as instead of paying attention to the TV, your child will try to notice how they feel when they are hungry and when they are satisfied.
Don’t Use Food to Reward or Punish Your Child
Not giving food to your child as a punishment may cause them to worry that they will not get food and go hungry, so they will try to eat whenever they get any opportunity. Avoid giving sweets as a reward as children will think that these kinds of foods are better than other foods.
Set a good example for your child by following a balanced diet and remaining physically active. This will teach them healthy eating habits and develop a good attitude toward food.
Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three Preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child’s social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.