We all want to set our children up with good eating habits for life. Ask any parent or carer and you will quickly learn that feeding children is sometimes challenging and usually messy.
A picky toddler and child has every chance of becoming an adult who enjoys a wide variety of healthy foods.
Here are our quick tips for helping your child to develop healthy eating habits:
- Be a role model
Like it or not, children watch their carers for eating cues. Seeing carers enjoy a wide range of healthy foods teaches children that healthy foods can be enjoyed.
- Talk about healthy foods
Chat about food with your child – talk about ‘everyday’ foods making us strong and healthy and ‘sometimes’ foods as our treats. Read books together, grow herbs on a windowsill and look at all the colours in the fruit and veg section of your store.
- Involve your child in choosing healthy foods
Ask your child to choose the fruit at the market or select the veg for their snack. Involving children gives them a sense of ownership over their food and empowers them, making them more likely to eat and enjoy it.
- Keep calm at meal times
Try to avoid the mealtime battleground by keeping calm if your child rejects what you have prepared. Children often take multiple exposures to food before they will try it. Resist the temptation to offer an alternative meal if the first meal is rejected.
This article was reprinted with kind permission from the ACT Nutrition Support Service.