Trying to get your child to eat healthily can be a challenge. Trying to get them to understand the importance of healthy food can be a challenge in itself! For many children, making healthy food fun is one of the few ways you can really get them eating healthily without the struggle.
One of the ways to get any child doing what you need them to do is to make it seem like their idea, and let them do it themselves. Children react better to ideas they think are their own. Whether you want them to build a tower out of building blocks, or eat some peas, chances are they will be more likely to do it if they feel they are doing it themselves, of their own accord.
Letting your child cook, or letting them help you with the preparation of meals, is one of the best ways to get them eating healthily. Whether this means letting them take complete ownership of a meal or just letting them stir the bowl or sprinkle the cheese, however you can make them feel part of the process will help them get more interested in food, and more likely to eat well.
Another way to give your child control over their eating and encourage healthy choices is to let them choose a healthy food that they promise to try each time you go shopping. It might be a food with a name that they like ? falafel or tzatziki anyone? Or it might be something that captures their attention with an unusual shape, colour or name ? the novelty of a coconut, a huge watermelon or a tantalising dragon fruit can tempt even the most reluctant of children to try a new food.
If your child knows where a food comes from, what animals might enjoy it or something that makes it unique and interesting, they will view it as more than just another foodstuff. This can be a great way to get them trying healthier foods. Talk about foods that relate to what they are learning in school, try foods from countries they are interested in and get them excited about the idea of new and different foods.
Presenting your child with a wide range of healthy foods at the same time, either as part of a meal or in a buffet-style platter, gives them that sense of choice and freedom over what they eat. If you make sure that everything they are offered is healthy, in small pieces and easy to manage, no matter how old your child is or how stubborn they are when they come to try new tastes, there is likely to be something that tempts them.
Making food dun can be a tricky business for any parent ? it is important you ensure that your child has a healthy relationship with food, so don?t go overboard to the extent that your child sees food as the ultimate reward, comfort or prize. Instead, focus on the importance of health, and tie the healthy food choices to other aspects of a healthy lifestyle such as exercise
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