It can be challenging to teach healthy food habits in a world that promotes non-nutritious food as rewards. Here are a few tips to create healthy environments at home.
Trust your child’s hunger cues. Telling your child to finish his or her plate all the time can lead to a habit of ignoring their body’s natural hunger cues. Trust that they will eat according to their growth needs. If you are in doubt, consult a Registered Dietitian.
Offer plenty of healthy options at snacks and meals. Allow them to choose portions. The more options they have, the more likely they are to sample. Offer foods high in fibre that fill up small tummies if you are worried they will overeat.
Present unfamiliar healthy foods a number of times. It may take up to 10 times or more for a child to appreciate the taste of an unfamiliar food. Don’t get discouraged with picky eaters!
Have your child participate in meal and school lunch preparation. Familiarize your child with healthy foods, and they will be more likely to try them.
Save treats for occasions outside the home. Avoid keeping sweet and/or high fat foods readily available in your home. Indulge in "treat foods" only on special occasions.
Comment below if you have discovered special practices that help your child to eat healthier!