Various times you might observe that your child ignores food, even if it is his favorite. Even after eating, it gets hard for them to digest it completely. Here are few tips and tricks to improve their table manners, increase their appetite and digestibility in a fun way.
1. Family meals-
Eating meals together provides an opportunity for conversation. Family meals encourage healthy eating habits, having healthy discussion with your children, talking about their day. Children tend to do what they see, so family meal can be a perfect place to include good food habit in them as they are probable of copying you.
2. Chew well-
Demonstrate to your child how to bite and chew foods properly. Chewing food for long increases your meal time and makes one feel less hungry. Also chewing is important as it avoids weight gain. So make sure your child chews slowly and enjoy the food.
3. No distraction while eating-
Kids have short attention span; they get distracted quickly to other sound or music so it important to limit the distractions during meals. Make sure that no TV, laptops, music players are on and no toys or other distracting stuff are kept around.
4. Include colors in every meal-
Children are always attracted to colorful plates so always include a new different fruits and vegetables of different colors everyday, in short, make your child eat a rainbow.(You can get more ideas for eating rainbow food in our previous blog http://planmyhealth.in/Healthyblog/kid-eating-rainbow-everyday/)
5. Don’t develop sweet tooth-
There is no rule of having desert after every meal. If you know sugary sweet foods make your kids obese which no parents would want. Instead of sugary goods or ice cream, opt for healthier versions of desert such as fresh fruits topped with whipped cream or fruit salads can be served up as healthier alternatives.
6. Drink plenty water-
Drinking plenty of water is necessary. Make you child drink more of plain water and keep juice and sweet drinks as occasional treats. Kids should go for water first when they are thirsty, not sugar-sweetened drinks. (To get few ideas on how to keep your kids hydrated go through our previous blog http://planmyhealth.in/Healthyblog/keeping-kids-hydrated/)
7. Get kids involved-
If kids know how to cook they are likely to become adventurous eaters. So by making them wear aprons and letting them help you in small task in kitchen, decorating food plate, creating fun recipes and setting the table are few ways getting them involved. In this way, they are likely to be engaged and start loving what they eat.
8. Eating breakfast-
It’s the first and foremost important meal of the day. Make sure you child never misses the breakfast as it provides long lasting energy and sets the tone for your day. (To know the importance of eating breakfast you can go through our previous blog http://planmyhealth.in/Healthyblog/skipping-breakfast/ )
9. Portion size-
Use smaller plates for kids so they eat proper portion. Teach them to take one serving at a time and if hungry then take the second serving. This will help them to learn how much they want to eat.
10. Set an example-
Preschoolers especially love to copy what their parents do, and are likely to mimic your meal preferences and willingness to try new foods. We all know “Actions speak louder than words” so take advantage of this monkey-see, monkey-do behavior and make healthy eating choices in front of them. Eat food and make it sound delightful, be a role model for your child.