Updated: Mar 28, 2021
👧👦Children's 🥦Nutrition👨🍳 Tips: How to spread healthy, even to the picky eaters; 🕵️♀️ - it's so hard to want to 💪empower your children's drive for independence when you are trying to "break" them of a poor habit. However, empowering 💪 your child is exactly the key to your success in preventing the mealtime battles and creating the change necessary for long term lasting healthy habits!!!!
TIP 2️: Respect your child's appetite -or lack of one:
✅ Serve small portions to avoid overwhelming your child and give him or her the opportunity to independently ask for more. WOW all I can say is this tip was gold to us. It's kind of like the food court in the mall or in big grocery stores where they hand out samples that hook you. By starting off with small portions, it takes a lot of the pressure off and it empowers the child to choose if they like it and ask for more. But it also increases the likelihood that the child finishes their plate (by choice, mind you) which begins to create positive relationship with food. It's important to reinforce that positivity when it occurs, congratulate your child for trying the items on the plate and eating a portion and engage them in positive dialogue. Let a few minutes pass and again encourage them to drink water and ask them if they are full and if they think they have taken in enough fuel for their body to work properly. If they want more, further empower them in their choices: "I'm so glad you choose to tired that item and found that you liked it". "Do you think that item will help you fuel your body". "What a good decision you made", etc. PLEASE NOTE: this is different then allowing them to pick what goes on their plate. Exposure is often more important then we realize. Encouraging them to at least try each item as they will be surprised what they might find they like. Many studies suggest you discuss with your child to try each item 3 times. Let them know you will put a very small portion of what is being served on their plate, but they can choose what they eat. (So they know they don't have to eat everything on their plate). For our daughter, this was challenging because she didn't like food touching and was sensitive to how items smelt. We soon got divider plate, and with a food log began to understand what items triggered these concerns.
✅ DON'T FORCE it- If your child isn't hungry, don't force them to eat. Likewise, don't bribe or force your child to eat certain foods or clean his or her plate. This might only ignite — or reinforce — a power struggle over food. In addition, your child might come to associate mealtime with anxiety and frustration or become less sensitive to his or her own hunger and fullness cues. Don't be worried they aren't getting enough proper nutrition, as long as you are following Tip #1. Each day may vary but rest assured within a weeks time and all those offering they will be getting what they need).
✅ Empower your child to understand what a healthy plate consists of and what items are in what food groups. Engage your child by asking them why you might have picked the items on their plate and which food group is each item in. When they eat an item from a certain food group, make it fun and allow them to mark this on their food chart.
✅ Again, set goals and make them clear - After each meal reinforce the healthy habits, encourage them to review what they consumed and discuss how these items might help them (grow, dance, play sports, whatever their goals are). Ask your child if they think they are giving their body the FUEL it needs to work correctly and make it so they can run and play (or whatever is age appropriate). Empower them to set a goal to better fuel their body tomorrow and what are some things they can do to reach that goal.
Stay tuned for the next health tip # 3️: Be creative. This one was often a test of how savvy my little one was. In the meantime, remember that your child's eating habits won't likely change overnight — but the small steps you take each day can help promote a lifetime of healthy eating. To truly acknowledge how hard it is to want to 💪empower your children's drive for independence when you are trying to "break" them of a poor habit. However, empowering 💪 your child is exactly the key to your success in preventing the mealtime battles and creating the change necessary for long term lasting healthy habits!!!! Remember these kids will be the leaders of tomorrow. Thank you again for your support!!! #ChildrensNutrition #ParentingTips #HealthyEatingForKids #HealthyWarner