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Healthy Eating For Children

Healthy Eating for Children -
Ensure Your Children are Hungry at Mealtimes!

It is just plain common sense that children who aren't feeling hungry will not be enthusiastic about eating at meal times.

Here are some ideas to encourage different thinking around healthy eating for children and hunger.

Sometimes it is difficult for parents to get out of the habit of plying their young ones with food between meals. It works with babies and toddlers to offer food when they show signs of distress, or feed them with a baby bottle warmer.

However, if we keep up the habit of offering food, especially as the answer to our children's demands for attention, then we encourage an association between negative emotions and food instead of creating connections between healthy eating for children and a love of nutritious food.

Healthy Eating For Children -
Parents Eating Habits

healthy eating for children

It pays to look at the ways we, as parents, use food to provide sustenance for our own feelings. If this is a deeply ingrained habit, the tendency to repeat this habit with our own children goes unnoticed.

Do you have awareness that you may be eating when you are feeling hunger for something other than food? Maybe you are in need of more attention yourself? Maybe your own feelings go unacknowledged?

Next time you feel sad and reach for a chocolate bar to medicate the feeling, remind yourself that this is probably what you are doing with your children's emotions too.

Here is some suggested reading to encourage your children to release their emotions.

Healthy Eating for Children Tip

Make Eating Fun! HOW?

Healthy Eating for Children Tip!

You can't force a child to eat
but you can make sure he is hungry at meal times.

Offer fun instead of food between meals!

You can make a decision to be more vigilant about keeping food to snack times and meal times. Choose to have a clearer idea about when you are to offer food and when to offer fun activities instead.

healthy eating for children Now begin to cut back gradually on the amount of snacks your children consume, but offer plenty of water and fruit instead.

In order to make this a new habit, to begin with it will take time, patience and clarity about being consistent. Each time your children nag or grizzle,try offering to play with them, introduce different toys or play ideas, or provide more attention. Do not offer food until your previously decided snack time.

You will need to wean your children away from the association of eating with boredom or distress and towards the idea of eating at meal times and when hungry. By having awareness around the simple procedure of giving attention instead of food, the bad eating habit is changed into healthy eating for children. The outcome??

Hungry children at meal time!

Healthy Eating for Children - Bad eating habits?

If you notice a really big demand in your children's need for your attention, this will highlight clearly that you have been responding to their cues for attention by giving them food.

This will mean paying more attention to them and becoming more involved in their activities, while you adjust your parenting style and stop rewarding their attention demands with food

healthy eating for children As your children come to meal times feeling more hungry, you should notice a change for the better in their eating. Your children will respond by being less obnoxious at the meal table and more focussed on food and eating.

The best way to encourage good eating habits is to eat all your meals together as a family, sitting around the dinner table. This way your children are included, rather than singled out.

Eating together can be a real time of pleasure, bonding, and interest and set the tone for the years ahead of sharing together all the interests of your day.

Healthy Eating For Children

Remember that multiple snack times tend to suppress
children's appetites for regular meals.

Your children will not starve from lack of food if you stop handing out snack foods! However they may be starved for lack of attention!

If you are having problems with your children's eating habits, change the whole energy around the problem by changing the way you have been conducting their meal times.

For instance:

healthy eating for children

Have fun! Be spontaneous! Emphasize pleasure!

  • Remember that eating is a pleasurable part of our days. Stop the battles around food by changing your emphasis from negative to positive.

  • Lay out a picnic rug on the floor or outside on the grass and sit down and eat your meal alongside your children.

  • Shop together for a place mats and let him/her choose their own. OR spend a wonderful play time designing and making your own. Then sit up to the table and use them for every meal.

  • Arrange eating utensils and meal on trays and sit with your kids in the middle of the floor while you eat together.

  • Ever tried reading out loud while your children eat? Choose exciting stories that rivet attention while encouraging good eating habits.

  • Encourage surprises by cooking favorite foods for each child in turn

  • toddler eating
  • Encourage your children to help with cooking as much as is feasible for their age and stage. Give them a chair up at the kitchen bench with a bowl and some ingredients to stir if they are younger.

  • Encourage cooking also in pretending play by giving him kitchen utensils and pots and pans to play with.

    Help your toddlers to play imaginatively with pretending eating games, such as pretending to feed stuffed toys or dolls.

    I recommend Little Stomaks - a well researched blog on Science Driven Toddler Nutrition - Check it out!

    Check out this site:

    Kids Play Kitchens and Pretend Kitchen Play Sets for Children
    Play Kitchen Place offers you a variety of kids play kitchens and pretend kitchen play sets along with pretend play food, play kitchen accessories and play tables. Everything you need for your childrens kitchen play.

    Child Obesity In America Child obesity in America is a growing problem that has serious personal and societal consequences. Parents must take responsibility for identifying the problems in their own families.

    Healthy Eating
    Healthy Eating Books and DVDs

    Read about the connection between children, obesity and self esteem

    Read about toddler eating here.

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