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How to create healthy eating habits in children?

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Healthy eating habits are important for the proper development of all children. It helps them not only to their physical development but also intellectual. So if you teach your child to eat regularly and in a varied way, you will benefit him throughout his life.

The first 5 years are very important for the development of eating habits. Eating healthy, eating together at the table, setting clear rules for sweets, for example, are those things with which it is positive to start early enough.

Which are healthy eating habits?

Each family has its own characteristics, schedules, and daily activities, but it is very positive to be able to adapt good habits to our daily life, you do not have to do everything at once but take it into account and apply it whenever possible.

– Eat at set times, it is important to eat at a fixed time every day since the body gets used to it and avoids eating between meals.

– Varied food. It is a good idea to have a list or calendar in the refrigerator for example where you can keep track of the variety of food you prepare at home since with all the tasks of daily life it is normal that sometimes it is not taken into account This important aspect in the feeding of everybody and in children that are more likely to be overweight and eat unhealthily.

– Establish clear and specific norms, without being exaggeratedly restrictive, do not forget that they are children.

– Your child determines how much he eats. Do not force him to eat more.

Why is important to eat regularly?

If your child is used to eating at set times, he will be less tempted to eat between meals. And you will also be less likely to ask for a cookie or a candy if you know there will be another time to eat.

Up to seven meals a day.

Teach him that there are certain times during the day he can eat. Drinking water can do it whenever you want. Those fixed moments are:

– The three main meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

– A maximum of four moments for a snack.

– Teach him that he doesn’t have to ask for food between those moments.

Why is important to eat different things?

Only with varied foods, your child will get all the nutrients he needs. You need to eat from all food groups to have all the vitamins and minerals necessary for good physical and intellectual development.

Make sure your child eats and drinks from all food groups every day. This way you make sure you get all the nutrients you need.

Tips for learning healthy eating habits:

– Make sure your child always has breakfast. That way you will receive important nutrients. And it will prevent you from craving sweets or cookies after breakfast and eating between meals.

– Does your son not like something? You can try to put it on the table regularly in different types of presentations. You need time to get used to some tastes. Sometimes you have to eat it about 10 times before you like it. In the event that you still do not like it and it is a timely food and is not a group of foods such as vegetables in general, you can give up trying to eat it, each person has their tastes and it is very normal that there is something that does not He liked me.

– Drinking water. 70% of our body is water, essential to eliminate toxins and hydrate all organs. Betting on water as a family drink is a health option. Natural fruit juices are a good alternative, but they should not be abused, as they contain too many sugars.

– Choose healthy foods for family meals. Children notice the choices you make and follow your example.

– Always try to eat at set times. And don’t eat late at night. Otherwise, your child may be too tired, and going to bed right after eating is not recommended.

– Always try to eat at the table, as much as possible with the whole family. And if possible try at least occasionally turn off the television. In this way, your child learns that eating is also fun, and that you can use this moment to chat.

– From time to time, let your child choose a menu that suits him or surprise him with his favorite food.

– Have a little patience and let him eat at his own pace and without haste, let your child decide how much he wants to eat, do not force him to eat too much if he usually eats an amount or as it happens to us all, there are days that we have less or more hungry than others. Do not punish him with not giving him dessert in this case.

– Save french fries, cookies, candy, and soft drinks for special occasions or for the weekend.

– Make physical activity part of your family’s daily life. For example, take your child walking back and forth to school and go for a walk after dinner. Encourage your child to find their favorite ways to be active.

How much does my son need to eat?

Some children need a little more food, for example, because they are very athletic or very tall. Others need less because perhaps they are less active in sports or a little smaller. With a child sometimes it differs from the day how much you need to eat. Accelerated growth, for example, ensures that your child has more hunger. Therefore, it is important to listen to your child. Your body is the best indicator of how much you need.

Give an example!

Are you a good example for your children regarding healthy eating? Parents exert the most important influence on the health behavior of their children. Especially in children up to about twelve years old.

What are the risks of a poor diet?

A child with bad eating habits will not be well nourished. That is, you are not receiving the amounts of nutrients necessary for healthy growth and development. This can lead to being underweight or overweight. Poorly fed children tend to have a weaker immune system, which increases their chances of disease. Bad eating habits of a child can increase the risk of disease later in life.

Overweight children generally have bad eating habits, skip breakfast at least once a week, eat unhealthy snacks, drink in plenty of soft drinks and fruit juices during the day.

Some of the bad eating habits are:

– Eat very little variety of foods.

– Refuse to eat any food from a particular food group, such as vegetables.

– Eat too many foods of poor nutritional quality, such as sodas, fries and other foods rich in sugars and saturated fats.

– Eating too much because large portions of food are served, it is better to distribute the intake at various times of the day, and not eat too much at once.

How can you teach your child to eat healthy foods?

When children are accustomed to eating in one way it will not be easy to change it, and it is best not to do it from one day to the next because in this case, it will be more difficult to maintain it over time. You don’t have to change everything at once. This can help avoid confrontations that can occur if you pressure your child to eat certain foods. Start with small changes that are easy to achieve, such as offering more fruits and vegetables at meals. Preparing these food groups in different and fun ways.

All the information that we give you in this article is for orientation since each child and each family is different and unique.

Carolina González Ramos

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