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How to create healthy eating habits in children?

Healthy eating habits are important for the proper development of all children. It helps them to their physical but also intellectual development. 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 these eating habits are very important for children and their development. Eating healthy, eating together at the table, setting clear rules for sweets for example, are those things that are positive to start early enough.

What are healthy eating habits? 4 Eating habits

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

– Eat at set times, it is important to eat as much as possible at fixed times 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 this important aspect is not taken into account in the diet of everyone and more of the children.

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

– Your child determines how much he eats. Don’t force him to eat more.


Why is it important to eat regularly?

If your child is used to eating at set times, they will be less tempted to eat between meals. And also with good eating habits for children you will be less likely to ask for a cookie or a sweet 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 when he can eat. Drinking water can be done whenever you want. Those fixed moments are:

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

– A maximum of four moments for an aperitif.

– Teach him that he does not have to order food between those times.


Why is it important to eat in a varied way?

Only with varied foods will your child 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.

10 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.

– Your child doesn’t 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 specific food and is not a food group like vegetables in general, you can desist from trying to eat it, each person has their tastes and it is very normal that there is something that they do not like.

– Drink 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 it is not advisable to abuse them, since they contain too many sugars.

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

– Always try to eat at set times. And don’t eat late at night. Otherwise, your child might be too tired, plus 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 once in a while to turn off the TV. 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 they feel like or surprise them with their favorite food.

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

– Save chips, cookies, sweets 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 child need to eat?

Some children need a little more food, for example because they are very sporty or very tall. The others need less, because perhaps they are less active in the sport or a little smaller. With a child sometimes differs from the day how much he needs to eat. Accelerated growth, for example, ensures 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.


Set the right example yourself!

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


What are the risks of poor diet?

A child with poor 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. Undernourished children tend to have a weaker immune system, which increases their chances of disease. A child’s poor eating habits can increase the risk of disease later in life.

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

Some of the bad eating habits are:

– Eat very little variety of foods.

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

Eating too many foods of poor nutritional quality, such as sodas, chips and other foods rich in sugars and saturated fats.

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


How can you teach your child to eat healthy foods?

When children are used to eating in a way it will not be easy to change it, and it is best not to do it overnight 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, easy-to-achieve changes, such as offering more fruits and vegetables at meals. Preparing these food groups in different and fun ways.


All the information we give you in this article is indicative as each child and each family is different and unique.


Carolina González Ramos

Edda Virtual Solutions

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