This is a short guide on how to give your children a healthy opinion about eating.
Obesity has become a major concern in the U.S. In addition, thousands of people suffer from eating disorders such as over-eating or bulemia.
When children are born, though, they don’t know the difference between foods. And, they have no concept of what being overweight is or what others think is the perfect figure. These things are learned by children as they grow.
One mistake parents make, when feeding small children, is not to feed them foods they don’t like themselves. If a parent hates green beans, for example, they’re less likely to choose green beans for their child.
No matter how you feel about certain foods, give your child a chance to like them, especially healthy foods. If your child appears to dislike the taste, don’t serve that food again for a short while.
Try the food again at a later date.
If the child still dislikes the taste, move on to other healthy foods that he or she likes. Continue to try to introduce the “unsavory” food, throughout his or her toddler years.
Here are a few tips to help you create a good eating habit for your children:
1. Never force your child to eat foods that he or she doesn’t like.
Try preparing them different ways or letting a period of time go by before trying the food again, but never force the child to eat it.
This is unhealthy and leads the child to pick and choose only their very favorite foods later in life. That can mean a lifetime of eating junk and sweets.
2. Never make your child finish everything on his plate.
Any normal person, child or adult, will eat when hungry. If they don’t want anymore, it’s wrong to force a child to continue eating.
Later in life, the child will be unable to eat a meal without finishing every bite, leading to obesity or bulemia.
3. Teach your children to snack healthy at an early age.
As children grow up they will enjoy choosing grapes over cake or carrot sticks over chips. It’s only after you teach children that cake or chips taste better that they choose these foods instead.
Allow the child to have cakes, chips and other no-no snacks, on occasion, but only rarely. Give small portions of these foods.
4. Let your child see you eating the same healthy foods you have him eating.
It’s not right to eat high-calorie foods while giving the child something healthy. If you don’t like some of the healthy foods you’re giving your child, make a selection tray.
Place various healthy foods, dips and other things on a tray. Allow the child to choose which ones he wants and you choose the ones you like.
5. Under no circumstances should food of any kind, especially candy, be used as a bribe.
Bribing kids with any food can trigger eating disorders later. Kids learn to “reward” themselves, later in life, with things like cookies, pies, cakes and candies.
Another very important aspect you should take care of is this:
Never let your child hear you make comments about his or her weight, the size of their clothes (in a negative way), how much larger he or she is than other children the same age, or statements about outgrowing things “already”.
These comments hurt children, whether you know it or not, and settle in the unconscious mind of the kid. The child can later have issues of self-doubt, self-hate, and worse.
Children who think they are fat and ugly often grow up to avoid friendships have a higher suicide rate, and have a general self-loathing attitude that prevents achievement in life.
Not all eating disorders concern obesity.
Make mealtime a fun time.
Don’t have family meetings, arguments, and bad feelings at the dinner table. Kids will grow to connect negative feelings with the act of eating and may end up being extremely underweight.
No parent wants their child to be overweight or unhealthy. Love your child for the person he or she is, rather than bringing up negative things like being overweight.
Don’t compare your child’s figure to that of others who are smaller. Encourage your child to eat healthy foods from the beginning and you’ll have less trouble getting them to eat well in later years.