Kids either love or loathe veggies – there is usually no in-between. Most parents experience an uphill battle with feeding their little ones due to peer pressure and TV commercials. Once you factor in their hectic schedules it is no wonder that their kids’ diet includes takeout food and meals with little nutritional value.
Food is a vital part of life, especially for kids – a time to nourish their bodies and minds. But what’s the harm a burger or fried chicken? And what’s wrong with keeping a pack of chips or even crackers in the cabinet? While these choices might seem harmless, it turns out that poor eating habits tend to stick with kids as they grow up. Thus, it is essential to teach your kids how to make healthy food choices at an early age.
If you’re a busy parent with loads of tasks on your plate, childcare is a fact of life — and this is where a childcare provider in Sleepy Hollow comes into play. When parents choose trusted people to care for their kids in their absence, they are valuing their child’s early development. Nutrition should be as vital to parents since your kid may never outgrow poor eating habits.
How Healthy and Nutritious Food Benefits Your Kids
It is challenging to feed children nutritious food. Then if you have a picky eater on your hands that challenge becomes even greater. They tend to refuse foods based on color or texture that doesn’t seem pleasing to their eyes.
However, children need to receive the necessary nutrients in their body for growth and development. When your little ones start a life with healthy meals, they can avoid several health issues. This can have a massive impact on both their childhood and adulthood years.
Aside from avoiding health problems, children under a balanced diet also see benefits in brain development. A child who is not receiving an adequate amount of iodine and iron may experience both motor development and cognitive delays.
5 Ways to Promote Healthy Eating Habits
Is your kid hooked on junk food? Does your little one turn up their nose when they see the salad and casserole on the table? They would probably ask for macaroni or chicken nuggets. As you tear open the bag of frozen chunks, you ask yourself: “What can I do to get my child to eat nutritious foods?”
Whether you’re a childcare provider in Sleepy Hollow or a frazzled parent, you need a few tricks up your sleeve to get your kids to eat healthily. Here are five simple tips on how you can get your child to eat better without turning mealtimes into a battlefield:
Sneak in some greens
If you’re tired of arguing with your child about eating vegetables, you can sneak in servings of greens without them knowing it. If they love eating pizza, you can make your version and spice it up a bit by making the tomato sauce even healthier by adding unseasoned pumpkin puree. You can also make homemade french fries by baking the potato instead of buying them deep-fried from fast-food chains.
Talk to them about eating healthy
You can talk to your kids about eating healthy even if they can barely understand it all. By teaching them where the food they’re eating is coming from, how to make and how to grow them, they can develop a frame of reference about making healthy choices. In addition, give your kids praise and encouragement when they try new foods.
Involve them in food choices
When you’re grocery shopping, make it a habit to involve your child and create a healthy food shopping list with them. You can also present them with some healthy snack ideas and have them pick the ones they want (avoiding unhealthy options). By doing this, your kids will acquire the habit of searching out and selecting nutritious foods.
Please don’t force it
As you expose your children to different foods and flavors, always encourage – not force — them to eat healthy food. Pressuring or bribing them to eat a particular food will do more harm than good in the long run.
Be a role model
We all know that learning does not only happen inside the four corners of the classroom. If you have a picky eater, you can be a positive role model by eating nutritious and balanced meals as well. Drink water with your kid, eat your greens and try new foods with a smile on your face to encourage them to do the same.
Now that you have an idea of how to get your child to consume healthier foods, put them into good use. Childcare providers should prioritize children’s health and wellness. Children under care should have regular healthy meals, snacks, and fluids while at the same time enjoy positive meal experiences. So if you’re looking for a childcare provider in Sleepy Hollow, let Discovery Village Center help you in getting your little one to eat better. We support families in the process of ensuring good health for future generations. Call (914) 631-1009 today!