In today’s post, am going to share with you my 10 mommy tips that I personally practice and know it works to help your child eat better starting this year, if you are not practicing already.
Having a child that eats better is a process you have to build from an early age. As a mom myself, I find it very frustrating when a child rejects almost every food that is offered except for candy and anything sweet. And of cause am not going to sit here and pretend like I am your perfect mom with perfect children who eat perfect meals, definitely not.
I am your average mom with average kids, trying to do much better. So, when I say a child that eat’s better, I mean a child that eat’s more healthy and actually enjoy’s eating. Whether you are a first time mom or an experienced mom looking for some tips to help your child eat better, here are my 10 mommy tips that will help your child eat better once you put them into practice. Starting off, we have tip number ;
- Have a Healthy Family Kitchen :
This first point is one that most of us moms know already. If we look in the market today, the amount of children’s food in the market leads parents to believe that little children need special diets. The take away here is that, most foods that are healthy for grown ups, are also healthy for children. Except for Spicy Foods, Large Quantities of Legumes and Large Quantities of Food in General.
So if you have a little child, start now with a Healthy Family Kitchen with fresh foods and this will be the basis for making your child want something healthy.
- Ask,How do You Feed Yourself as Parents :
Do not underestimate your Role as a role model. You should ask yourself, do you eat a balance meal or can you improve your meals as a family. Actions speaks louder than words so as a mom or as parents, start cooking more healthy if you are not doing so already and slowly but surely, your child’s appetite for eating healthy will develop and in the best case for a life time.
- Go as Natural as Possible :
So we all know that Commercial foods are tempting and having one now and then is completely ok. However, making it a permanent habit in everyday life should not be the case. Because what they do is, they contain many additives (too much sugar and salt) which shapes the taste of your child from an early age. So cooking yourself as often as possible is the best way to getting your little one to eat better.
If going grocery shopping is not something you enjoy doing and that restrict you when it comes to cooking, use a home delivery service, as my husband always recommends. With the Corona Virus, all Supermarkets offer home delivery service, so just jump on the trend. That way you will always have fresh ingredients at home to enable you put together meals easily in no time.
- Try to Provide Variety :
Eating the same meal more times in a week because you love it so much is totally ok as a grown up but if you have a little one, who is learning about food, you must change it up. If you make pumpkin today, make carrots tomorrow and strawberry the next day. Note that no food provides all of the nutrients we need. It is only through diversity that your child gets his/her extra portion of Vitamins, Minerals and Fibre. So get creative while being careful and think about foods like cauliflower, green beans, cabbage and celery.
- Getting Familiar :
What do I mean by this, there is a saying; What the farmer does not know, he does not eat. Believe it or not, this saying applies to most little children as well. So when it comes to trying new foods, some tricks are allowed.
Example : Let’s say your child’s favourite is pasta with nothing (just dry), then put a few pieces of diced tomato underneath. This way, by combining the new, which is the tomato in this case to the pasta that your child already knows, the new is often better received. So my advice here is to stay patient and do not cross rejected vegetables from your menu straight away. Instead, try presenting it in other ways as well, for instance, panfried a bit, raw to nibble on or mashed in soup. Every child has his/her own preference so find out your child’s preference.
- Food Should be Delicious :
Let’s take bell pepper as an example, we know as grown ups that bell pepper is healthy . For a child (most children), the term healthy has a negative implication.
Before I continue, here is a quick story; My son’s friend in kindergarten, his mom told me his son does not eat and keeps, losing weight. Just like everyone else, I asked why won’t he eat? and then she tells me, ” I told him he has to eat so he can grow healthy, big and strong ” and the little boy told her no mommy that is why I don’t want to eat because I don’t want to be healthy, big and strong, I want to stay little like this, am afraid to get big.
So as mom’s or as parents, if we find out that using the word healthy is not helping, let us try using Delicious instead. Try saying, hmm this is so delicious and actually make it taste delicious. Don’t be lazy, take the bell pepper, cut into small cubes, sauté in a pan with some onions, olive oil and some freshly diced tomatoes. Add some plain rice with some egg or whatever protein you want to serve with and it should will be delicious.
- Listen to the Body :
Eating with pleasure is only possible in a good mood and that certainly doesn’t happen when children have to empty their plate under pressure.
As parents, if we pay attention, we will see that children have a natural feeling of hunger. So the key for a relaxed atmosphere is to let your child decide for him/her self how much they eat and when they are full.
- Try to Stimulate Appetite :
This point goes hand in hand with the point ( listening to the body ). Children have small energy storage and for that reason they should eat regularly. But that doesn’t mean they should be snacking constantly either. I know that is what my children will do if they get the chance. Note that if there are cookies in between meals and an hour later dinner is on the table, not much will fit in the stomach and am saying this from experience with my own children.
So let your child/children take a break of at least 1, 2 or 3 hours in-between meals depending on how old your child is. In my family, we have 3 main meals in a day and you can add 2 snacks between the meals.
- Have Simple Snacking Rules :
When it comes to the taste sweet, that is the first taste babies perceive and usually continues to like. We all know that sweets provide a lot of energy.
I read an article a few weeks ago about how children get along with sugar and in that article I learnt that, a small child should have more that 6% of their daily energy in take with sugar. The 6% is about 3 teaspoons of sugar. However, the article stated that, children consume an average amount of sugar that corresponds to around 8 teaspoons of sugar a day, that is a lot.
So can we ban our children from eating sweets? I don’t think so. I think a strict ban of anything often makes it more interesting. Therefore, setting snacking rules together with your child/children if they are old enough is the best way. You and your child/children can decide what they look like. Find out what will suit your family lifestyle best.
My personal snacking rules with my children are;
- No snacking in the morning before breakfast (this is a big no, no)
- Once, maximum twice a day there is something sweet, be it cookie, a piece of cake with ice cream or candy.
- There are no sweets before meals, otherwise you won’t be hungry.
- Snacking or nibbling deliberately at the table and not while playing. This way you can keep track of how much candy is being eaten.
- Participating :
Allow little ones to start participating in the kitchen ones they are old enough . Whether it is washing carrots or buttering bread, later when everything is on the plate, they feel proud and also don’t forget that what children like is related to what they know.
So I hope you find my 10 mommy tips to help your child eat better helpful and if you have some suggestions or personal tips, visit my facebook page with this link
And for my delicious recipes that both you and your baby can enjoy, visit my youtube channel right here.
Here are a few of my Favourite recipes ;
Thank you for reading and stay safe.