How can we promote healthy eating in our children?
If we want information on anything these days all we have to do is ask Google (other search engines are available of course). But how do we sort the wheat from the chaff? Here we have 10 simple easy to apply tips on helping your child to eat healthy from Dr Riccardo Di Cuffa, Director and GP at Your Doctor
Avoid telling young children that foods are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ as this can cause feelings of guilt when eating. Do talk openly about what are healthy foods and what needs to be eaten in moderation.
Don’t use food as bribes for example; if you are a good girl/boy then you can have this particular food. Food shouldn’t be used as rewards or punishment by being taken away.
Stay clear of placing too much worth on physical appearance and encourage understanding that we are all different.
It is vital that you lead by example so for example don’t miss meals, don’t go on fad diets, don’t eat unhealthily whilst telling your child they should be eating healthily and avoid complaining about your own appearance.
Try not to stress about your child’s eating habits and be accepting if they don’t like particular foods but do try to get them to try new things or try things they once didn’t like. Encourage them to make suggestions of different foods to try and involve them in the cooking. Blended soups and smoothies are great ways of getting fruit and veg into fussier children.
Do not promote unrealistic ideals on your child – such as behaviour or achievements. Instead, try and encourage acceptance of themselves.
Encourage open conversations at mealtimes and let your child speak freely about their day.
Be relaxed about finishing meals, if your child is hungry they will eat. If they say they are full, avoid making them eat everything on their plate.
Be positive about body shapes – especially your own. How often have you heard your child repeat something you have said or copy your behaviour?
Do not mock, tease or compare your child’s appearance. Ever.
More info and other health advice here