by A. Grano on June 27th, 2011 at 7:00 am
Good nutrition is critical on so many levels for children, from promoting concentration to supporting healthy growth and maintaining a healthy weight. However, parents and caregivers are often faced with a couple common challenges regarding meals and their youngsters.
Help for Picky Eaters
The best way to avoid having a spoiled eater in your household is to introduce your child to healthy foods early on. Give your child kid-friendly snacks like baby carrots in their lunchboxes, and try to always serve vegetables with dinner.
If your child refuses to eat certain foods, try spicing them up, such as broccoli with (light) cheese, broiled (not fried) fish infused with lemon juice and seasoning, oatmeal with fresh berries, and celery with peanut butter. However, stay firm in your insistence for him or her to keep trying new foods.
If you’re worried that your child’s picky eating habits are compromising his or her nutritional intake, try natural remedies to boost your child’s appetite. Herbs like Trigonella foenum-graecum, Ginger, and Borago officinalis work to stimulate little appetites, plus assist with healthy growth and development.
Help for Overeaters
While some children are picky eaters, others are more prone to overeating, which is often coupled with eating too quickly. As childhood obesity is reaching epidemic proportions, it’s important to teach children healthy eating habits.
To help your child slow down, begin by trying to eat more meals together and setting a good example yourself. Encourage your children to savor food in smaller bites, chewed thoroughly. In addition, reduce portion size, and downsize utensils. Starting with soup is often a dieter’s trick to fill up before the main course, but be sure to choose natural, reduced-sodium varieties, served with a small spoon rather than a larger “soup spoon” that can often resemble a ladle.
Don’t set the expectation that dessert is a nightly occurrence – reserve dessert for special occasions only, and allow candies, chips and other processed snack foods sparingly as treats.
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