A good eating habit for child development is best established early in life. Habits, good or bad, are learned processes that through repetition become involuntary actions. Such as when we were infants and just learning to walk. First we learned to crawl, and then we managed to get on our feet, and the next thing you know we are walking without having to put any thought into the process. We learned to walk through repetition and habit.
The main problem with bad habits is they are hard to break. So the trick is to establish a good eating habit for child nutrition early in life. The easiest way to accomplish this is by setting a good example. When our children are young we have to hand feed them and this is when they start to develop certain tastes for certain foods. They eat what we serve them. If our offerings are balanced nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables, they will continue to cherish these foods into adulthood. On the other hand, if we ourselves have a bad habit of snacking and eating sweets; chances are so will our children. This is why it is important to establish a good eating habit for child development early in life because food attitudes and eating habits are likely to last a lifetime.
Changing from bad habits to good habits does not happen overnight and either does healthy eating. It takes time, effort, and determination. Unfortunately, bad habits are easy to come by and it can happen at any given time. Eating while doing certain activities can be habit forming. Such as, using the computer or watching a ballgame. Help your child form a good eating habit that will last a lifetime because poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyles could lead to obesity. The following are recommendations by Helene Goldnadel on how to incorporate a good eating habit for child nutritional health.
Be willing to experiment by eating a variety of nutritious foods
Provide three healthy meals a day and create a regular mealtime for the family. Afternoon snacks are fine as long as they are nutritious ( fruit or vegetables) and are not meant to be a meal.
Refrain from eating after dinner. No midnight snacks. And never eat large amounts of food at once.
Know your families serving size and provide just enough to satisfy their needs.
Enjoy your mealtime as a family avoiding confrontation. Unnecessary stress at mealtime can lead to emotional overeating.
Find creative ways of dealing with your childs emotions avoiding food as a solution.
Establish a set location for food consumption in the home. Preferably the dinner table. This will avoid eating in front of the TV, computer, or bedrooms.
Keep only snacks in the home that are high in nutrients and make them readily available. Wash and slice fruits and vegetables and be sure there is easy access to them.
Avoid buying problem foods like doughnuts and cookies. If you do keep them in the pantry out of sight. Never use food as a reward for good behavior.
Some children eat out of sheer boredom or because they were enticed by the food advertisement on TV. Teach them to eat only when they are truly hungry and remind them that a snack is not a meal. In other words, eating a full bag of carrots is not necessary. But it is much healthier than a full bag of chips.
Being creative and offering a variety of nutritional choices will ensure a good eating habit for child development that the whole family can benefit from.