Healthy Eating For Children: Six Simple Rules
Rule #1 Make Every Bite Count!
Everything your child eats should be nutritious. Children can be picky and inconsistent, so make sure that what they do eat is really good for them. That way if they end up having two bites of potato for dinner, you can be confident that they at least had a great lunch, snack, etc.
"Where's the fun?" you ask. There is not much room in that little tummy, think carefully before filling it with junk. And ask yourself why you are offering chocolate bars or cookies at snack time. It is often the parent/caregiver who is deriving pleasure from seeing children gleefully down a non-nutritious treat. Your child can derive smiles and joy from many other places - it doesn't have to be junk food.
Rule #2 Ban the word "dessert" from your food-vocabulary, and use "treat" carefully.
Make desserts healthy(not just fun) so that things like fruit, nuts, and yogurt become part of the meal, not the reward for finishing it. All good foods can be treats, but we often think of only junk as such - so use the word judiciously.
By isolating foods under these categories, you may negate their nutritional value to your child if you are following Rule #1. Again it is usually a caregiver that delights in serving a "dessert' or "treat" more than the two-year-old who probably wouldn't care otherwise if they've never had triple chocolate cake with whipped cream.
Rule #3 Be persistent, not insistent.
It may take a child a while to warm up to a new food. Just introduce foods gently time and time again until they try it. Never insist that they try something they don't want to, and certainly never insist that they finish their plate. Mealtime should not be battletime. They will eat if they need to.
If you begin a power struggle over meals, you risk it becoming long-term. The point is to get them to eat healthfully, not develop an association between food and control. This is one reason why developing healthy eating habits early on is so important.
Rule # 4 Break the rules our parents taught us.
Many of us can remember moms putting food on our plates and expecting us to eat it - or not. There were few struggles back then because children quickly learned that if they didn't eat what was served to them, they would go hungry. And after a few nights of sitting at the table by themselves until they finished their peas, they learned to eat them without protest.
We now know how destructive this can be. Many adult eating disorders began in childhood, and many sufferers can remember these episodes at the dinner table as a child.
Respecting that your child's tastebuds and moods are as different from yours as is your spouse's, or your neighbour's means learning to break the rules of the "family meal" from time to time.
Let your child have a "creative" meal made up of healthy foods they like, while the rest of the family has their casserole, curry, or stirfry. So long as it is healthy, and doesn't happen every night of the week, letting a child choose their own meals usually won't create the problems our parents thought it would. It will more likely foster a respect for healthy eating rather than an unhealthy association with mealtime.
Rule # 5 Everyone Needs Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for many, if not all, children.
Missing breakfast can set the tone for their entire day and create a downward spiral of too tired to eat vs. too hungry to nap... and so on. What adult doesn't love to have a hungry and tired child on their hands?
Many studies, and many caregivers, will attest to the fact that a good breakfast helps children function better mentally. While most studies lean toward school age children, this fact should be applied to babies and toddlers as well.
Many signs of the stereotypic "terrible-two" year-old is often hunger. Breakfast should contain some protein for lasting energy, helping to offset the midmorning meltdown. Prevention is the key because a miserable child often won't eat, and you won't obtain your objective of feeding them well.
Rule # 6 Learn from your child
Our children know best more often than we give them credit for. Some tummies are really good at letting their owners know when to eat, and how much to eat. Let children learn how to listen to their bodies - many adults have forgotten. Children never fit into one mold, and another person's rules (such as the preceding 5) usually need to be modified to fit your family. Learn to follow your child's rules from time to time... they may surprise you.
Stacelynn Caughlan is a Clinical Nutritionist and Certified Herbalist who specializes in pregnancy, birth and childhood. She is currently the editor of http://www.motherandchildhealth.com an online resource for women looking for information on natural health and healing for themselves and their families.
Is Your Child Learning Nothing?
You send your child to school and the teachers teach them. If that is what you think, you could be way wrong ! While most teachers are good at presenting information to a class, learning happens ONLY if kids actually want to learn.
Parenting Your Teenager: Are Sleep Overs with the Opposite Sex OK?
Q. Our 17-year-old son wants us to let his girlfriend spend the night at our house in his room.
All babies cry, but if yours cries a lot, isn't sleeping or is just plain irritable, many parents have found that a paediatric osteopath can help, particularly if the birth was difficult.By gently touching a baby, an osteopath can use manipulation to ease the tension and help improve the way baby's body functions.
The Value of Play
Isn't it ironic that a country whose constitution allows for the pursuit of happiness now feels a collective guilt about the very idea of anything fun? How did this happen? When did we begin placing so much priority on productivity and so little on leisure or on having a good time? Even given the Puritan work ethic, life in America has become so unbalanced that one side of the seesaw is pretty much grounded.But why must we insist that our children, who by their very nature are playful, share these particular values? Why are we so anxious for our children to "act like adults?"But wait, you may be thinking, kids play plenty these days.
Diapers: Do You Choose Disposable Or Reusable?
ADHD: Dialogue with a Non-Believer, Part Four
Dear Sir, It was with some interest that I read the article What You Should Know About Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward W. after having it handed to me by a member of our church.
Is Your Child Becoming A Praise Junkie?
Do you praise your child when he fulfils a basic bodily function? Do you praise your child for obeying the laws of gravity? Do you give praise for simple socialisation procedures that your child practises every day?No, you say. Have you ever praised your child for finishing all his meal? Ever praised a child for staying on his bike or perhaps staying vertical on roller-blades? Ever praised a toddler for their terrific smile and fantastic manners?In the last few decades parents in many parts of the world including the US.
Teaching Preschool Color and Shapes with Family Games
My kids just can't get enough of playing games with Mom and Dad--can yours?Sometimes we all take a break in the middle of the day and play a game together. Most of the time, I just make sure we play games so that we all have fun together.
Refresher Course on Diapering for Dads
It's among the top criticism wives have of their husbands: He doesn't change diapers!!Reasons dads give: 'My wife does that!" "I don't know how" and "That makes me sick to think about."Changing a diaper is relatively easy and painless.
7 Powerful Ways to Show Love to Children
Our children are our most important legacy to the world. However, our love is our most important legacy to our children.
How Effective is Attend in Helping Children with Attention Disorders?
In 1996-97 we were contracted by VAXA International of Tampa, FL to provide clinical, "real world" information on the effectiveness of their product called "Attend." Their product was a homeopathic nutraceutical medicine, meaning that it contains homeopathic medicines, plus nutritional medicines.
Plane Trip with Kids
Though you can cover even very long distances by car if you have the guts to, as soon as it comes to crossing water, you'll have to stick to a plane. The equation is the same as usual: limited space + long time of inactivity = whiny, annoying children.
Is Your Discipline Damaging the Spirit of the Child?
If your parenting methods include abuse of any kind; physical, sexual, emotional or verbal, please get help to stop as soon as possible. Adults are supposed to safeguard and protect the young among us.
Social Engineering via Robotic Toddlers
Is there a way to build a robot to help toddlers and pre-schoolers learn proper social behavior without the parents intervention? A robotic friend so to speak; one, which will play with the child and explore colors and shapes. Perhaps build legos? Now before you say I am wacked, let's discuss this.
The Muffed Dance
Teri was 5. As younger siblings do, she looked up to her older sister, the dancer, in a big way.
Dads - What Family Legacy Are You Passing On to Your Children?
Do you want to create a deeper, more loving relationship with your child?To begin, you can learn from your own father:Whether you consider him to have been a good father or not, you can use your experience to become a better parent to YOUR children.Patterns of behavior are often passed on unconsciously from one generation to the next.
7 Ways to Know Your Child
How well do you really know your child?There is so much information at our fingertips to learn more about a child's personality, 'behaviorisms' and intelligence. Of course, we want to be the best parent we can, and so we read all the information.
The Ten Most Common Poisons Among Kids
For parents, keeping our kids safe is a constant top priority. But even with the best intentions it's possible to overlook some potentially harmful household poisons.
EEG Biofeedback as a Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
In this form of treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder the subject learns to pay attention to his own brain wave activity, and then apparently learns to change and control his brain wave activity. The subject is given immediate feedback on just what his brain's activity is like at any given moment through the use of high-speed computers which provide both auditory and visual feedback.
How to Parent Your Teen Effectively
Maintain CommunicationEven though teens need to separate from their parents during adolescence, they also need to know that the safety net of home and family is always there for them. If the lines of communication are shut down, they are not yet capable of surviving emotionally; they need support and input.
|home | site map|