By the time your child turns 4, he/she already has certain preferences in food. Ensuring nutrition for young children is often a tough call for parents. After the age of one, it is possible to introduce adult foods to your child, and while kids can be picky eaters, you have to keep a tab if they are getting enough of healthy foods. These days parents have a lot of help, and many companies have started campaigns, such as SGM generasi maju, so that kids are ready for the future. If you have a naughty 5-year old at home, we have a few tips as how you can ensure nutrition.
- It all starts at home. If the adults are eating healthy, children will follow. Right after age 2, your child should sit down and have food with rest of the family, and you have to introduce the right foods and healthy options.
- Know what’s healthy. Your child needs all the macros, vitamins and minerals in the right proportions. Dairy is a good choice, but consider sticking to low-fat options. Cottage cheese, yogurt and skim milk should be a part of the diet. You also cannot skip fresh vegetables and fruits, which should be made available each day. Meats are also important, but children don’t have strong immune and digestive systems, so lean meats should be cooked to perfection.
- Don’t insist on finishing plates. Yes, you read that right. It is always better to allow your children to select the portion size they want to have, and if you are serving them, don’t overindulge. Five is a good age when you can impart eating habits, such as not wasting food and eating the right foods. Don’t force the child to eat.
- Keep an eye on snacks. While some of the sugary drinks are okay for your child in moderation, make sure that the snacks are healthy enough. More often than not, parents feed extremely healthy meals, but things go wrong between the meals. Canned juices should be substituted for fresh juices, which can be great snacks, and if you can replace juices with fresh fruits, even better.
- Your child needs to know his/her food. Parents have the tendency to play videos on phones or they often switch on the TV to make the child eat his food, and that’s a bad practice. Your child should be focused on the food and must not be diverting attention to other things.
If required, talk to your pediatrician to know more.