Healthy meals for children are the most complicated thing to prepare! Often times, children detest the color of green on their plates. How then are we going to prepare a meal that is healthy and yet children will love eating?
Proper guidance from parents as early as childhood development will surely pave the way for healthy eating. During a child’s teething stage, vegetables can already be introduced slowly. The child will cry, whine and spit the food, but with patience and repetition, the child will learn to adapt to the taste. If the parents cannot tolerate the crying and changed the diet to something that’s appealing to the child, then healthy eating has just left the building.
Healthy eating is a choice made, not by the children, but by the parents. Of course we’re not encouraging you to stuff your child’s mouth with vegetables! But we’re simply establishing the fact that healthy eating must start with you, the parents, and not with the children.
If healthy eating has not been the practice in a household, then the parents are in for a great fight! Hopefully not with the children but with what the family has gotten so used to eating. But there are some tips to help lessen the ugliness of this battle. If snack time used to be filled with chips and chocolate cookies, then replacing it with oatmeal cookies and cheese bits will make things less complicated. Mixing the vegetables with the meat like spring rolls will make the vegetables invisible to the child’s eyes and eating it will be a bit pleasurable.
Another practice that needs to stop is giving the children sweets to pacify their tantrums. Continuing to indulge your children with large amounts of sweet desserts, soft drinks, fruit-flavored drinks, sugarcoated cereals, chips or candy will only help them lose their appetite and on top of that, these things have little nutritional value.
Therefore to better preserve your child’s health, it is best and wise to start at an early age. But it’s never too late to start even if your children have passed the childhood development age. All one will need is a great imagination and determination to start eating right.
May this be indeed a start of a brand new way of training our children in the path of healthy eating. Mind you, it won’t be easy or peaceful, but with patience and knowledge to back you up with, embrace this challenge knowing that your family’s well-being is at stake! Have fun!