As a parent you are responsible for the foods your child consumes, and what your child eats is not only important now, but will impact their future. It is important you are conscious of your child’s nutrition and ensure they are eating the right kinds of foods.
Children need various types of foods for energy to play, grow and build a healthy body. For the first fifteen years of their life, a child’s bones and muscles are still forming, so it is important the child eats correctly to assist in growth.
If you ensure your child has a healthy diet they are less likely to get sick and can even build up their immune system to ward off some diseases.
As a parent, your child’s nutrition will begin with you. Children watch actions of others and will mimic what their parents do or say, this includes what they eat. Your child is going to observe what you eat and build their own habits from what they see.
It is important you guide them in the right direction and sit down with your child at meal times to ensure they are getting nutritional value from foods. Try and get into a good habit yourself, so that the child will eat the same foods because you do.
Healthy eating for your child will start with fruit, vegetables and portions of different meats. The healthy food pyramid is a good place to start. In the early stages of a child’s life the food pyramid can be a guide, so that your child will learn to eat (or at least try) different types of healthy foods. Pictures are a great way for children to see what foods are good, and may even choose the food they want to eat from the look of it.
Give your child many options. Even if you don’t like a particular food, don’t discourage your child from trying it. The more options they have, the more likely they are to like at least one or more healthy foods and it will be better for them in the future.
Teaching your child about health awareness will make them cautious of the foods they eat. Don’t ban snacks and fatty foods all together, give it to them in moderation, but explain to them why it isn’t good for them to have all the time. Tell your child about preservatives and addictives and show them what is and isn’t healthy.
Telling your child about the foods they are eating will help achieve a good balance, and hopefully good nutrition.