We all know how important it is to eat clean and stay healthy. Especially in this era, where we are dependent on highly processed and packaged food and junk is commonly and happily eaten everywhere, it is indeed a challenge to keep our kids away from unhealthy eating.
Having said that, we also know that training them to eat clean and healthy is very crucial for their well being and is important to both – their physical and mental health.
Embedding good eating habits is a long term process and needs efforts going in from parents when baby starts eating. Yes ! you got that right ! Train your child to eat healthy from day 1 of weaning.
The starting months are easy. It is only at the latter stage that they start developing their choices for food and dare to reject the food that doesn’t interest them much.
Here I present a list of few ideas that may help the kid to love clean eating 🙂
- Healthy Eating starts with parents. Definitely. At-least, in the start.You cannot expect your kid to have salads and fruits, while you munch on cakes and pizzas !
- Try introducing a variety of vegetables and fruits to your 6 month + baby who has just started weaning. Sticking to just 2-3 regular options doesn’t give them a chance to try variety and they end up being choosy eaters.
- At a later stage, try giving them different combination and blend of veggies, soups etc to help them accept all taste gradually.
- Let them eat their meals by themselves. It kind of helps them to explore, touch and feel the food they have. That creates love and interest for the food.
- Get them on board with home cooked food as earlier as possible, after they start taking proper solids. I remember Zaa had already started eating the same meals cooked for us when she was 10 months old. Mix the potatoes from curry with rice and feed them . Don’t cook for them separately, unless required.
- Carry healthy snacks in your diaper bag, always. You may never know what comes your way. This avoids hogging on unhealthy stuff when your baby is hungry.
- Carry more than one eatables so that your baby has an option. Carrying some fresh fruits, dry fruits, oats biscuits, home made wheat flour pancakes, instant rava idli, roasted foxnuts etc are all good options
- Create Love for food. That comes only when you eat it happily. Eat the same thing along with your kid by making “umm yummy” sounds and expressing it to let them know that it tastes yummy ! This creates excitement and joy for the food.
- I always carry the home made food in a box when we go out to dine. We reach the restaurant just in time when Zaa is hungry. Open the tiffin and feed her 70% till our order arrives. We then let her join us to eat the remaining at the restaurant. This is only after she turned 1.5 years.
- Too stringent rules are always bad. Too much of healthy food might be of worry when there is an emergency. Let their immune build. Once in a while not eating home food is ok. Their body should accept both , normally.
- Try not introducing them to junk as much as possible. Zaa has never tasted a fizzy drink or even a fruity one. Zaa has never consumed caffeine or tea. She doesn’t know what a lollypop is 🙂
- Offer home made healthy evening snacks for them. You need not toil hard, there are n number of simple, nutrious and easy recipes out there. Pancakes, poha, oats porridge, boiled egg sandwich, macaroni are few examples.
- Avoid white sugar. Use fresh dates, honey or jaggery as a sweetener for substitute. Similarly, swap white flour with wheat flour in pancakes or mug cakes .
I agree it is super tough to train them to eat healthy but believe me it is the need of the hour. Also, this is a great opportunity for you to start clean eating along 🙂
Hope this could be of help to the new mothers or mothers out there 🙂 Don’t forget to leave your views in the comment section below. Sayonara !