child development, healthy food, Relationships

Training the Fussy Eater

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuse to try a new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods.  It may be necessary to offer food to your child as many as 10 different times before they choose to eat it. The problem is, many parents get frustrated and give up before the fourth or fifth try.

Picky eater

Try to make foods fun.  Colorful foods like carrot sticks, raisins, apples, grapes, cheese sticks and crackers can all be fun and healthy choices for your growing toddler.  Explain to them that eating good food is important so they’ll grow big and strong, and how it will help them run faster and play longer.

Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you restrict yourself to a narrow range of foods, your child will take notice and mimic your caution. Don’t limit your child’s food variety to only those foods you prefer. It may be that your child’s tastes are different to yours, and perhaps you are simply serving them foods they don’t happen to like.  Try to set a good example and try a variety of foods in front of your child. It could motivate them to do the same.

If your child seems healthy and energetic, then they are eating enough. If you are still concerned, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat over the day. Children tend to graze constantly, rather than restrict their eating to three meals per day like adults. You may be surprised how those little handfuls and snacks add up. For further reassurance, check your child’s growth and weight charts, or check with your child’s pediatrician.

Try not to worry, and remember, that unless a child is ill, they will eat.   Children are very good at judging their hunger and fullness signals. Try to stay relaxed about mealtime and offer your child a wide variety of foods, and most importantly, remember to set a good example by trying a wide variety of foods yourself.  You may discover you and your toddler share a new found favorite food!


 

how to effectively breastfeed babiesGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

child development, healthy food, Relationships

The Family that Eats Together Stays Healthy Together

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Recent studies have shown that not only do children like to sit down at the dinner table and eat a meal with their parents, but they are more likely to eat a well-balanced, nutritious meal when they do.  But with the hectic lives we seem to lead these days, getting the family all together in the same place at the same time can be a difficult chore. Between work schedules, after-school activities, errands, and the like, it seems we have less and less time.   But with a few simple ideas and some planning, meal time can be an enjoyable and treasured family time.

Designate no less than one night per week to have a sit-down meal with your family.  Sunday nights are usually a good choice for this because you have more time to relax and the weekend chores have been completed. 

Involve your children in the meal planning and preparation.  This gives them a strong sense of self and the foundation for a lifetime of healthy meal planning and preparation.

Make sure the television is off, and make it a rule that all phone calls go to voice mail or the answering machine during the meal.  Take this time to visit with one another and enjoy one another’s company.  This is a great time to reconnect and find out what events happened this week.  Take your time eating, and teach your children how to do the same in the process.  Eating slowly is a healthy habit.  Don’t jump up and start clearing dishes and putting things away until everyone is done eating and talking.

On those days that you can’t sit down as a family, try to make a habit of sitting down and chatting with them while they are eating, instead of rushing around catching up on the chores.  This shows them you’re interested and that you care and want to be and involved and important part of their every day life.


 

how to effectively breastfeed babiesGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

healthy food

The Best Ways to Promote Good Eating Habits for Toddlers

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Have you ever found yourself agreeing to the “Terrible Two” concept? Maybe, you are facing such a terrible phase in your parenting life where your toddler just keeps on running around, chatting until your energy drops, making a mess on the table during meal times, or refusing to eat what you offer her. The toddler stage is really one of the most trying times of your parenting journey because it is when your child would explore more of her surroundings.

Since your child would be extremely active during this stage, you will have to nourish her with the age-appropriate meals and snacks. However, you also have to start training her on the right eating habits that she must remember until she grows up.

Here are the best ways to promote good eating habits for your toddler:

  1. Let the greens and the colorful fruits be a constant.

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Do you know that you can actually train your child’s taste buds? Yup, that is exactly right! Why do you think Korean kids become easily trained to eat their local staple, kimchi? That’s particularly because the culinary tradition of a family affects the taste preference of the child.

If you want your child to be healthy, then you will have to keep the greens and the colorful fruits as a constant part of your dining table. Even when they seem to be refusing the vegetables and fruits at first, do you think that they would still be able to reject them when they’re already hungry? I don’t think so.

  1. Practice your creative culinary skills.

If you want your meals to be more exciting, there are cool ways to incorporate veggies and fruits in kiddie meals without being noticeable. You can add mashed carrots in a spaghetti sauce or a mashed broccoli in chicken nuggets. Expand your culinary creativity to make meal time for kids as health and as exciting as possible.

  1. Set a mealtime routine.

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Your child has to understand that meal times are not done randomly. You may definitely explain it to her verbally, but it would be more effective and practical to simply follow a mealtime routine. It is ideal if you could set all meal times together as a family. But if your schedules do not permit, then you could at least set breakfast and dinner together.

  1. Understand and respond to your child’s hunger cues.

You surely do not want your child to be hungry just because she has to wait for the exact mealtime. Learn to know your child’s hunger cues. Observe her facial expressions, body actions, and verbal phrases before and after she eats. This way, you can start to gain understanding of her hunger cues.

It is also important not to force your child to finish eating her meals when her tummy is already full. The practice of forcibly letting your child to eat can be traumatic to your toddler. Your child has to be excited about food and never fearful of mealtimes.

  1. Give your toddler her own set of utensils.

18097_1_1200pxGiving your child her own set of utensils can make her become aware of the importance of utensils in eating. At first, she will be messy and clumsy, but you will need to be patient in teaching her how to use the spoon and fork. She may be wanting to eat with her hands, but gradually train her with the use of utensils.

  1. Check her milk intake.

Milk is definitely important for your toddler’s growth. However, you have to know that your child has to get most of her nutrients from real food. If your child drinks milk for more than three times a day and you notice that she barely wants to eat during mealtimes, then there could be something wrong with that practice. Limit her milk intake so that she could start appreciating what’s on your dining table.


how to effectively breastfeed babiesGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu