Feeding Your Child Right Applying the proper strategy to feeding your child is something you and your spouse should develop early on. BY CHERYL TALLMAN
Teaching your kids good eating habits at an early age will carry with them through life.
It is common for food to become a source of conflict in most families. Many parents employ a bargaining or bribing approach to get their kids to eat healthy foods. This is not the best strategy as it encourages children to resist, a trait that most kids excel at from a very young age.
An alternate strategy that will net better results is to give kids some control in deciding what foods to eat. Of course, as a parent the job of you and your spouse is to ensure that the choices available in your home are healthy ones.
Let your child decide if they're hungry, what they will eat from the foods that you are serving and when they are full. Here are some tips that may help you out:
1. Don't use food as a reward. Avoid using dessert as a reward for eating a meal, or offering sweets for completing a chore.
2. Establish schedules for meals and snacks. Kids like knowing what to expect.
3. Don't force kids to eat new foods. Instead, ask them to try it. If they resist, tell them its okay. Many kids need to see a new food several times before they can muster the courage to experiment with something new.
4. Don't force your kids to finish all their food. Doing so teaches them to overeat and eventually this habit can override their ability to stop eating when they are full.
5. Don't use food as a way of showing love. When you want to show love, give them a hug and some of your time or praise.
With the child obesity problem literally growing in this country—which of course leads to many health problems among other things—proper eating habits can be one of the most important things you can teach your child.
Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit. Visit Cheryl online at www.FreshBaby.com for more delicious tips.