Eating is not just an activity to fill your stomach. But more than that, eating is an effort to meet the nutritional needs you need. This is important to support your daily activities and to improve your health. This is because by eating we get energy to move, and get carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to support health. So, it is important for every parent to teach children to eat healthy from an early age. How do you do that?
The importance of teaching children to eat healthy
Teaching children to eat healthy is very important because it will make it easier for children to bring these healthy habits throughout their lives. Childhood is a period where children easily learn and apply what they see. So, starting a healthy lifestyle from childhood can have a long-term impact, according to the American Psychological Association.
Teaching children to eat healthy can also help children determine what they should eat, limit it, and avoid it. So, children are trained to care about their health since childhood. Eating healthy foods can also support children's growth and development, including brain development.
How to teach children to eat healthy
Teaching children to eat healthy can be done in a fun and slow manner. This makes the child not feel forced to understand what healthy food is and whether he must eat everything that is healthy. So, children will be happy to apply what you teach about healthy food. Some tips for teaching children to eat healthy that you can try are:
1. Mother as a role model
Remember, at this time your child is very good at imitating, including imitating your eating habits. A study also proves that children's appetite is related to foods that are liked and disliked by their mothers. For this reason, before you teach your child to eat healthy food, it's a good idea to start changing your own eating habits to be healthier. Often providing vegetables and fruit at the dining table can encourage children to eat vegetables and fruit, but you also have to eat it.
2. Provide a variety of foods for children
Often providing a variety of foods at home can encourage children to be curious about all types of food you provide. So, he will ask what food it is, he will be curious about the taste of the food and will try it. Try to always provide healthy food at home, so children can avoid eating unhealthy foods, such as chips and soft drinks.
3. Involve children when shopping and preparing food
Involving children shopping for food in a market or supermarket can be an opportunity to teach children about various types of food and nutrition. While shopping, you can show what food it is, the nutritional content in it, whether the food is healthy, and so on. So, the child can immediately see the shape and color of the food, feel the texture, and after cooking it can try the taste.
Involving children in the kitchen and preparing food makes children often exposed to various vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds. So, children better recognize the food they eat.
4. Stimulate children's understanding of the game
You can also teach children about various types of healthy food from the game or from pictures in the book. This is certainly a fun activity for children. From playing while learning, children can recognize the names, shapes, and colors of various types of vegetables, fruits, food sources of protein, and food sources of carbohydrates.
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