Encourage the consumption of healthy food for children! For many parents, to convince the little ones to eat a plate of vegetables, fruits or healthy food, can become a real daily battle. The incorporation of new routines, being patient and generating a positive context in daily meals, are some of the advice given by experts to encourage children to change their food preferences from childhood.
“Children’s eating habits are forged in the first years of life and the practices of parents in this regard are essential, to encourage them to enjoy healthy foods. However, it is expected that in certain periods this task will become difficult, and making small changes in this process may be enough to have good results.
We will give you a series of healthy food for children:
Incorporate the consumption of vegetables
We must incorporate the consumption of vegetables from 10 to 12 months, delivering half a ration of fresh salads, soft or cooked and chopped, very thin. This early incorporation favors the acceptance of a greater variety of foods and the development of healthy habits in this regard.
Invite the children to explore the food
Invite the children to explore with their hands and mouth the different textures and smells of the vegetables. Identify this healthy food for children and try them together. This may involve getting a little dirty and at the beginning, there is no intake but the value is in approaching naturally the vegetables and their consumption.
The rejection of new foods is normal. Keep in mind when you try to introduce healthy food for children. This condition is called neophobia and is defined as the fear of the new, which includes new textures, tastes and smells of food. It is an instinctive reaction of protection and survival and can be repeated normally up to 10 times. Faced with this, the recommendations are to offer the vegetable with certain periodicity and not back down or assume that it is a food that did not like. The child should be encouraged to try the vegetable without forcing and keeping calm. In this sense, we must bear in mind that sugary foods will be accepted more easily, while there will be greater difficulty in relation to bitter foods, such as green vegetables.
Make it a part of the preparation
Promote participation in routines associated with simple preparation processes such as setting the table or washing one’s hands, which when repeated day by day, predispose to food and favor its acceptance.
Maintain a positive environment
Try to generate a positive and respectful social context when eating. Recognizes positive behavior in a moderate way and eliminates challenges or punishments for this reason.
All the family eat vegetables
Take advantage of the impact of imitation in learning to favor the consumption of vegetables. This implies that the child sees the members of his family enjoy the food that is consumed, so he will be more interested in trying healthy food for children.
The dessert is not a prize
Avoid using dessert as a reward for consuming vegetables, this can increase the taste for the “reward food”, and decrease it by the “daily food”.
Together but not mixed
When introducing a new vegetable, accompany it with a known food, for example, milk or solid food that you already enjoy. This without mixing or masking unknown food with another, this can generate distrust and general rejection of food.
Reduce meal times
It limits the time of food to a prudent one, avoiding to keep the child eating for a prolonged period until “the whole vegetable is eaten”. This is to avoid an anguish response that is conditioned by a bad experience of “punishment in front of the plate”.
Make your own garden
Invite children to grow their own vegetables in an orchard. This will develop a sense of commitment and understanding of healthy food for children and meaning to their consumption. As they see grow the food that they cultivated, encourage to consume them.
I am original and creative
Present the vegetables on the plate in an attractive way. Use combinations of colors and ways to organize them, with an aesthetic that “invite to try.”