- Eat together with your child and as a family for both meals and snacks. Make an effort to model appropriate eating behaviours and table manners.
- Be a role model. As parents we want to encourage and promote life-long habits of healthy eating for our families.
- Involve your children. Include your children in the shopping, planning and cooking. Give them a choice between two healthy snacks and let them choose. Even planting a garden together and watching food grow and then harvesting it can get your child involved.
- Variety is important! Always eating different foods is an easy way to make sure the child is getting a variety of nutrients.
- Encourage your child to eat new foods. Unfamiliar foods are often rejected the first few times. Always try a different food at least 15-20 times.
- It is important to promote and support and nurture your child’s sense of taste, acceptance and pleasure of foods.
- Don’t use dessert as a reward.
- Avoid pressure of any kind (including positive pressure). Remember that pressuring can seem like you are just being a good parent.
Over the summer I took a road trip across Canada from my home in Vancouver to PEI and then down to Halifax. It wasn’t the first road trip with my daughter but it was definitely the longest and with her only being 10 months old I wanted to keep providing her with healthy foods on the trip.
It seems only recently that avocado is coming to light as a wonderful food for babies. Why do I love avocado?
Watch the video of baby self feeding avocado
For more information on nutrition contact Jill, Nurture The Future's Registered Dietitian at firstname.lastname@example.org
When it comes to eating, often the struggle between you and your kids is about getting your kids to eat. Sometimes though, the concern is that your child wants to eat all of the time. Does your child eat a meal and say that they are hungry right after? Do they say that they want a snack constantly throughout the day?
Children often have trouble expressing their emotions. This can be for a variety of reasons- they are not used to using words to express how they are feeling, they do not get a lot of practice expressing how they feel and what is going on in their world. They are upset and a comforting thing can be eating, especially snack foods- these are often seen as the tastier and treat type of foods. Maybe your child just needs to be comforted.
Some helpful ways to get insight into what is going on for your child is to talk to them. Ask them how they are feeling and what is going on in their world.
Another way is to listen to them when they are playing. A child’s play can tell you a lot about what is going on in their world. Playing is a way for a child to process events and happenings in their life.
Remember that food is not only about nutrition. Food impacts everyone- baby, child or adult in a variety of ways. If your child says they are always hungry or they constantly want a snack look at the why. As parents you are always the best at knowing what your child needs and what works best for your family. Scheduling meals and snacks will help you ensure that your child is getting food offered at regular intervals and therefore empowers them to listen to their bodies as to whether they are hungry or not. If you are still hearing that they are hungry right after meals and that they constantly want a snack you can consider other reasons that this may be coming up for your child.
Have questions about your child’s eating? Contact Jill, Nurture The Future’s Registered Dietitian.
Jill Wallace, RD, CH
Mom, Registered Dietitian and Chartered Herbalist writing about nutrition. Have a topic you want to read about? I would love to hear your idea. Email email@example.com