What to do when your children fall in bad eating habits ?

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By Maria B

Between the demands of school, homework and extracurricular activities, healthy eating can often be set aside for visits to fast food counter, missed meals or less nutritious foods. Adopting more regularly such behaviors can ensure that your children learn bad habits and increase their risk of obesity, heart disease or other health problems.

As a parent, you are able to teach your children the basics of healthy eating and hope to instill good eating habits. Here are five common habits that you should try to follow in order to help change their habits.

Habit 1: My child eats tons of snacks, but never dinner

Provide snacks and meals at fixed times Children can make a habit of snacking throughout the day rather than eating the meal. Children have better appetite when they are offered three meals and two snacks a day. Make sure the size of the portions you serve them right for their age. Turn off the television during meals, as this is often a distraction that prevents them from eating well. Try eating in the family whenever possible and serve foods that your family loves, like our chicken soup and barley.

Habit 2: My child does not have lunch

Set a good example Children often learn by example. If you do not take time for breakfast at home rather than road or in the office, how can you expect your children to do so? Teach your children the importance of breakfast while lying down with them to enjoy a bowl of whole grain cereal with milk, accompanied by sliced strawberries or raisins. Make time on weekends or during the holidays to prepare whole grain muffins, for example, that the whole family can enjoy with a glass of fruit juice 100% mornings when time is short.

Habit 3: My child does not eat vegetables

Serve mostly fruits and vegetables If we try always to include vegetables in the diet of our children, how will they develop a taste for these important foods for their health? Make eating foods like vegetables and fruits a fun activity, such as “name the vegetable”, rather than hide in other foods. 

Remember that it takes eight to 10 attempts for a child to enjoy a new food, so be persistent. Why not try a new vegetable every week? Serve carrots this week and accompany them to our recipe beef stew.

Habit 4: My child only eats fast food or practices

Prepare more meals at home Overloaded family schedules mean that many children start eating pizza restaurant, chicken strips or macaroni and cheese frozen. While this is acceptable once or twice a week, these meals often contain no vegetable or fruit, and lack of essential nutrients while stuffing our children unhealthy fats and sodium. With a little planning, a home-cooked meal is not complicated to prepare. 

Habit 5: My child eats too many sweets

Define your guidelines Most children prefer foods high in sugar, salt and fat (such as candy, chips and soft Bissons) if they have at hand, to the detriment of healthier snacks. However, avoid ban these types of food, because you will make them irresistible, especially during the holidays. Teach them to incorporate these foods in their diet as long as they also consume more nutritious foods. For example, children will choose a snack like some cookies for their lunch, provided eating only after the most nutritious foods, such as a turkey sandwich or tuna on whole grain bread or the leftovers from the previous day accompanied fresh fruit. Returning from school or after an afternoon of fun to slide or build snow forts, still have ready baby carrots and low-fat dip, fresh fruit, whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese. Even the popcorn in the air and salt-free whole grain pretzels are more sensible choice than treats. Limit or eliminate the amount of foods high in sugar and fat in your pantry.