Retail outlets can help your child pick up healthy food items

A new study has revealed that kids' unhealthy food habits of picking up junk items while grocery shopping could be helped by placing the healthier options at the eye level of children and moving the unhealthy ones out of the way. (Read: 5 ways to deal with a fussy eater)

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers found that this dynamic is particularly frustrating for caregivers on limited budgets who are trying to save money and make healthy meals and many caregivers, when pressed by their children, ended up buying food that they did not intend to buy. The researchers said that to counter this problem, caregivers suggested altering food placement, allowing children to sample healthy food at the store and offering cooking classes to older children. (Read: 12 superfoods that boost immunity in children)

The authors believe that the study is the first to examine both the influence of store environment on children and children's influence on grocery shopping and one suggestion for an improved grocery shopping experience was giving samples of healthy food, including fruit. The study was published in the October issue of the journal Appetite. (Read: Try these 8 tips to make your toddler eat well)

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Here are ways to help your child eat better

Keep mealtimes fixed: When semi-solids make a place in your baby s diet it s wise to give fruits, snacks and meals during a fixed time of the day and maintain the same taste at least for a fortnight. In this way your baby will start to recognize the taste and texture of the new foods with ease, know what to expect when, and be more comfortable in taking to foods other than breast milk or formula.

Be more experimental with tastes and textures: Everything that you feed would be either mashed or pureed. Try giving one food at a time and change the food item frequently. For instance if the child prefers a steamed apple as a snack, try giving a steamed pear after a week, if dal-khichdi is the staple for mealtimes, try nachni porridge, dalia or an oats preparation for meal once in a while. This will make your little one understand that food isn t always bland and monotonous.

Don t bribe your child to eat: If you think adding dollops of honey in the paratha or giving a chocolate as a bribe is going to help your baby polish off all the food, you are mistaken here. By doing this you are giving in to her tantrums which can make it difficult for you later. Instead do not speak about treats while you try to offer your little one food. If you see she is uninterested in food, try giving it a little later when she would be hungry. Read more about 11 ways to help your child eat better

With inputs from ANI

Photo source: Getty images

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