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Mealtimes are not always fun and mothers know this through experience. Instead it s the most tiring and taxing time of the day for a mother. Unfortunately forcing food and lecturing about healthy eating habits don t work here. And this is true for all kids whether a toddler or a teenager. The trick is to help your child learn to love food rather than tutoring verbally about healthy eating habits. To do it the right way you need to discuss food with your child not just at the dining table but sometimes out of the confines of your house. Here are a few tricks that can help you do that,
Visit the supermarket or a farmer s market together: Love for food should not be restricted to taste. In fact, it should start from the scratch. It s important that you child know where the food is coming from and the other facts related to it. Take your child along with you for vegetable shopping. Whether you are struggling with a toddler or a teenager, taking your child to the supermarket or the grocery store can widen his horizon about food, vegetables and fruits in particular. This has a scope to improve your child s acceptance towards foods that he might also help you pick up, and eat them when cooked. However, keep in mind that a farmer s market would be a better option to introduce your child or teenager to fruits and vegetables as it has less distractions than a super market.
Plan a food date: This doesn t mean dinning at a restaurant with your child and indulging in junk food loaded with fat. Instead, make it clear to your child that a food date would mean when the entire family will sit together to eat and try a new healthy dish. It could be a new vegetable or a regular one cooked little differently. Tell your child that he has to oblige as that s what the entire family would be doing. Eating with the entire family makes it easier for your child to relish the taste and texture of foods that he might usually dislike.
Play food games: It is usually said that children are more willing to eat foods that they think they have helped in preparing. Include your child in your kitchen activity whenever you can. Making a sandwich, sorting the vegetables, helping in garnishing, these are those small activities that inculcate an interest about food among children and help them to eat it gleefully. With your teenager probably trying to cook a new dish with more vegetables or preparing a healthy snack might help to do the trick.
Work on presentation: Animal shaped breads, star shaped carrots, and rice stuffed in bell peppers what more ideas can you come up with? Get creative here. Presenting food in a pleasant way can make it more appealing for your kid to eat all that s on the plate. Sure this won t work with a grown up? Don t give up instantly, for your teenager too presentation matters. You will be surprised to see how a slight change in the usual cutlery or just making the dining area clutter-free helps your teenager eat food in peace.
Make a food routine: If you think that nothing is helping you make your child consume healthy foods and his inclination towards junk or spicy foods keep on escalating, try making a food timetable to keep track of healthy food intake. Do this upon mutual agreement. Tell your child that with one favourite will accompany a healthier opetion. Chart out a timetable; say like Monday its bottle gourd along with a dish of paneer, Tuesday its time for karela side with fish curry, Wednesday might be healthy pasta with vegetables of your choice and so on. This will help you make your child eat healthy food the way you want.
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