Dr. Surbhi is a qualified homeopath and mom of two lovely daughters.She loves reading, writing and spending quality time with kids. Recently she moved from India to USA and having a new experience here in every aspect of life. She blogs at surbhiprapannablogsblogspot.com (positive Parenting). Although she has 5 years of clinical and teaching experience in homeopathy, but the most incredible experience of her life is being a mommy of two cute dolls and now she loves to share her parenting journey with others.
You will get immensely surprised if I told you that my daughter loves only healthy food. How…. Let’s start explore the healthy food journey here.
Eating habits in kids are most concerned aspect of parenting. Now-a-days most of the kids are picky eater. They like pizza, burger, chips and all kind of junk foods and they hate veggies, lentil, chapatti and other healthy foods.
“My kid does not eat well."
“She does not finish her lunch box".
“I need to turn on T.V. every day at the time of lunch and dinner".
These are some common conversations among mothers and I was one of them, who used to get worried about my daughter’s lunch and dinner all the time, but now I am a relaxed mommy. You will be immensely surprised if I told you that my 4 year daughter loves to eat (chapatti, vegetable, dal and rice) in dinner and lunch. She likes sprouts, stir fried carrots and peas, vegetable paratha in breakfast. She hates bread, pizza and burger.
Although there is no secret magic or trick to develop healthy eating habits in kids. It is just a little planning that work like magic and I love to share it.
It was seven year ago, when I was a first time mommy and as a conscious mom I want to develop all good habits in my daughter (including healthy eating habit). When my daughter was 6-7 month old I had started her diet routine. I had started with lentil-rice water and include….
Boiled food (khichdi and Rice-dal)
Boiled and mashed fruits (apple, banana etc.)
Boiled and mashed vegetables (potato, carrot...)
Mashed rava upma
I was doing best from my side but result was disastrous. She does not want to eat all the time and refused all foods which I offer her. All time tantrums and rejection was her fixed routine. I was feeling very depressed and frustrated. Then I had talked to other mommies they were facing the same issue regarding food habits. After proper research I had observed one important thing about parenting. There are two aspects in each parenting issue one is theoretical (based on books and internet that is usually followed by all new educated super moms) second is practical (advice by our moms and grand moms which we mostly ignored). According to my experience it is all right to follow theoretical guidelines but do not forget to follow the practical guidelines. It works like a magic. So here the simple steps to make a strategy.
Make weaning an interesting process : Weaning is a natural process for introducing an adult diet to infant gradually and withdrawing the supply of mother’s milk. Most of the new moms become panic while starting weaning and introduce healthy but boring diet to infant. We should try to make weaning an interesting process.
Taste development : This is second important aspect that is usually ignored by new moms. We think we should feed them with all healthy and nutritional food but we should focus on taste development also. A little tadka with cumin and asafoetida will create great taste enhancement in boring khichdi and dal. Your infant will love it.
Do not be afraid while introducing new food : Most of the mom get afraid while introducing any new food. As a rule of thumb keep a watch on allergic reaction. When you try a new food for infant start with small amount and watch for any allergic reaction (usually diarrhoea or skin rashes). If there is no allergic reaction that means that is a safe food for infant.
Do not pay over attention to tantrums : This is another common mistake done by new mommies. We get panic if our kids do not eat a single time meal and kids even infants take advantage of this weakness. So let them show their tantrums for some time and behave in a relaxed and cool manner.
Do not offer many choices : This is a common scenario that happened with new moms. When infants or toddler refuse one food, we offer them another choice immediately. Be patient and wait for some time. When they will understood that they had no choice, they will eat the same food.
Make them hungry : Good physical activity is very necessary for proper digestion and metabolism. Try to fix a routine for physical activity at least 2 hour before main meal. When they are hungry, they will throw fewer tantrums.
Focus on including healthy ingredients secretly : If we offer a bowl of oatmeal or stir fried vegetable to any kid, he will surely reject it. Try to find the recipes and method to include healthy ingredient secretly. Use of multigrain flour or make paratha with mashed lentil and vegetable is a good example for that.
Reward them for their good behaviour : Reward them if they finish a proper healthy meal and encourage them by proper explanation. Proper explanation is a great tool to convince the kids for adaptation of good habits. You can do it by some interesting activities like….
Make a fruit or vegetable journal with picture and explain their importance and nutritional value.
Story narration about healthy foods while feed them.
Roll play or drama on healthy food theme.
Explain them disadvantage of junk food.
Try to follow healthy diet routine but do not be too rigid : Because much restriction causes more temptation. So once in a week eat whatever you want to eat.
So these were my secrets that I had learnt while I was a first time mommy. When my second daughter born, I had focused on each mistake and plan this simple strategy for her. And result was amazing. From weaning to proper eating every step was smooth. She has developed a healthy and balanced diet routine. Now my elder daughter has improved remarkably and I am a relaxed and happy mommy. These were my secrets for developing healthy eating habits in kids. What is yours? Do not forget to share.