Your children’s diets are very important to their health and development. It is also important for them to learn healthy eating while they are young to set them up for success in their adult lives. Here are a few ways to help accommodate all your children’s dietary needs!
Give Them Options
Giving your children options can help them feel autonomy over their eating and learn healthy eating habits. One way to do this is by serving family style meals. Family style meals are meals where the components of the meal are all placed in the center of the table. This allows your children to choose what and how much they want to eat. This helps them feel independent and in control and will reduce anxiety surrounding mealtimes. Serving a variety of options will help them to get a balanced diet, which is important for their development.
Be Mindful of Restrictions
Food restrictions are very important to be aware of with your children. Restrictions can range from making your child feel uncomfortable to being dangerous for their life. There can be some early signs of food allergies and intolerances. An allergy can cause rashes, stomach pain, and swelling in the airways among other things. Intolerances can cause heartburn, stomach pain, and gas. You should have a doctor check for any suspected allergies or intolerances. A gastroenterologist can diagnose celiac disease and distinguish it from gluten intolerance.
Avoid Food Battles
Eating healthy is very important for your child’s development, however you want to make sure that your efforts to help them eat healthy doesn’t turn into a battle. Many parents will bribe their children with junk food to help them eat healthy food, but that can backfire and lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. To help with this, you control the situation. You provide the options for your child for mealtimes and let them feel some autonomy. Have a schedule for mealtimes and snacks. Let your children decide when they are full and don’t force them to clean their plates.
To help accommodate your children’s dietary needs, you should give them options, be mindful of restrictions, and avoid food battles. Helping your children while they are young is the best way to set them up for a healthy life. Be sure you also set a good example by your own healthful eating!
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