Children learn how to eat properly and maintain healthy eating habits at home. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to the composition of daily meals and make the child aware of the products that are good for his or her body.
The first step to learning healthy eating is a visit to the store together. Shopping together can take the form of an educational game, which will develop the child’s interest and show him that his individual food preferences are respected. The selection of specific products can take the form of guessing games, riddles, or creative challenges. Analyzing the contents of the shopping cart together will help explain to the child which products are healthy for his or her body and why they end up on his or her plate. The child has a chance to find out why oatmeal and fresh fruit are on the menu and not sweetened, artificial chocolate flakes, or why it is better to eat natural yogurt than one sweetened with unhealthy ingredients. Involving your toddler in helping with shopping and making decisions about upcoming meals together will develop healthy habits, independence, and an interest in food.
Preparing meals with the family is not only a good opportunity to have fun and spend time with the child, but also a perfect moment to show the process of making each dish. Helping parents in the kitchen, the child learns what healthy products are used to prepare their favorite dishes. It is a myth that children in the kitchen are more trouble than good. Cooking together develops children’s manual skills, builds their position in the family and teaches healthy eating habits. While preparing a meal, children can decide on its appearance on their own, which also positively affects their ability to think creatively. The culinary world is rich in flavors, colors and shapes, which is why it can be so interesting for a young person. A self-prepared meal tastes better because the child sees the real results of his or her work.
Talking about food is a great way to educate and discuss with your child. You can’t assume that a toddler will understand on their own why healthy eating is beneficial and will be best for them. Building an informed approach to nutrition, individual preferences, and real influence over prepared meals will positively influence your child’s behavior. It is also important to ask the child about his/her favorite foods or the taste of specific foods. A conversation about such an important element of the family’s everyday life will help to develop the child’s desire to try new tastes and interest in the products that appear on the child’s plate. Family conversation about food should be as natural as explaining rules of behavior in public places, the need for education, or encouraging the development of hobbies.
When preparing menus for the whole family, take inspiration from cuisines around the world. Seasonal foods also work well. Some foods, such as vegetables, can be prepared in a variety of ways. Show your child that diversity in the kitchen means not only different dishes, rare products, or new dishes, but also the same favorite flavors in different versions. Thanks to that the child will see that cooking is not boring, on the contrary, it gives a lot of joy and allows to discover new ways of preparing well-known dishes. Regularly expanding the menu will certainly arouse the child’s curiosity and make the daily process of cooking for the whole family an adventure rather than a tedious chore.
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