I love my son for he loves healthy food (among other things). I could really serve him veggies, and veggies only for dinner. And he leaves the plate empty. Healthy lifestyle is what matters to him.
My son is a one-year-old. Meaning- very arrogant, very stubborn, and always busy. But most days everything’s under control. Here are my tricks!
Know the facts.
What is your favorite food? Mine are pancakes. I could eat pancakes every day. My grandma is a pancake master, and my brother and I have enjoyed them every single weekend during our childhood. The problem is that we are all fans of junk food because we have been exposed to that particular taste when we were young. My son tried real food when he was four months old. I gave him four teaspoons of rice porridge. Next day, he ate avocado. And then oatmeal. Oats are his favorite food. He doesn’t ask with what they come (veggies, fruits, eggs, meat). He loves oats. See, it is all a matter of discipline and your will. But don’t worry if your child wasn’t eating healthy before and you decided to start this journey now. There is a hope shining so bright, and you stay beside it!
Let’s introduce them to healthy lifestyle.
You are an adult, so you decide. For today’s lunch you thought about baked eggplant with veggies and cheese and eggs on top. But your little boss is craving sweets. And crying for sweets also. You are about to open the freezer and serve an ice-cream. Well, why not? Crying, screaming, yelling etc will then stop. You can continue preparing your dinner. Yes, YOUR dinner. Little boss will not eat it because little bosses stomach will be full. DO NOT FALL FOR THAT.
Then, you should also think about calories. If you prepare something delicious and your child eats very little, you should keep in mind that little stomach. It can’t eat much. Of course, I know that if my son was eating popcorn before lunch, it is a waste of time for me to try and feed him. And if he had a full cup of juice- the same story. KEEP IN MIND THE CALORIES. Make sure to provide healthy snacks (baked pepper with cheese on top gives healthy version of chips) two hours before the main dish, so they are not hungry.
SUGAR AND SALT. Little dudes love chocolate. Especially if they taste it. But sugar is a waste of calories indeed. It can be consumed someday, but not a lot. Make sure to leave the space for more nutritious food. The same goes for salt. If you read labels carefully, you see there is salt everywhere. Even when you buy a biscuit.
Try baking instead of frying. And also try natural spices like curry, rosemary, oregano… Kids love (or will love) them!
What should you feed your child with?
CEREALS. Yes, your child should start a day with this one. And your child should enjoy them through four meals per day. Whole grain bread, integral rice, quinoa, amaranth… It is a number one!
VITAMINS C is of great importance for it provides better immunity and healthy skin. We cannot store vitamin C. Therefore, we need to consume it every single day through fruits (mango, kiwi, berries) and veggies (broccoli, tomatoes, sweet potato, green veggies).
VITAMIN A helps your sight, skin, bones, and hair. You can find it in yellow and orange fruits, and should be given to your child in one or two portion per day.
OTHER FRUITS AND VEGGIES (apples, bananas, pears, avocado, beans) should be on the menu too. Just make sure to make it various. Variations bring healthy lifestyle.
CALCIUM. Healthy bones, muscles and teeth are something on which little body is constantly working on. If your child loves milk, it won’t be a problem at all. Two cups a day are enough!
PROTEINS make little bodies grow up big! Eggs, fish, meat- they all give proteins. Your child doesn’t need it very much. So, don’t worry if the plate is almost full. If you prefer vegan, make sure to include quinoa for it is the best source of protein among cereals.
Foods rich in IRON are very important because they provide us with red cells, and red cells transmit oxygen to every part of our body. Well, serve your child with meat, fish, tofu, beans, spinach…
FATS. Don’t worry about this one, please. There are healthy fats, and those fats are important! Peanut butter, coconut butter, avocado, fish, and milk are just enough. Avoid junk food and stick to these healthy options.
DHA, EPA and ALA fats. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, flax seeds, soybeans and tofu. These acids have a major role in brain development.
AND WHAT ABOUT FLUIDS? Yes, your child needs them a lot! About five cups of water per day! And if your decision are juices- give the healthy ones (without added sugar).
I suppose there’s no need to remind you of your own influence. Whatever you are- your child is that too. Be the good role model.
Set the healthy lifestyle to your own journey, and your child will stay healthy too.