Healthy eating habits of children start with the parents. And as parents it is their responsibility to guide their children on proper eating habits and teaching them which food are healthy or unhealthy. Most of the parents are likely to give their children healthy foods but because of the external factors they tend not to give health foods. And you are not giving your child a favor by just giving them food that makes them smile without thinking if it is health.
According to the observations of Dr.Mercola in his Natural Health Newsletter, here are some common food mistakes that parents make :
- Limiting healthy fats. The word “fat-free” or “low-fat” does not belong in a child’s diet (or yours for that matter). Healthy fats like those from animal sources, coconut oil, raw nuts and seeds, olive oil, avocado and others are essential for your child’s development. An excellent way to get some healthy fats into your child’s diet is to add some butter (organic, grass-fed and, ideally raw), raw cheese, or olive oil to lightly steamed veggies.
- Using food as a reward. This sets up your child to think eating unhealthy foods is necessary for their emotional fulfillment. It’s best to nip this one in the bud early on, or not start it at all.
- Forcing your child to eat everything on his plate. Assuming you’re offering a variety of healthy foods at each meal, there’s no need to make your child eat every last bite. Most kids will naturally stop eating when they’re full, and this is a feeling you want them to learn to honor for the rest of their life. If you start telling them to overeat now, there’s a good chance they’ll overeat later too. (To avoid wasting food, only serve your child small portions, or save what they don’t eat for later.)
- Letting them eat junk instead of a family meal. I’m always shocked at how bad most “kid’s foods” are from a health perspective. If your child only wants “kid foods” like pizza, French fries and macaroni and cheese, do not give in. Kids can eat the same things as adults (cut-up or mashed when necessary) and they will be much healthier for it.
- Giving infants French fries and soda. One study found that infants seven months and older are being given soft drinks in their bottles, and that French fries are the most popular “vegetable” eaten by children aged 19 to 24 months. Please do not fall into the mindset that you’re “depriving” your child by not giving them soda and French fries. You are actually doing them a huge favor.
- Saying you doesn’t like vegetables. Your kids will hear this and decide they don’t either.