3 Tips for Encouraging Healthy Eating Patterns in Your Child

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Many parents worry about their child eating the right and healthy foods. It can be hard to control a child's diet, since each individual will have foods that they like and dislike. However, there are some things that parents can do to encourage healthy eating patterns. Here are a couple things.

1. Encourage Them to Eat until They Are Full, Not to Finish Their Plate

Children are very in tune with their bodies. They will eat until they are full. Thus, when a child has eaten a good amount of food, even if it is not everything on their plate, you should allow them to be done because it is healthy for them to realize the feeling of being full.

Many adults overeat because they are not nearly as in tune with their bodies. Unfortunately, they have trained themselves to ignore the feeling of being full so that they can finish their plate, or eat something that tastes good. By telling a child to simply eat until their full, you encourage the child to always listen to their body and just eat as much food as they need, and no more.

2.  Offer Variety

Just like an adult, a child may have certain foods that they just don't like. For example, your child may not like broccoli, but they could love peas and carrots. The more variety you can give the child, the more likely they are to find something that they do like that is good for them.

It might also be fun for the child to help you grocery shop and choose things that they would like to eat. You could go to the produce section of the grocery store and have the child choose a couple of things they would like to eat. This will give you a good idea of what things they like, or are at least willing to try.

3. Hide the Foods

If you are having an especially hard time getting the child to eat a variety of goods, you can always disguise the food. For example, you can make smoothies with spinach and carrot juice, mixed with fruits and yogurts. You can add squash to macaroni and cheese, or you can put peppers inside their spaghetti sauce. If you can sneak food into the child's diet, their body will adjust to the taste so that hopefully in the future they will like the taste.

These are just a couple things you can do to help your child have a healthy diet. For help, talk to a pediatrician.