ALL parents aren’t doctors or physicians. Even if it had been so we would not have been living in a perfect world, since, being a parent means there are children and children, they have their own agendas, their own fret s, fears, dreams and most notably food habits. Parents, on the other hand too, aren’t always aware of what goes on and where even when it comes to their very own kids and especially when the quest is about finding the precise fill to be placed on their child’s platter, they are often driven to the end of their wits. Therefore it’s no surprise that parents need some help understanding what it means to eat healthy. However, the silver lining upon that cloud of eating healthy is- parents need not have a degree in nutrition to raise healthy kids. All they need to do is follow some pretty basic guidelines and they are good to go: the kid and all!

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The supply line is always yours to choose: It’s always up to the parents to decide which food to buy and when to serve them. Kids will always pester their parents for less nutritious foods, however, it’s you who’s in charge of the pantry. When at home and at mealtimes they’ll eat what’s there on the table or in the cupboard and fridge. Meanwhile it is also very important to loosen up a little at times and get some of your kids’ favorite ‘snacks’ even if you know they aren’t all that nutritious.

Clean the plates only in the sink: Please let the kids stop eating when they feel they’ve had enough. It’s likely that several parents grew up under the clean-plate rule, but that approach, at present is medieval and it doesn’t help kids listen to their own bodies when they feel full. When it’s left upon the kids to notice and respond to feelings of fullness, they’re less likely to over eat.

Count on H20: Attractively packed and professionally marketed carbonated and other sweetened drinks often catch the fancy of each and every child. Those, in their diet add extra calories and get in the way of good nutrition. Water and milk are the best drinks for children and just so that they do not feel deprived, 100% fruit juice available off the market stands are okay to be served at times.

Sweeten the occasion only to the least: Dessert should not ever be the main reason for eating a meal. An occasional sweet dish is fine but when dessert is the prize for eating dinner, kids naturally place more value on the vanilla than the chapatti. This can have undesirable effects on the health of every child.

When you need to say, “I Love you”, say “I Love You”: Parents should never use food to show gratification for a good deed or to make up for an unpleasant event or even random absence from home. When food is used to reward kids and show affection, they may start using food to cope with stress or other emotions. Offer hugs, praise, and a pat-on–the–back rather than food treats whenever your child needs to know that he/she has done a good job!

You are the role models: The parents themselves first need to develop the good habits before passing them on to their children. In order to encourage a child to eat healthy they themselves need to begin by doing the same: maintaining a routine at the dining table and never skipping meals.

When it comes to the development of some key habits in children, it pays to start when they are young. Flaunting a steel stick to thrust essential routines into your child’s habitat seldom brings about a positive result. Giving enough time to listen to what they have to say, taking up their suggestions at times and being always there to watch over your child’s rights and wrongs, hugging-out an each right and correcting every wrong over a period of time can only give you an edge over the experts and somehow make you the near-about perfect parents.

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