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Ew, I Don’t Eat That, or 8 Ways to Teach Your Child to Eat Right

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In childhood, when the young body is especially susceptible, many preferences are laid down, including taste.

Proper nutrition and your children’s health are inextricably linked. But how do you take care of the development of a young body when children are constantly gravitating towards unhealthy chips, sweets, and colored sodas?

Katerina Jensen, a nutritionist, and nutritionist from Denmark shared some interesting life hacks. She has taught her children to love healthy food and refuse sweets. She shares her experience, knowledge, and useful tips in her blog.

Tip 1: Be consistent – “No” means “No”

Be consistent and keep your word: if you have introduced a rule or a ban, don’t cancel it halfway through. If you threaten to not have dessert every night, but then offer it to your child, he or she will realize that it is okay to take advantage of your “kindness.”

Tip 2: Be a role model

Start with yourself. You have to be an example for children and, first of all, change your habits. It is foolish to talk about proper nutrition while eating a hamburger. Children tend to imitate their parents, so take care of the right diet for the whole family. To do this, Kateryna Jensen recommends writing down everything you eat and drink for a week and then analyzing it.

Tip 3: Give up “baby” food

As soon as your child develops a chewing reflex, you should stop feeding him or her “special” food. The nutritionist recommends switching children to the same foods you eat.

Don’t be afraid to let your child try everything, because this way he or she will be able to find out for himself or herself what he or she likes and what he or she doesn’t. Do not pay attention to a “special diet” and prepare a separate dinner for your baby. You will only complicate your life.

Tip 4: No sweets on weekdays

Many parents give their children cookies and candy as snacks, believing that they contribute to brain function. But this is not true.

The brain needs glucose, not sweets. We can get glucose from the most ordinary food, and eating sweets leaves no room for normal food. Sweets really interrupt appetite. So leave the sweets for the weekend, the nutritionist recommends.

Tip 5: Drink only water

Water should be the main drink in the diet. Milk, juices, fruit drinks, and compotes are healthy foods. Choose water to quench your thirst. Of course, you don’t have to give up other drinks entirely, but make sure they don’t contain preservatives or sugar.

Tip 6: Develop a meal plan and stick to it

A meal plan will give your child confidence and make your life easier. It’s much easier to control children when they know exactly what time breakfast is and what they’re going to eat. Besides, kids won’t try your patience by begging for candy on Wednesday, knowing that they can only eat it on Friday. But don’t go overboard with prohibitions, it’s worth making nice exceptions sometimes, especially during holidays.

Tip 7: The child should sit at the table hungry

The degree of pickiness at the table is directly proportional to the degree of hunger. If you allow a snack of milk with cookies or something else before dinner, expect a lot of discontents. A hungry child will not “pick and choose” but will start eating everything in a row to fill his stomach as quickly as possible.

Tip 8: Try everything

Agree with your child that he or she should try everything on the plate. Give them the choice not to eat or to spit out what they don’t like on a napkin. This way you can teach children to eat all foods

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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