For many parents getting their child to eat a healthy dinner can be a difficult thing to do. If you have a picky eater, you will have a hard time feeding your child a nutritional dinner.
Some parents in today’s society believe that forcing their child to clean their plate ensures they are receiving healthier food. What most parents don’t think about is the snacks their child may be eating during the day that contribute to their child being full at dinnertime. Children who do not have healthy eating habits are likely to continue making unhealthy eating choices into adulthood.
Many problems parents have with children who do not like to eat dinner don’t stop their child from snacking on other foods after dinner. You need to teach your child that their main meal in the evening will be served at dinnertime. Make sure your child isn’t a big snack after school or filling up on juice, soda, or even milk before dinner. Here are some dinner nutrition tips for kids:
•offer your child smaller portions so that there isn’t as much left over on their plate.
•don’t offer bribes or rewards for eating.
•consider not offering her anything else to eat if they miss dinner or just offer a small, healthy snack.
•don’t let your concerns about their eating become a power struggle.
•set a good example by eating a variety of foods.
•encourage your child to get involved in planning and preparing meals
Like any other meal, dinner needs to be well-balanced. Many people believe dinner should be the biggest meal of the day since it is the last thing you eat until breakfast. Knowing your child’s daily caloric intake is a helpful tool in deciding how much to feed your child for dinner. Look at the following nutritional tips to help you decide how to prepare dinner:
•Eat a variety of foods
•Balance the food he eats with physical activity
•Choose a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables and fruits
•Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
•Choose a diet moderate in sugars and salt
•Choose a diet that provides enough calcium and iron to meet his growing body’s requirements
•Cut out fast food, caffeine and juice
Following the American Institute for Cancer Research recommendations for what your dinner plate needs to be made up of is a wonderful place to start. At dinnertime your plates need to have two thirds made up of plant foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Look at the protein amount for each of your children. It is smaller for a six year old than it is for a three year old since they are in different stages of growth. We need to have protein in a meal, but it should not take over your plate. Be sure you are having a balanced dinner with your children to help them grow stronger.
Dinnertime can often be rushed with busy schedules full of work and school and fast food tends to supplement a nutritious dinner. Eating fast food on a regular basis can be detrimental to your child’s nutritional health. While going out for fast food can be fun once and awhile, you need to be cautious of the types of fast food you are feeding your child. Learn to make healthy food choices at restaurants like salad, fruit, and milk.
Look for healthier foods to compliment your dinner. Avoid soda and use milk instead. Eat whole grain bread instead of white bread. Whatever it is you can do to improve your child’s health, now is the time to start.