Fussy eaters can really be a challenge, especially when children are initiated with product placement so early in life. While they are watching their cartoons they see commercials about how yummy these sugary cereal are, how great Mac N Cheese is. The commercials are all bright and flashy and designed to make children want what they are selling.
So how can you change your child wants to eat. The answer is slowly. If you take everything that they are eating today and switch for healthy alternatives tomorrow, your child will resist.
So let’s say that they have fruit loops and chocolate milk for breakfast, how do we change that slowly. On the first day only fill their bowl about half of what you would normally feed them, and offer something healthy on the side, like string cheese and some apple slices, and take their chocolate milk and make it half white milk and half chocolate milk. Do this for about a week, and then the next week, do 1/4 chocolate milk, and the rest white, and keep going until they are only getting white milk for breakfast. You could also try something like chocolate soy milk, or any other milk alternative, they are usually flavored naturally. They are still getting what they want, while getting something healthy as well. Well right there they are now getting half of the sugar that they were before.
Also slowly start switching things over. For example, when you give your child fruit loops for breakfast, try using half oh’s and the other fruit loops. This can also be done when switching from white pasta to whole wheat pasta, white rice to brown rice, and even bread. Give about a week for each transitional period, and eventually you will get them to switch over completely.
Remember, sugary treats are a treat and should not be consumed every meal. Your child still needs a cookie, but not a lot of cookies and not all the time. Maybe in the afternoon if they have had a really great day, they get 2 cookies with a glass of white milk.
Make sure that every meal has healthy choices, and you can have them eat their healthy food before they eat their not so healthy food. Also find out what kind of vegetables and fruits your child likes the most, and really encourage them with lots of positive praise and love! Make sure you have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your house, and lots of great fruity snacks. Make what ever they like fun, for example if they like carrots or apples, for a treat try putting on some natural (no sugar added) peanut butter, maybe even let them spread it on!
The other big thing is to try to get your child off of processed food as much as possible. Let’s say that Mac N Cheese is their favorite thing, well why not try to make it from scratch, and instead of white pasta, use whole wheat pasta, and add some peas, corn, and maybe tuna fish to it. It is very yummy, very filling, and so much better for you. There are a lot of alternatives to processed food. As a busy mom it is not always easy to get away from processed food, but if you make the change your child, and you will be a lot happier.
Going to a fast food restaurant can be a great treat for your child, and if they have an indoor play place, a great treat for you too, but the food is not very healthy for your child. So try these tricks, if your order them a cheese burger, get it plain, order apple slices instead of fries, and if you get fries, give them only one or two, after they have finished their apple slices, order white milk instead of chocolate, (children don’t always need a sugary treat), encourage them to go play, plan to spend at least a half an hour, if not an hour to let them play. Play is one of the best things you can encourage your obese child to do. They will burn calories and have fun!
The best way to help your child to eat healthier is to eat healthy in front of them. Remember you are their first teacher, and they look up to you for guidelines on how to live life. Surround them with healthy foods and they will want to and will eat healthy foods.
Try to get your child to play hard for at least 30 minutes a day. They will have fun and will burn off calories!