How to Correct Bad Eating Habits in Toddlers?

(June 1, 2010)

Toddler Eating Behavior

If you want your toddler to grow up into a healthy adult, it is necessary to ensure healthy eating habits. Research has showed that childhood obesity has tripled in the last two decades. Such children become obese adults, who are more prone to obesity related diseases like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases.

If your toddler is overweight or obese, it is best to correct that problem right now. The first step would be to find out the cause for obesity. Is your child eating the wrong foods? Or is your child eating larger portions than required? Here are a few steps to correct bad eating habits in your toddler.

Make a good start. Inculcate correct eating habits right from infancy. According to pediatric research, starting on solid foods too early increases the chances of your child becoming obese in later life. You can delay introducing solid foods until they are 5 or 6 months old. Start with vegetables first, and introduce sweet fruits like bananas, apples and pears only after they have got used to eating vegetables.

Set a good example. If you want your baby to eat healthy, you have to lead by example. Examine your own eating habits, and eliminate any unhealthy food in the house. Take care to stock only healthy foods at home, and your baby will grow up eating those. This will also help to remove temptations – both for you and your toddler. Make a proper weekly menu, before the next trip to your grocery store, to ensure that each meal will have all the important nutrition and food groups necessary for you and your child.

Cook at home. If you are in the habit of ordering takeaway or buying fast food all the time, your child too will develop a taste for such food. Such foods are usually low on fiber and nutrition, and high on fat, chemicals and refined carbohydrates and sugars. Cooking at home ensures that your child gets the right amount of calories and nutrition. It allows you to include balanced amounts of vegetables, whole grains, dairy products and fruits.

Prevent snacking. Many parents offer food whenever their babies show signs of distress. This becomes a habit, and your toddler will become more prone to snacking in between meals. It is possible that what your toddler actually needs is a bit of attention and not food. Set regular meal times, and do not offer snacks in between meal times.

Eat together. Make meals an interesting family time, and encourage your toddler to eat with the rest of the family. This inculcates better eating habits.

Submitted by P T on June 1, 2010 at 04:13

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