“I only want pizza, not veg pulao”, this is perhaps the trending and horrifying dialogue of your little ones which is all enough to blow your mind out! I used to wonder how every mother deals with this daily melodrama of “food time“. I used to worry that how am I supposed to feed my kid with nutritious, healthy yet tasty food without letting him make faces while his food is coming his way. Why the food always is covered with ketchup, chocolate spread? Why does he hate the food even he has never tried it? Every time, food time becomes food fight. Being a mother of 5 years old, I totally understand the phases every mother goes through in order to make their children eat healthy and lead a healthy life. The growth depends directly on the intake of food, yes, a healthy food of course. The question mark is that how will the required result, that is, “healthy growth” possible if your little master finds out and prefers to pick and put aside all the peek-a-boo veggies you were trying to hide from them. What is the point of letting him have a cup of ice cream if he suspects tiny little crushed fruits which is the only reason you let him have ice cream. It is obvious that he would happily finish his ice cream and the fruits? Well, that will of course be eaten by you without any other choice left. And the cycle repeats!
No matter the age, every child needs its own attention and nutritional requirements for growth and healthier functioning of the body accompanied by his own cute little drama obviously! I was fed up of thinking how I should guide him to be a good child as he was very hesitant and stubborn. I was all confused when to pamper and when not to pamper. How to correct him? I was all saturated trying new and unique innovations to make my little one eat his food with all the tricks possible. Ahh! This put me to a pressure point! And now, I got what I need.
When all your hacks have been turned down, when all your tricks are of no use, and when all your secret codes have been decoded by your intelligent kid, then, you are at the right place! I would like to share my experiences in paying personal attention and how to make your child eat healthy food in order to have a healthy life. Yes, this is the main motto of being successful in the parenting, of course! So get ready to enjoy a Parenting phase- stress-free, tension free. Because it is time to think and perform the “Parenting” task in a fun and enjoyable manner!!
Yes, “PARENTING TECHNIQUE”, the mind-blowing technique which puts your blown out mind back in peace!
Here are the few interesting and effective things and experiences to try on your little masters:
- Be friendly
- Get him out of “The Choosy zone”
- No more Nah to veggies
- His kind of “Food environment”
- Add some taste to make it yummier!
- Toppings are all you need
- Reward them
- The calendar theory
- Patience pays!
- Fact is fact
- Milk to the rescue
How? What actually these are? Eh, why is it so? Well, your answers are coming right ahead. Dive into it and enjoy the most valuable journey of life, “Parenting”!
· Be friendly:
No matter what your child’s age is, be friendly with them. Allow them to choose their favorite vegetables, fruits, clothes or whatever it might be. Allow them to pick whatever they want to. This helps them learn to make right choices. Guide them if they are wrong in their decisions. If you are not spending time with them or if you are not open to them, you might end up not understanding them and they might end up feeling lonely. As a kid, I was always pampered, but, at the same time, my parents corrected me for wrong choices. But, be careful that you don’t impose your decisions on him and make them forget what actually their likings are. Being friendly with them, as this boosts their confidence and self-esteem. Try spending at least few minutes in your “busiest schedule” if you are a busy person and see the difference. It’s not about spending time; it is all about being friendly. Doubt? Try and figure out!
· Get him out of “The choosy zone”:
For the love of God, How? How? Here it is! As I said, allow them to choose, and also tell them that next choice will be yours (parent’s). Trust me, this works! This helps you not only fulfill their choices but also to carry out your requirements. For example, if he chooses strawberry, you can choose baby corn or broccoli. This helps in balancing the nutrition to be taken. Make sure you do not choose what your child hates to the core. This surely helps him try and enjoy varieties of flavors not only in childhood, as an adult as well. Eventually, he will definitely enjoy trying new things and different things. He is all set to welcome different aspects of life.
· No more Nah to veggies:
If at all you know your kid, you must have come across the very fact that, every child loves varieties. By keeping this in mind, try making your little one happy by presenting the common dish in a different way. Put at least one vegetable or fruit of your child’s choice. Garnish well with colorful, tasty and yes healthy ingredients. Don’t pamper your kid too much by giving all the stuff he wants. This will surely make him hesitant and demanding. Teach him the difference between needs and wants. Understand the thin line between being naughty and being rude. The rudeness of your child might seem funny and sweet to you, but, it is not at all good for him if it is carried along.
· His kind of “food environment”:
Prepare tasty food, create an environment of his choice, let’s say, your child is fond of playing football. Play the game and feed him. This not only makes him have his food, he also enjoys the food time as he gets his favorite football even while having food. Watch a cartoon movie while having food, play car race, doll game while eating. Tell some interesting stories while feeding. This improves his listening power too. This will definitely make your child get rid of addicting to the smartphone! And playing such games lets him have a physical exercise. Tell him to enact his favorite cartoon character which adds a funny and beautiful instance to the moment. This lets him be active and lively all the time.
· Add some taste to make it yummier:
Well, this comes handy to all the mothers. You can enhance the taste by adding home available products such as cream (malai) to the curries, try adding milk instead of water where you can achieve both healthy and tasty dish, instead of ketchup, you can add homemade tomato puree which adds tasty flavor and also thickens the gravy. Try making homemade pizzas by preparing dosas, spreading tomato puree, topping up with your kids favorite vegetables. Same goes well with spring rolls. There is always a solution to every problem we are facing. It utterly depends on how well we are tackling the situation.
· Toppings are all you need:
The very first thing to eventually start avoiding is unhealthy snacks. How? Try giving raw vegetables or fruit at least one per day. Well, I am sure no kid would eat a raw cucumber or carrot without forcing or even bribing with chocolates! Here’s what you can try. Sprinkle the small amount of oregano and a pinch of salt on the slices of cucumber. As the taste of oregano reminds them of pizza, they will surely gobble them in minutes! The problem resolves in seconds! A small effort of change makes a world of difference. Instead of making a small thing into a huge fuss, there is something interesting exercise you can surely do is to THINK!
· Reward them:
Whenever your child eats their food without making any kind of drama, irritation, make sure you always praise them. As soon as your child finishes his breakfast, reward him with a sweet gesture by kissing him; take him to a walk after dinner. This way your child feels loved and knows the value and importance of his food and the bond he builds are precious. By this way, you can compensate your busy time by taking him into a long and peaceful walk. This can be a perfect relaxation and some quality amount of spent with your child and you can feel the difference that you are no more getting the complaints of your “Busy schedule” and “No time” excuses.
· The calendar theory:
Your effort of spending time in adding flavors, making it tasty, smell good, garnishing it to look yummy is paid off by seeing your kid enjoying his food happily slurping it! Now, surprise them by giving different gifts for their eating performance! In short, rate their eating performance, such as by giving a star, a heart, or different smiley’s. You can try marking each meal’s performance on a calendar just to build a healthy competition. This is more like a game you can enjoy playing with your cute little one. This will definitely provoke them to collect more smileys, stars etc. By this way, you can eventually start including more veggies to your dish and see your child enjoying every meal. I am sure your child comes hopping for their next meal! These small gestures can surely make a huge impact on your child. He learns and admires the importance of little things.
· Patience pays:
Of course, even we mothers have troubled enough to our moms as well. We all remember how naughty as a kid we were, thus, we can all sense how our mothers raised us being so composed and calm and yet maintaining a friendly nature. Yes, “Patience” is the answer. So, instead of losing your temper and reacting to your child’s mistakes, have patience. Understand his necessities and needs, his likes dislikes, what is his favorite dish, favorite juice etc. Don’t always react to your kid in an angry; frustrated manner because your anger might cool down after some time but, your little one will surely be affected by your behavior. Be patient enough to talk to your kid at least for few minutes. Because he learns what he sees.
· Fact is fact:
The basic and prominent thing is to make your kids understand the importance of every vegetable, fruit and other eatables for this is how is supposed to interest them to have it. If they know the facts that how every single vegetable nourishes our body, they will surely do not hesitate to eat them without making any faces. You might be aware of the cartoon show “The Popeye Show”, wherein the hero used to eat spinach whenever he wants to be powerful and after eating spinach he would feel energetic. This actually impacted me a lot in my childhood to have more of spinach as I thought I would grow stronger and more powerful. And this is actually the fact that spinach actually provides you energy. It is just conveyed in a different and attractive manner. You can try the same thing for different veggies; fruits etc by letting your child know the importance of that particular stuff and the fact that it will make them stronger and energetic just like “Popeye”! Instead of hiding the vegetable under the ketchup, reveal the fact of its importance.
· Milk to the rescue:
I know sometimes, no matter how much we try hard and force our child to make him have his food; he will not eat enough of it. Yes, they are children and sometimes it happens. No need to worry. Give them a glass of milk by mixing it with their favorite fruit, nuts or some tasting powder or fresh berries etc. Thus, they can have a glass of milk as their food and go to sleep. Milk plays a vital role in supplying nutrition and nourishes the body. And, thus, you can be relaxed and not have to worry about their food. If at all you are not convinced, you can prepare their favorite food meanwhile and feed them properly.
I am sure these techniques are worth trying because these are far different from giving the lecture about vegetables, bribing with a chocolate or forcing your kid to finish his food. Children need to be handled in a lovable and yet a very effective way. While pampering our children, we don’t even realize the thin line between love and desire. Thus, I wanted to share my own experiences and instances of how I learned to distinguish between pampering and letting him be stubborn. The little things in our daily routines are all enough to guide your children to choose the right path and stay focused on their needs rather than their never-ending desires. I am sure every mother researches for the “food time” topic. Thus, I thought I don’t find any better place than this to share my word of experience wherein you can no longer worry about your child’s food and also letting him understand the good things himself by letting him know the value of food and other things in a daily and simple instance.