Parenting is an omnibus subject. The activities and responsibilities expected from parents, cover most aspects of human life. Parents are assumed to promote and support various needs of the child from infancy to adulthood. A child’s developmental requirements include physical, emotional, social and intellectual components. Most households have tentative divisions in the areas of parental care. Mothers are presumed to understand the food necessities of children. Mothers have to carry out highly diversified activities while fulfilling nourishment needs of a child. Mothers are either born with communicative and persuasive dialogue skills, or they are destined to learn these very skills the hard way, while dealing with children and their food intakes. Numerous columns in family magazines, and blogs on parenting are replete with references to successful parents sharing their daily ordeals. The most common complaint of mothers is intermittent failures of their communicative skills, aimed at feeding the right nourishing stuff to their children. However, solutions do exist for most problems.
Pediatricians, food experts, psychologists and parenting counselors have individually and also collectively devised few clever steps to ensure that proper amounts of nutrients are included in children’s diet on everyday basis. There are instances, when children, under the influence of bombarding advertisements tend to eat junk food. Sometimes the urge in the kids to replicate the other kids’ food habits, can also lead to consumption of food with very little nourishment value. Some conventional wisdom and little novelty in thinking procedures can ensure success in feeding a healthier food to the kids. The ways to win kids with healthier food are not necessarily unique. They can be adapted differently to suit the climate, kids’ moods and most importantly, kids’ understanding.
Planning Healthier Food
Parents need to take a hard look at the options available for providing healthier food to their kids. Help from family elders, physicians, and from media inputs can set the process going. A general schedule of foods can be prepared. Specific varieties of food, which are must in everyday consumption, like milk, salads, fruits and others need to be stored in sufficient quantities at home. Other additional ingredients have to be arranged as per planned schedule.
Parents are constantly advised to balance the kids’ diet. If certain components of healthier food cannot be consumed by kids at breakfast, adequate compensating food item can be arranged during the course of the day. When kids go to school, there could be constraints in lunch box food. However, some clever combinations can still work. Kids are generally more attached to their mothers. Hence mothers need to acquire skills in shuffling the food items to suit the requirement of the hour. Soups, desserts or sweets, pancakes or newer savories are some tools, which mothers can use to tempt the kids. Some healthier foods are occasionally unpalatable for the kids. The same food can be repackaged in palatable form to achieve desired results.
Creation of pleasant feelings is imperative, white feeding the kids. Negativity in ambience produces repulsive tendencies in kids. Kids would listen to reason in an atmosphere of understanding. Once the success of right spirit is ensured, the battle is half won. Provision of a right combination of dining accessories, including cutleries and coasters, colorful or musical settings go in long way to win the kids. Constant light hearted conversations can certainly reduce the burden of the otherwise difficult task of feeding the kids with healthier food, which may not be exactly tasty.
Lead the way
A very delicate part of the strategy by the parents to keep kids away from unnecessary indulgence in junk food is the ability to demonstrate the same resolute action in rejecting junk food themselves. Kids love to emulate, what they observe. Parents need to keep themselves away from non healthy food, even if it is attractive. Any breach on the part of parents would have a multiplier effect on kids. Parents would do well to consume the same healthier food items along with kids. This positive action would redouble kids’ faith in parental advice.
Process of Dialogue
Winning the kids to healthier food becomes relatively easy, through a process of dialogue. Honing the conversational skills and persuasive tenor are good recipes for achieving desired results. Kids would love to get convinced, if done in a manner and language, they appreciate. Sometimes, few inducements need to be offered. The inducement can be in the form of the short relaxation in schedule, offer to visit a playground, circus or zoo. Small monetary incentives may give desired results. Praising the kids for every good eating practice is bound to have a very positive effect.
Kids need to be nurtured with due care and supervision. It would be parents delight to watch kids grow with healthier foods.