A Healthy and Happy Snack Time
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A Healthy and Happy Snack Time
By: Cerelac Egypt
Babies have small tummies so naturally they need to eat smaller portions more frequently than adults and that includes snacks as well as healthy planned meals.
When choosing the perfect snack for your little one, we advise parents to go natural by choosing fruits, vegetables, yogurt and so on, in order to help your child develop healthy eating habits from a young age. Also, cutting the fruits or vegetables into small finger sized pieces will help your baby in growing his sense of independence as he can eat his snacks by himself.
In the end, we all know that you are your baby’s role model so make snaking together and activity that you both enjoy and let it be a chance to spend some quality moments together.
Encourage contact with food:
A child can be encouraged to eat if he was involved in the preparation of the meal. If possible take your child with you grocery shopping and involve him in picking and buying fruits and vegetables.
When it’s mealtime, you can ask him to tear the leafy vegetables for the salads and sandwiches or set the dining table.
If he doesn’t want to help, you can cut his vegetables and fruits into shapes and arrange them in a manner to create faces or shapes that would make the plate look more interesting to him.
Remember when you were in school and you were taught to grow seeds? Do that with your child! Let him grow his own vegetables and fruits on the balcony or windowsill.
Signs of Hunger and Fullness (Satiety):
For children above the age of six months, their relationship with food is essential for growth and for laying the foundation to a healthy relationship with food. However, this stage is tough because children are still unable to speak or communicate clearly their need to eat or their satiety. Sadly, we don’t handle this issue properly because we are only motivated by our want to make them eat and grow as best as possible. This may also be true due to cultural beliefs or traditions of over feeding the child for the sake of their growth. This problem has a very simple solution. Here’s how to help your child build a healthy relationship with food.
- Always offer small portions at each meal with the opportunity to serve more when your child finishes the food on the plate.
- Do not insist that your child has to finish the plate because this will teach him/her to disregard the body’s natural signals of satiety. Once your child is done eating that means his/her body has had its required amount of food per meal.
- Never use food or sweets as a reward or as a bribe as this will teach your child to eat for joy not for hunger which may later on be a contributing factor of obesity.
- Your child might be thirsty sometimes and not hungry so try offering water or milk instead.
- Common signs of hunger include your child getting excited in the presence of food or trying to reach out or pointing at food.
- Signs of satiety in your child include refusing to eat by closing his/her mouth or pushing the plate away or even at a later age shaking his head signaling no.
What you teach and train your child now will stay with him/her for the rest of their life, that’s why you always need to be sure that you are teaching them the right habits especially regarding food in order to lay a strong foundation for them.