Childhood is a crucial time to develop good habits and behaviour in your child’s life. Whether it is learning a new skill, language or good eating habits, the younger you start them, the better it is.
The first 5 years of life is vital. These are years when children act absorbs knowledge and habits like a sponge, which will then develop into life-long lifestyle.
Unhealthy eating behaviour which consists of diet high in sugar, fat and salt will increase your children’s risk of becoming overweight and obese. Research shows that overweight and obese children prone to stay obese later in life and develop non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
However, the struggle to get children to eat healthily is real, especially when they are influenced by their peers. This is when learning from young and from home is critical in shaping their eating behaviours, so that they can choose what is good and avoid what is bad for their health.
1. Create a positive home environment
Eating healthy starts from home. A healthy and enjoyable home environment is crucial in moulding children eating habits. Studies shows that when there is high level of parental stress i.e financial difficulties, parents are busy with work and spend less time with family, children tend to eat less healthy foods which eventually lead to weight gain (Jastreboff et al., 2018). To overcome this, parents have a big role to create a healthy environment at home which encourage children to eat well.
2. Eat together with your kids
Researchers have looked into the relationship between family meal frequency and dietary intake of children. It is found that children and adolescents who eat with their family tend to consume healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables as compared to their counterpart (Hammons & Fiese, 2011).
Children who are fed healthy foods grow up loving healthy foods!
Let’s admit it, cooking for one can be a lot of work, making it a barrier to a balanced healthy diet.
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