Parents play the most crucial role in a child’s growth and development. They shape up the overall attitude and behavior of a child towards different matters of life, be it personal or social. One of these matters is a child’s relationship with food and their eating habits. Since food is essential to growth, development, and overall wellbeing of an individual, it is important for parents to keep a keen focus on it to ensure that their child grows up to be a healthy individual.


In this article, we will be sharing some practical strategies for parents and caregivers that can play a role in helping their little ones develop a positive attitude towards food.

A. Strategies for Parents to Help their Children Make Healthy Choices

Here are few ways you can follow to help your child eat right,

i. Sit together during mealtimes

Family meals provide an opportunity for connection and bonding. When children see their parents enjoying food together, they learn that mealtime is a pleasant experience.

  • Aim for at least one family meal per day,
  • Turn off screens (TV, phones, tablets) during meals to minimize distractions,
  • Engage in conversation and create a positive atmosphere.

ii. Variety of Healthy Foods and Snacks

Exposure to a range of foods helps children develop a taste for different flavors and nutrients.

  • Introduce fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products,
  • Offer healthy and fulling snacks like sliced fruits, yogurt, and salads,
  • Try different fun recipes on regular basis to ensure children do not get bored of eating the same thing over and over again,
  • Avoid excessive reliance on processed or sugary snacks.

If you want to learn in details about childhood nutrition, you can check an article titled, ‘The Importance of Early Childhood Nutrition’ our website.

iii. Be a Role Model

Children learn by observing their parents. Your eating habits influence theirs.

  • Eat a balanced diet yourself,
  • Express enjoyment of nutritious foods,
  • Avoid negative comments about certain foods.

iv. Do not force your children with certain food

Forcing specific foods can create resistance and negative associations, instead give them choice of what do they want to eat.

  • Offer choices within healthy options (e.g., “Would you like cucumber or carrots with your meal?”),
  • Let your child decide how much to eat,
  • Trust their hunger and fullness cues.

v. Involve Kids in the Process

When children participate in meal-related activities, they become more curious and open to trying new foods.

  • Take them grocery shopping and discuss food choices,
  • Let them help with age-appropriate cooking tasks,
  • Grow a small herb garden or potted vegetables together.

vi. Be patient, habits take time

Developing healthy eating habits is a gradual process and takes time. Be with patient with your children as these habits will stay with them forever.

  • Celebrate small victories (e.g., trying a new vegetable),
  • Be patient when they reject certain foods; tastes change over time.

vii. A Nutritious Start to the Day

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, and for good reason because they need all the energy to make it through the day, so make sure they start their day with healthy and nutritious food. Their breakfast should be rich in

  • Protein,
  • Fibers,
  • Healthy fats

You can learn in detail about a healthy and nutritious diet through our article, ‘Nutrition and Healthy Diet’.

viii. Dealing with Picky Eaters

Picky eating is a common challenge, specially when children grow up but its something that can be handled.

  • Introduce a wide range of foods early on
  • Don’t be discouraged if your child doesn’t take to them right away. It often takes multiple exposures to a new food before a child will accept it.

B. Things to be mindful about

Apart from developing these eating habits, parents should also focus on the on the following things to keep their children healthy.

i. Hydration is Key

Water is the best choice for staying hydrated. Encourage your children to drink water regularly and limit their intake of sugary beverages, which can contribute to health issues like obesity and dental problems.

If you children play outside, make sure to give them refreshing healthy drinks afterwards to make sure they do not get dehydrated. A simple drink in this regard could be nimbo pani with a freshly squeezed lemon and salt.

ii. Smart Snacking

Snacks are an important part of a child’s diet, providing energy between meals. However, it’s important to set boundaries. Offer healthy snacks at set times and avoid using food as a reward or a way to soothe emotions.

iii. Mindful Eating

Teach your children to listen to their bodies. Eating should be responsive to hunger, not a pastime or a response to stress. Encouraging mindfulness around food can prevent overeating and promote a healthy relationship with food.

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