Building healthy eating habits in our children is a future investment for their health. We will be preventing them from developing diseases such as diabetes or having obesity and overweight problems. But how do you do it? Keep that list handy with 13 healthy eating habits for kids ages 2-5.
In addition to respecting these 13 healthy eating habits that we will list below, as parents, we cannot forget that children should exercise daily and, as much as possible, outdoors.
1. From puree to solid
From the age of 2 years, the diet of children should not include crushed foods except when they are on the menu of the whole family. Vegetable puree with meat, fish, or chicken or fruit porridge must already have gone down in history at these ages. A separate chapter deserves bottles, whether milk or cereal, wholly inadequate due to their involvement in increasing the risks of caries and obesity.
2. Establish A fixed number of meals
Meals, 5 or 6 depending on the hours that the child is awake –probably also depending on his age- should be spaced about 3 hours, emphasizing two more substantial meals, lunch, and dinner, but without skipping any.
3. Breakfast is a must
However, excessively high sugar foods, such as cookies, cocoa powder, or industrial juices, should be avoided.
4. provide A healthy snack And lunch
Avoid pastries and industrial juices, and above all, salty snacks. Preferably, breakfast and lunch should complement each other, providing between the two foods from the different groups: protein, farinaceous, dairy, and fruit/vegetables.
5. The child should not have dinner late
Depending on the time you go to bed, dinner should be at least one to two hours before.
6. Adjust quantities
Lunch and dinner do not necessarily have to consist of three dishes (first, second and dessert), since these children are still too young to eat enough of all and we can fall into the dynamics of “forgive” the second course, which can affect your intake of protein and some minerals, like iron. It can also happen that we end up forcing them to eat, with the negative connotations that this implies. For these children, either small portions or a single plate are the best alternatives.
7. The child should eat alone
At this age, the child should have sufficient autonomy to handle cutlery with enough skill to feed without assistance. Cutting a steak is not something they should do on their own, but pricking with your fork or picking up a spoonful and bringing it to your mouth are skills you should have learned.
8. Listen To your child
The child must know when he is hungry and how hungry he is, and we must listen to him. This does not mean feeding him when he wants, far from it, but it can be used to adapt meal times to the needs of his body, avoiding the dreaded pecking between meals.
9. Fruit, Better Between meals
There is no scientific reason that requires the fruit to be eaten at a specific time, but it is easier to awaken the child’s interest in eating it if it is offered outside the main meals, either in the afternoon snack or lunch. Midmorning.
10. Always have water on hand
Young children are not reluctant to drink water, but they are not very constant, and when they ask for it, they are usually already in the early stages – not to be alarmed because these specific moments are not dangerous – of dehydration. Therefore, if they have water on hand, it is easier for them to remember before drinking it and even to get into the habit of doing it frequently, something that is very good for their health.