During one of YCIS Beijing’s regularly held parenting workshops, Registered Dietitian from Oasis International Hospital Leora Martin gave a talk discussing children’s nutrition and how to encourage healthy eating habits. For those who were unable to attend the event, we have broken her incredibly informative seminar into 3 simple and effective tips for you to try at home.
1) Presentation is King: When presented with a choice between two different meal options, the first sense that aids in your child’s selection are their eyes. Children internationally are constantly confronted by junk food packaging and advertising that, while unhealthy, is designed to look delicious. It’s no wonder that your child is not so enthusiastic about eating their boiled vegetables if they are constantly surrounded by perfectly engineered junk food propaganda. The best way to combat this truth is by embracing it! Present your own food in colourful varieties and cute packaging; even plain water with a slice of lemon can become something sought after by your child. It may take a little extra work, but the reward of seeing your child enjoy and even request a healthy meal makes it all worthwhile.
2) Give Them Some Control: It’s often easy to fall into the trap of giving your child the choice to either eat their meal or don’t eat all. Avoid this common mistake by giving them some say in the matter. A simple choice between a cucumber with peel or without can make a world of difference for picky eaters. Approaching snack and meal time changes the dynamic; it’s no long about whether or not he or she wants to eat something, it becomes about how he/she wants to eat something. The feeling of control that this gives a child can encourage them to try foods they never would have considered in the past.
3) Lead by Example: Children look up to their parents. They constantly learn and imitate their parents’ social skills, character, language, and habits directly. Your child will instinctively follow your eating habits too; if they see you have suddenly begun eating healthy, they will eventually want to follow suit. Never lead by “Do as I say, not as I do” as children will feel you are somewhat hypocritical (and will most likely call you out on it, too). If everyone at the table is eating the same thing, there is little to no reason for a child to feel cheated out of something special.
Yew Chung International School of Beijing regularly hosts informative parent information sessions. Sign up today for the next “Nutrition Talk” by visiting their website!
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Keywords: Parenting in China Yew Chung International School Beijing
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