Dads can be significant role models for their children, helping them develop healthy eating habits. Nowadays plenty of dads are getting into action when it comes to preparing food and feeding their toddlers, making a great impact on them.
Having two parents involved in a child’s nutrition plan can be beneficial for all since it delivers a powerful message that eating healthy is an important part of a happy and healthful life. Here are some tips for young dads out there struggling to find creative ways to help with their child’s nutrition.
Think of yourself as a role model
Always remember to set a great example when it comes to healthy eating habits for your children. Helping with yourtoddler nutrition plan starts with following the same example yourself. Your child watches the food you eat and the drinks you drink, meaning they follow in your footsteps.
By teaching them to follow healthy eating habits and reach out for fruits and veggies as snacks, instead of chips and cookies, will give them a big nutritional boost. Lead the way by showing them that healthy food is tasty and will help them grow as strong as you.
Get to cooking
You can start by bringing your kid to the supermarket to help you pick out food, and help with meal ideas which they will also help prepare. Research suggests that dads who introduce family meals as important events are less likely to have kids who prefer fast food instead of home-cooked meals.
It’s even better when bothparents take turns cooking because this sets a good example which will reflect later in life. Also, include your child in helping you while you prepare the food by asking them to pass certain ingredients, teaching them along the way.
Make eating healthy fun and creative
Instead of presenting eating healthy as a chore, why not make it an enjoyable experience by preparing a creative and colorful food palette, and letting them choose what they want to eat. Instead of just putting something together, take the time to create something fun and delicious.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and ideas on how to make food more fun. Toddlers can be quite picky when it comes to eating and many parents get discouraged. The trick is to always introduce new food in a different way to attract their attention and encourage them to eat.
Watch what you drink and eat in front of your kids
Remember to make wateryour drink of choice around your children. Limit the availability of sugary drinks like sodas and juices, and never underestimate your child’s perception. Don’t assume you can outsmart them, because you probably won’t.
When it comes to eating, it’s always a smart idea to show them what eating healthy looks like, but pay attention when eating snacks and food like chocolate. You can explain that some food is consumed only on special occasions, but not every day. Also, don’t use sweets as rewards since that will ruin the whole point of eating healthy.
Encourage, don’t pressure
It’s very important to not pressure your kids when they don’t want to eat something. Often parents make the mistake of forcing their child to eat something but instead, you might want to consider giving it to another family member or just eat it yourself.
You can try again after a day or so, and see if they will want to eat it. Also, don’t force them to eat at a particular time since this will add to the pressure. Consider other ways of making your kid eat healthily, but never choose to pressure them since it almost always backfires.
Be aware of dangerous food
Always pay attention when making food for your toddler, and make sure it is cool enough to prevent mouth burns. Don’t make the food heavily spiced, sweetened, or buttered since these can be harmful to them. Just let them experience the natural taste of food.
Also, be aware of the food that is considered achoking hazard like peanuts, cherry tomatoes, whole grapes, or bigger chunks of food. Never allow your toddler to eat while walking or playing since this can increase the risk of choking. And teach them to finish their food before they start talking.
Dads have a great deal of influence on their toddler’s nutrition by daily involvement in preparing food and assisting with eating. Teaching them to eat at home will also help later in life when they’ve developed healthy eating habits. Having a healthy relationship will also boost overall health. So, remember to make food fun and healthy, and never be afraid to ask for help.