Your child's nutrition is not a difficult deal if you can understand what they like and reasons behind it.
Your child's diet and the food he/she consumes is very crucial.
It is difficult to convince kids to stay away from junk food.
As a parent, you'll know how easily your kid gets attracted to junk food.
These may include food that is deep-fried or high in calories such as chips, pizzas, burgers, chocolates, etc.
However, there are effective ways to keep your child away from junk food. Read on!
1. Understand their likes and dislikes
Want to pull your child away from junk food? Then try and understand them and their eating habits.
Create a fun and friendly environment at home.
You must observe and understand what attracts your child towards junk food.
Check if it is the flavour or taste. Once you know this, you can bring about a conscious change in their diet.
Another important way to make them embrace healthy food is by teaching them about its benefits in a fun manner.
For example, when you are eating green vegetables, interact with them and give them some fun information about it.
2. Be creative with their food
Many parents tend to opt for extremes food choices with their kids.
While packing their tiffin box, they either give them unhealthy packaged foods or healthy food like chapatis and sabzi.
What you need to do is find a middle path. This path would be one which can make your child enjoy his/her food while gaining nutrition.
Look up for some new recipes, and try to keep experimenting with your child's lunchbox so that he/she looks forward to their tiffin box.
You can also choose their favourite cartoon characters' plate or lunch-box to get them more interested in the food.
3. Re-invent junk in a healthier way
Start making what your kid likes to eat at home, but in a healthier manner.
If your child likes pasta, make it at home with lots of healthy veggies and cheese.
By making pastas, noodles and burgers at home, the least you can ensure is that the meal cooked is hygiene and includes healthy ingredients.
Go that extra mile and take a baking or cooking class with your child. It will ignite their love for food and cooking.
4. Present veggies in the form of salads
Your little ones often enjoy salads instead of cooked vegetables and curries.
This could mean that you can try and make salads of the veggies which your kids do not like in a cooked form.
You must use this as an opportunity to give them nutrition in the manner they want.
You can also take them to market, and ask them to pick their own veggies.
Buying on their own can make them more inclined towards choosing healthy food.
5. Be their role model
Young kids are easy to be moulded. They love to imitate and follow their parents or elders.
Hence, if you want your kid to eat healthy, you have to become their role model first.
You have to take the initiative of eating healthy when you are suggesting the same to them.
Become your child's friend and they will follow you, without much effort.
Chef Raji, an avid cook, is the executive editor at BBC Good Food.