Here are some simple tips for improving our child's (and family's) eating habits.
- Prepare your child’s plate for them and serve one main plate of food using a small to medium size plate. Studies show that plate sizes influence how much we eat.
- Wait 20 minutes between servings – this gives the mind some time to catch up with the body’s signals of satisfaction. During this time you can play a board game, do dishes, go on a walk or continue to catch up on what happened during your day.
- If your child is still hungry serve them some more food but focus on fruits and vegetables.
- Dessert should be a fruit or fruit salad – eating baked goods adds to the craving for sugar.
- If you child is overeating talk with them and ask them if they are sad, bored, scared – many times overeating happens because of emotional stressors. If they are overeating talk with them about their feelings. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, consult with a psychologist to help you help your child with their emotional reasons.
- Don’t eat while watching TV - this promotes mindless eating and studies also show that eating while watching leads to weight gain. You also don’t enjoy the food as much.
- Always eat as a family – this prevents overeating and reduces eating in isolation which can lead to problematic eating patterns for children. Enjoy your time together as you share meals.
- Do the same thing as your child and make the process fun and light! They learn from you.
If your child is dealing with health issues and is medically classified as overweight or obese you can get more tips through our Fit Family System.