Keep track of your child’s body rhythm. When your child seems to be hungry all the time, (“What do you mean you’re hungry, we just had dinner!”), the chances are he is getting ready for a large growth surge and his body is stockpiling.
At this time it is imperative that your child have enough calcium and other nutrients. So often we see children TRAINED out of a preference for milk by their parents, when their bones haven’t finished growing. It’s so sad to watch a mother feeding an infant soda pop in a baby bottle, when the only thing that should be entering that child is milk or water and occasionally fruit juice (this can rot their teeth if given too often). It is a proven fact that carbonated water leaches calcium from the bones.
If your child doesn’t seem to want to eat, don’t force him. Put his leftover plate in the refrigerator so your child can go back for it when hungry again.
After the stage where a lot of food is ingested the body will need lots of rest, and much less food. Your child’s appetite will go away temporarily. If you’re worried about your child not eating, take him to your pediatrician for a check up. If the doctor says your child is in good health, just let your child control the quantity (not quality) of his intake.
Remember, a child will crave food until all his nutritional needs are met. If you feed your child a lot of the wrong fast, or junk foods, the child will crave more food than if you allow him to eat good healthy food.
Never force-feed your child. Your child knows what quantity they need to eat. If you force them to over eat you are creating a child with no stop button. They loose the ability to judge how much they need to eat.
The worst thing for you child’s health is to make them “clean their plate”. Put the plate back in the fridge and when they are hungry again, give it back to them.
It is also a good idea to keep a tray of healthy snacks in the fridge. Such as broccoli, carrots, chicken nuggets, etc. Good finger food that they can have any time they feel hungry.
Many time parents comment, “I’m a single working parent, I barely have the energy to take my child to McDonalds in the evening.” It’s ok to take your child to McDonalds. At McDonalds choose for your child the more powerful foods on the menu. ALWAYS milk, water or orange juice, NOT soda pop. Avoid the greasy French fries that are so addictive.
Your child can abuse his teeth, bones and kidneys with colas later. If you give your child too much juice, soda pop or other sugary drinks you will rot their baby teeth and their adult teeth will not come in properly. That sets your child up for heartache later or a really big orthodontist bill down the road.
If your child’s taste in food has been properly instilled when young, he will prefer the chicken nuggets or chef’s salad to the hamburger or French fries. Sliced apples are a great alternative to french fries.
An excellent meal at McDonalds is the grilled chicken sandwich. It can be ordered with no sauce (contains sugar). A mom can even cut up the grilled chicken for a toddler. That with the bun, lettuce and tomato and a carton of milk make a very good meal. Just forgo the ketchup and mayonnaise. They are both primarily sugar.
Remember, you are in charge of what your child eats. You have the money and the power. The buck stops with you.
At all times remember, you are much bigger, and the child will do as you say unless you have trained your child to scream for what he wants. If your child has been assisted in developing a taste for greens, he will enjoy the chef’s salad which is as good as something you can fix at home, containing chicken, cheese and the all important veggies. These are an extremely well balanced meal for a growing child.
When your child is very young he will chew on whatever you hand him. It’s your choice to hand him a cookie full of sugar or a stalk of broccoli or some parsley. That early you are building your child’s good habits subliminally.
If your child wants a kids meal for the toy, which is most times the case, buy the toy ala carte. They will sell it alone. This allows the child to have what he wants, and the parent the ability to provide a good customized meal.
Do not make your child finish the meal to get the toy. If your child is full, save the rest of the meal for later.
Children not only love finger foods, they can easily manipulate them. Remember, young children will put whatever you hand them into their mouth. This is subliminal parenting.
When children are young they put everything in their mouth. You are the one who determines what that is. Instead of a sugary cracker, give them a carrot, broccoli or a piece of fruit. Prepare it with no dressing and let the child pick what he wants.
NEVER MAKE YOUR CHILD CLEAN HIS PLATE IN ORDER TO GET DESSERT.
If fed properly with good food your child will eat as much as he requires. Save the sugary treats for Sunday, or Friday night at the movies or perhaps a once a week trip to Baskin Robbins. Or never if you really want a healthy fit child.
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