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Tips for Creating Positive & Happy Mealtime Habits for Your Fussy Kids

A child's development greatly depends on their diet. It is frequently overlooked that this is the time when we form habits that serve us and remain ingrained throughout our lives. Sometimes, mealtime can be a challenging experience for parents with fussy kids. And it's important to realize that kids have small tummies, lots of activity, and short attention spans. Make feeding them simple and make sure that everything they eat is healthy. Stock the house and kitchen with protein rich nourishment for youngsters bites that the children can get to effectively and urge them to help themselves. Nuts (check for allergies first), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax, and sesame can all be included in any dishes), and fun things that they enjoy are simple examples.

However, establishing positive mealtime habits is crucial for the overall well-being and nutrition of your children. Incorporating lentils, seeds and nuts into their diet can be an excellent way to provide essential nutrients and encourage healthy eating habits. In this blog post, we will explore some effective tips to help you navigate mealtimes with your fussy kids into their diet.

Create a Positive Environment

One of the first steps in developing positive mealtime habits is to create a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere during meals. Avoid distractions such as television or electronic devices that can take away from the focus on eating. Make sure the dining area is comfortable, inviting, and free from unnecessary disturbances. Positive surroundings can help your child feel more open to trying new foods, including seeds and nuts.

Make it Fun and Interactive  

Transform mealtime into a fun and interactive experience. Get creative with presentations by arranging seeds and nuts in colorful patterns or shapes. Create trail mixes with a variety of nuts, seeds such as , and dried fruits for a healthy and exciting snack option. Encourage your child to participate in food preparation, such as shelling peanuts or stirring nut butter. By involving them in the process, you can spark their curiosity and make eating seeds and nuts an enjoyable experience.

Involve Your Child in Meal Planning

Engage your child in meal planning and preparation. Take them grocery shopping and let them choose fruits, vegetables, and other healthy ingredients like pulses seeds. When children have a say in what they eat, they are more likely to be invested in the mealtime experience. Encourage them to select different types of pulses, seeds and nuts to try out, allowing them to explore various flavors and textures.

Introduce Pulses, Seeds and Nuts Gradually

If your child is hesitant to try pulses, seeds and dry druits(nuts), introduce them gradually. Start by incorporating small amounts into familiar dishes, such as sprinkling chia seeds on top of yogurt or adding crushed nuts to baked goods and adding different colors of pulses in salads. As your child becomes more comfortable with these additions, you can gradually increase the quantity and experiment with different recipes. It's essential to be patient and persistent, as it may take several attempts for your child to develop a taste for these nutritious foods.

Be a Role Model

Children often imitate the eating habits of their parents and caregivers. Set a positive example by including seeds and nuts in your own meals and demonstrating enthusiasm for trying new foods. Show your child that pulses, seeds and nuts are a regular part of a healthy diet and explain the benefits they provide, such as essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. When children observe their role models enjoying these foods, they are more likely to develop an interest in trying them too.

Offer Variety and Flexibility

Children's tastes can change over time, so it's important to offer a variety of seeds and nuts to keep things interesting. Experiment with different types, such as sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, or walnuts. Be open to their preferences and respect their choices while ensuring they still receive a balanced and nutritious diet. Providing a range of options will help your child develop a diverse palate and discover new flavors they enjoy.

The Center Nutrients Required at this Stage are:

  • Protein – 16-20 grams per day – Easily available in, legumes & nuts
  • Healthy fats – Easily available in nuts
  • Calcium – Available in milk, sesame seeds, nuts. Combine all calcium rich foods with dairy (any source of lactic acid) for calcium absorption.
  • Iron – Available in, raisins,  nuts, legumes. 
  • Magnesium – Available in pumpkin seeds, cashews, peanuts, whole grains, brown rice.
  • Zinc – Available in beans, nuts, cashew, lentils
  • Vitamin A – Available in dairy and all coloured fruits and veggies –
  • Vitamin B – especially including vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, B9, B12 - Legumes, Sunflower seeds
  • Vitamin C – Amla Juice

Conclusion

Feeding fussy kids can be a challenging task, but by creating positive mealtime habits, you can encourage healthy eating behaviors and introduce them to the nutritional benefits of seeds and nuts. Remember to create a positive environment, involve your child in meal planning, introduce seeds and nuts gradually, be a role model, make it fun and interactive, and offer variety and flexibility. With patience, persistence, and a bit of creativity, you can help your child develop a love for seeds and nuts, leading to a well-rounded and nutritious diet. By implementing these tips, you can create a positive mealtime experience and foster healthy eating habits that will benefit your child's growth and development.

Remember, every child is different, and it may take time for them to develop a liking for seeds and nuts. Be patient, stay consistent, and celebrate small victories along the way. With your support and guidance, your fussy eater can gradually embrace these nutritious foods and develop a positive relationship with mealtime.

So, start incorporating seeds and nuts into your child's diet today and watch them flourish with a well-balanced and wholesome eating routine. Together, let's create positive mealtime habits and lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating for your child.

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