Let’s all accept one big fact. It isn’t easy to raise a child and more so when they are child-ren. There comes a long list of chores and tasks which are so important, you can’t let go of any one of them. One of such task is feeding the child and getting them to eat. Oh, the struggle that mammas go through to implement healthy eating habits in children. Well, let me tell you a little secret. It’s not easy, yes. It is stressful, frustrating and worrisome when you roam around knowing your child hasn’t eaten or isn’t eating properly enough. However, like everything else, change your strategy and mentality so you can make this process fun! Enjoy and let your kid enjoy this journey of eating healthy and learning the rules.

Healthy Eating Habits in Children

Always remember the key to healthy eating habits is to start off from an early age. The habits made at the initial stages are the ones that a child tends to cling on later on in life. You will have a huge burden lifted off your shoulders once your child gets the hang of eating. Here is how you can help yourself and your child develop healthy eating habits.

Recite the prayers for eating

What starts the right way always ends the right way. Make sure to recite the following Dua before eating.

بِسْمِ اللهِ وَ عَلَى بَرَكَةِ الله

(In the name of Allah SWT and with the blessing of Allah SWT do I eat)

and this Dua after you are done

أَلْحَمْدُ لِلهِ الَّذِي أَطْعَمَنَا وَ سَقَانَا وَ جَعَلَنَا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِيْن

(All Praise is for Allah SWT who fed us and quenched our thirst and made us amongst Muslims)

Make it into a habit whether its breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a small snack. Even if its something to drink, ask for Allah’s blessings. Allah will make it easier for you and your child to eat and digest properly. Once your child sees you reciting it regularly they will learn it automatically without any struggle from your side.

Design a place to enforce healthy eating habits

Teach your child to respect the food and their hunger. Choose a specific spot for eating and feed your child only at that specific place. Please, don’t run around stuffing food into their mouth. It will only cause problems for you later on and make them develop an unhealthy and unclean habit.

The only problem is, how to I do this? It isn’t easy to make a child follow such rules without them wailing and throwing tantrums. One thing, a mother wants is to avoid any such tantrums. Well, here is something you can do to motivate your children to eat in one place.

Set their very own little dining table

Kids want fun! Make it fun by arranging a small dining table for eating and make it creative! Take them with you to choose which one they want so they can be more eager to sit and eat there. If you plan to use on old small table already at your place then include them in bringing it back to life. Write their name on it, paste some foody pictures by it and put a kid friendly table cloth over it.

Here are some ideas for cute small tables you can get for your kids

BUy on amazon

This is such a cute little bench your child will love. It also has a capacity to fit a lot of children and it can be used for outdoor picnics as well! You can also fold and store it whenever you want. A pretty nice investment to enforce healthy eating habits in my opinion.

Force feeding will not develop healthy eating habits

Follow this one big tip if you wanna make it easier for your self

TRUST YOUR KIDS WHEN THEY SAY THEY ARE FULL.

Here is why believing such a thing can be hard for parents.

  • My child is still hungry

It’s heartbreaking to know that your child is still hungry and not eating but take it easy on yourself and the child. It may be that what you offered the child is filling enough and he feels full. Remember not to compare childrens portions to each other. Every child has a different appetite and let them stick to that.

Research has shown that force feeding does more harm than good. Pressurising your child to eat can disrupt their development and lead to malnutrition or obesity. Though you may feel otherwise, young children can figure out perfectly well when they are hungry and when they are full except for in very rare cases.

Force feeding will ultimately lead to a frustrated child and result in food throwing which is disrespectful. Also, if the initial experiences of eating are negative, your child may be less inclined to try on new food items.

  • My child shouldn’t waste food and learn how to finish his plate

The other big reason parents force their child to eat is to avoid wasting food. Though this is a healthy eating habit which should be implemented but it is important to do so the right way. The purpose of cleaning the plate is to stay healthy and not waste food. This will be achieved by offering them very small portions which you are sure they are able to finish. Overloading their plate will not make them realise the value of food and will also harm their self regulation later on in life. They will never be able to figure out how much they need to take out and result in over eating.

Don’t be generous with how much you offer your kids, rather, give them a small amount and let them have second servings. This way you can avoid wasting food and teach your child good manners as well.

Give them options for healthy eating

You can make meal time fun and interesting by letting them choose between options. You can do that before you start to cook. For example, ask your child. “What do you think, honey, what should I make today? Pasta or potatoes? Give them something to select so they can feel the confidence in making a decision and feel self assured knowing they had a hand in the decision. They will feel more inclined to eat being the leader than the follower!

However, make sure the options presented are those which you can make at the moment. Don’t make it hard on yourself by giving them no options or an option which you currently don’t have the stamina or ingredients to make.

Include them in your cooking routine

Give your child small and easy tasks while you are preparing the food to include them in the cooking process. Here is what you can do.

  1. Hand them a plastic kid friendly knife and give them something soft which they can easily cut like tomatoes.
  2. Give them a bowl and let them mix something together.
  3. Let them fill and stuff food if that’s the type you are making
  4. Give them a tray and let them assemble and arrange.
  5. Let them pour and sprinkle.

Involving your children will also familiarise them with different utensils and food in the kitchen. Once they know they were part of the process, they will be more eager to have a taste on the outcome.

The first time my son I and I made donuts together, they turned out terrible. However, my son proudly sat down to eat the whole plate and presented it to the rest of the people in the house as well!

Check out these cute kitchen utensils designed specifically for kids!

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This is a whole set for kids which includes the following items

  1. Whisk
  2. Peeler
  3. Tongs
  4. Spatula
  5. Rolling Pin
  6. Pizza Cutter
  7. Pastry Brush
  8. Cookie Turner
  9. Mixing Spoons
  10. Ice cream Scoop
  11. Frosting Spreader
  12. 6 Piece Measuring Spoon
  13. 6 Piece Measuring Cup set
  14. Nylon Plastic Knives in 3 sizes

They are also stainless steel, dishwasher safe and BPA free! Click on the link to get your hands on this set now!

Let them eat themselves

Kids create a mess when they try to eat by themselves. It’s really irritating, I know, but on the bright side, it leads to the child learning many skills.

A child learns hand eye coordination, fine motor skills and being independent. Once, they develop a habit to eat themselves, it will be so much more easier for you. You will never regret it when later on they can comfortably help themselves to their food rather than you stuffing morsels in their mouth waiting for them to swallow.

Expect your child to get dirty and make a mess while they are learning. Take measures beforehand to prevent anything drastic. make them wear a bib and make them sit in their designated spot. Make sure the areas around them are ones which can easily be wiped and cleaned. Trust me, you will see the mess becoming less as time passes and your child grows more accustomed. They will develop a healthy eating habit by feeling more confident and independent.

Also try offering them food items which are easier for them to pick and eat. Like finger foods for instance. Also instead of mixing, try presenting each food item separately so they have a better view of what they are eating. For example, when making chicken bread rolls, give them bread and chicken separately on a plate and see how they like it.

Remember each child is different. Some may like their food mixed and some separate. Go with what they want as long as its not unhealthy.

Check out Kids Eat in Colour for more information.

Trigger healthy eating habits by intriguing utensils

Encourage healthy eating habits by offering them fun and creative utensils to eat. It will motivate them to eat and they will definitely look forward to meal time only so they can have their hands on these amazing pieces.

Here are some kid eating utensils you can get on Amazon.

Buy on Amazon
Buy on amazon

Share your ideas on healthy eating habits in the comment section down below!