How to instill good eating habits in your children

Your child's digestive system is an amazing system of processes that have a significant impact on his overall health. It converts food into nutrients that nourish the body's cells. When the cells are healthy and functioning well, your child will be able to think, move, play, and learn well.

Your child's digestive system plays a major role in his immune system; an unhealthy digestive system can cause your child to suffer gastrointestinal problems, and he will also be more susceptible to major diseases.

When your child eats something that does not agree with him, he may experience symptoms of stomach discomfort, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, or vomiting.

These days, it is becoming more common for young children to have stomach upsets as a result of poor eating habits. Hence, it is essential that your child develops the right eating habits.

It is easy for your child to develop unhealthy dietary habits during and after school hours. They are more likely to do so after school when they participate in extracurricular activities such as sports practice, and especially at social events with peers.

Parental supervision or guidance in choosing the right food is extremely helpful in avoiding digestive problems that may start at a young age.

Here are some tips to help you mould your child's eating habits:

Parents being good role models

Parents should lead the family in developing healthy eating habits. Good eating habits will include having lots of vegetables and fruits, taking regular meals, and avoiding excessive fatty food. Involve your child in food preparation

Get your child involved in the preparation of family meals. He can help choose vegetables, fruits, meats, and fish at the markets. He can also see the various ingredients used in the preparation of the meals and it will encourage him to eat the meals that he has helped prepare.

In this way, your child will learn much more about healthy nutrition.

Stocking healthy foods and drinks

Stock up your kitchen cabinet and fridge with healthy foods and snacks, such as wholemeal bread, whole grain cereals, fruits, yogurt, milk, and soya bean drinks. This enables them to consume healthy-choice foods.

Have family meals together

There are many benefits if the family can eat together during meal times. Home-cooked food is usually a healthy selection as there are no unhealthy additives. Practise good hygiene

Good personal hygiene at meal times is important, and parents can emphasise the need for cleanliness to their children by getting them to wash their hands before eating. This good habit should be developed as it certainly reduces the likelihood of food poisoning and digestive problems.

Exercise works

Encourage your child to perform physical activities in school and at home. Taking part in sports or games is an excellent way to keep the bowels moving, to improve appetite, and to prevent overweight and obesity.

Drink plenty of water

Your child should be encouraged to drink plenty of water as this will help prevent constipation and also improve digestion. On hot days, or after strenuous exercise, increased sweating requires more water to replace lost bodily fluids.

Ingesting probiotics

Probiotics are a unique form of food supplements which contain large amounts of "good" bacteria which are especially beneficial for the digestive system. They are found in foods such as yoghurt and cultured milk drinks. When taken in adequate amounts they help the intestines digest food, reduce constipation, and prevent abdominal discomfort.

Try to keep all the tips above in mind, and remember, you are what you eat. Not only does good health start with good nutrition, it is a habit that you should encourage in your children from young.