Useful Tips

How to teach children to eat healthy


  1. Parental control. Who goes to the store and buys products? You yourself? Then all the blame for malnutrition of children can be blamed. No child will go hungry. Children will eat everything they find in lockers and a refrigerator. So if you have little wholesome food in your kitchen, then you need to review your standard shopping list.
  2. Let the baby choose. On the one hand, it may seem too unusual and even wrong to ask a child what and how much he wants. But if you stick to the daily routine with a fixed time for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, cook deliciously and variably, then the child will choose from what is. It’s not difficult to have a pack or two of whole-grain pasta and, say, rice in the kitchen. Offer to choose a side dish from these two options, and it will be useful in any case.
  3. Do not force to eat up. Let the child decide for himself whether he is full or not. Only in this way can a person learn to understand himself and avoid overeating.
  4. Begin to cultivate the right eating habits of your baby from birth. Food addictions are laid at an early age, literally from the moment of the introduction of the first complementary foods. Therefore, do not insist on any “such useful cauliflower” if you do not want your child to be able to look at her for the rest of her life. If the baby does not want mashed squash today, do not force-feed. Offer it in a week or two, and perhaps your child will try it.
  5. Diversify the children's menu. In fact, children love more than just cookies and pasta with sausages. Offer them something completely new at home or let yourself choose in a cafe. You will be surprised how much children love to experiment.
  6. Count liquid calories. Carbonated sugary drinks contain a huge amount of calories that do not carry nutritional value. Gradually replace soda with water, milk and stewed fruit. So you not only satisfy the thirst of the child, but also provide him with the necessary vitamins and minerals.
  7. Do not overestimate the dessert. If each meal ends with a “delicious delicious dessert that I spent half a day”, then the child begins to perceive the third dish as something special. And this incredible one begins to want more and more, and ordinary food, especially vegetables, - less and less. Do not focus on any food, and then the child will not beg for sweets with or without.
  8. Do not try to express your love for the child through food. It’s much better to just say once again how you love him. If you use food (for example, some special dishes) as an encouragement or an occasion to delight a child, then most likely he will develop a habit of seizing stress and celebrating any events with feasts with age.
  9. Set an example. Children, especially small ones, repeat everything after adults. It is difficult to teach a child to eat broccoli and brown rice if you yourself prefer pies and sandwiches. Change the diet of the whole family, gradually replacing harmful or unhealthy dishes with tasty and nutritious ones. Use kitchen appliances such as a crock-pot, hot grill, and a double boiler. They allow you to cook food without adding or with a minimal amount of oil, very few vitamins are lost during the processing, and the dishes are very tasty. If the whole family eats the right and tasty food, then the child will be.
  10. Limit time spent watching TV and computer. Using this method, you will be able to reduce the number and volume of snacks, which are also often not always useful. And it’s better not just to forbid the child to watch cartoons, but to go for a walk with him or play outdoor games. Kids love it a lot more.

How to teach water and milk

Healthy food undoubtedly improves the child’s mood and well-being.

For children of any age, the best way to quench your thirst is to drink a glass of plain water or milk. And not only because there are absolutely no calories in water, and there is a lot of calcium in milk, but because it is possible to form the right habit to use milk and water, and not soda, to quench thirst.

Here, for example, the body's need for calcium for children of different ages:

  1. Babies from 1 year to 3 years - 700 mg of calcium daily (480 ml of milk).
  2. Children from 3 to 8 years old - 1000 mg (600 ml of milk).
  3. Children and adolescents over 9 years old - 1300 mg (720 ml of milk).

It is better to choose skim milk or milk with a low fat content, so you trim extra calories.

If your child does not like milk, then try making a milkshake by adding some berries or fruits, such as strawberries or bananas. This smoothie is easy to make, it is tasty and sweet enough, and it also contains additional vitamins and minerals.

If children drink a lot of soda, sports drinks, juices and juice drinks, then they get not only a huge amount of sugar and empty calories, but also begin to consume less milk and other dairy products (for example, kefir), depriving themselves of the necessary calcium. In addition, excess calories can lead to obesity and serious health problems (diabetes, hypertension).


Studies show that 7 out of 10 parents are well aware that their own diet in many respects affects the nutritional preferences of children. However, only 10% of the respondents wanted to start eating differently in order to set an example for the child.

My clients often say that they have to cook two or three different dishes to suit the preferences of all family members. This is real madness! From healthy products (especially vegetables) you can prepare delicious dishes that children will surely like. Do not be afraid to experiment, taste the dishes, and the children will follow your example.


Ideally, all members of the family should come together during lunch, breakfast, and dinner. Nothing should distract you, turn off the TV and phones.

Ask the children to help you, discuss where these products come from, how they are produced or grown. This is a great opportunity to tell children exactly what they eat and why it is good. Ask what the taste of food is for them and what exactly they like about it.

When the whole family is at the table, it's time to chat with the children, discuss the events of the day and better know what is happening in their life.


Young children (up to three years old) can teach us a lot. Usually at this age they have not yet formed an emotional attitude to food. They don’t worry about eating too little or too much. They eat when they want, and if mom permits, they will stop as soon as they are full. They do not care about the set time for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they will return to food as soon as they get hungry.

When parents do not intervene, young children eat slowly, chewing food thoroughly and enjoying the process. They take what they currently want and eat only until they are full.


Young children are curious and almost instinctively able to choose the right menu for themselves - this was proved by a study conducted in 1939. A group of children under three was given complete freedom in the choice of dishes, they offered 34 different products: potatoes, beef, chicken, carrots, cereals, bananas, milk. Children could eat anything without any intervention from adults.

The results of the experiment amazed the researchers. The kids did not at all try to get more sweets for themselves, they were primarily attracted to nutritious and healthy foods. In experiments that were carried out during the period of active growth, children preferred protein-rich foods, and during periods of maximum activity - foods rich in fats and carbohydrates.

Children with mononucleosis ate more than raw beef, carrots and beets. And one child who suffered from a serious vitamin D deficiency started drinking fish oil himself until he recovered. After completing the experiments, one of the doctors stated that these children were the healthiest he had ever seen.

We are limited only by our own thoughts. We are used to thinking that babies will never eat this or that, but if you follow these tips, you can switch to healthier foods yourself and learn how to get more pleasure from food and to inspire children with your own example.

Get rid of old beliefs and ideas that limit you, and you will succeed!

Karina Melvin - Psychologist and psychotherapist, member of the Irish Psychological Society, a specialist in the treatment of problems related to nutrition and overweight. Her site.

Pay attention to your own body attitude.

You love your body, every centimeter of it, no matter how it looks in the mirror. Most of us are influenced by an obsession with harmony, and therefore we strictly judge ourselves. Often, when parents see the child starting to gain weight, they transfer all their anxieties and worries to him, fearing that he will have problems with weight all his life. Unfortunately, our fears are transmitted to our children, and they begin to feel that something is wrong with them. Therefore, try to be positive about your body, so as not to convey to your children a sense of shame that you look "not good enough."

Explain to the child that the media shows false images.

Please note that all models apply a lot of cosmetics for photographs on the covers of magazines, that is, they are simply not real. There are awesome videos worth showing to your children. This video is “Dove Beauty Evolution” (how an ordinary young woman turns into a model using cosmetics) and the video “Photoshop Effect” (showing how widespread Photoshop is and how it created unrealistic standards of beauty with which we compare ourselves).

Learn good eating habits

Understand that no matter what you do, your children will do the same. If you drink sweet sparkling water, they will also drink it. If you eat healthy food, so will they. If you consider a healthy diet as limiting yourself to something, look at it from the other side. Your bad eating habits are passed on to the child. Aren't you ready to change to protect your child? Improving your well-being and well-groomed appearance will be a good reward for you and your children.

Do not talk about diets

Do not go on diets. Just eat healthy foods and make regular exercise a part of your life. Studies show that diets do not work. They cause a feeling of deprivation and longing, which, after the end of the diet, provoke overeating. And they negatively affect the metabolism. Therefore, "staying on a diet" almost always gain weight, and lose it next time becomes even more difficult.

Teach your child self-control. Start by listening to your own body: “Do I want to sit still?” When a child wants sweets instead of just saying “no,” convince him that he can eat sweets another time: “The bakery will not go anywhere, we will go there on special occasions, and not every day.” Studies show that this approach avoids negativity and gives strength in order to opt for a healthy diet.

Learn new trends in nutrition

The percentage of overweight people has more than doubled over the past century and continues to grow. Similarly, the number of people with various diseases caused by obesity has increased. The culprits are our sedentary lifestyle, high stress levels, large portions of food and our evolutionary tendency to accumulate additional fat reserves in case of hungry time.

Healthy child nutrition: 12 good tips

All children are attracted diversity. Each meal, offer your child new additives to already tested and familiar foods. Come up with strange names for dishes, intertwining them with the plots and heroes of his favorite fairy tales. In no case do not put pressure on the child. Remember that even an adult has favorite and least favorite foods. The child also has the right to do so.

Create compromise menu. Once again, your child requires a sandwich with chocolate paste, sausages, a sweet bun and doesn’t even want to listen about vegetable soup or a piece of fish fillet? Try to create new dishes based on his favorite, but with the addition of healthy products. For example, add finely chopped tomatoes and a little cheese to the pasta. And put pieces of fruit on a sandwich with chocolate paste.

Cook brightly. From various products you can create a whole palette of colors. Make your child’s plate colorful and colorful. Combine red tomatoes with chicken yolks, green peas with orange carrots. Play at the Rainbow Restaurant and have your child order a dinner of a particular color. Try to “complete the order” as accurately as possible.

Learn to mask. He doesn’t want to eat anything except a bun? Spread it with mashed fruit. Requires ketchup? Add the red bell pepper crushed in the blender. He wants a milkshake - make it based on yogurt or kefir.

Bring your child to purchasing products. Show where the desired department is located - meat or vegetable, as this or that product is called, demonstrate how fresh carrots look, and how spoiled and decayed. Invite the child to choose some of the most beautiful apples, in his opinion, and put them in the basket.

At home together lay out and sort products that he himself chose from the package. Ask your child to help you wash the vegetables. Show on which shelves in the refrigerator or cabinet there are certain products. Invite him to put his purchases in the right places. If a product is new for a child, repeat its name several times to remember it.

Involve children in a feasible and interesting help in the kitchen: peel the beans, peel the boiled eggs, pick black “monsters” from buckwheat groats. Older children can even be instructed to whisk the pancake with a broom. Most likely, the kitchen and the "culinary" will be sprinkled with dough, but the pancakes that you prepared together will be special for him.

Become a model of healthy eating for your child. If you eat healthy food, your baby will do the same. If you make frequent snacks, the child also reaches out for a sandwich or cookie. If you want a snack, let it be only wholesome food and not less than an hour before lunch or dinner. Turn off the TV at the table and focus on food. As parents behave at the table during meals, the child will do so in the future.

Do not put ultimatums! “If you don’t eat your porridge, you won’t get dessert.” It might work, more than once. But with this condition, you inspire your child with the idea that everything he eats before dessert is a punishment, and only dessert itself is a pleasant and tasty food.

Do not forget to deposit game elements. Boiled vegetables carved in the shape of funny figures will become a real holiday for the child. Sauce can be drawn on a plate of funny ghosts. And never scold a child for food. At the table, he should receive exclusively positive emotions. Only in this case, the child will wait for the next meal, as a small holiday, and not as an unbearable obligation. Healthy nutrition for a child can be interesting!

Do not forget to praise a child. And in no case do not scold the dirty table and clothes. Otherwise, next time he will focus not on food, but on how to drip on the tablecloth. Such “clean” dinners will turn into a continuous meal.

Know how to concede to the child, even if, under the favorable conditions created by you, he still refuses to eat. The child must understand that adults respect and listen to his desires. Otherwise, it will make him unhappy. Of course, this does not mean that instead of broccoli soup, you should immediately hand the child a chocolate bar. Just put off the meal for a while, get up from the table, read a book, play, go for a walk. In preschool, children usually only eat when they are hungry. After some time, return to the same soup - perhaps the baby didn’t have enough of these few hours (minutes) to “whet the appetite”.

If you know any other secrets how to feed a whim, there are several original recipes for the children's menu or interesting ideas for decorating dishes, please write about this in the comments

The calorie and sugar content of various drinks

  • Water (1 cup) - 0 calories and 0 g of sugar.
  • Milk with a low percentage of fat (1 cup) - 100 calories and 11 g of sugar.
  • Freshly squeezed orange juice (1 cup) - 110 calories and 22 g of sugar.
  • A juice drink containing 10% juice (1 cup) - 150 calories and 38 g of sugar.
  • Carbonated sweet drink (1 cup) - 100 calories and 27 g of sugar.

Juice consumption rates for children of different ages:

  1. Up to 6 months - juice is not administered. Основной и единственной пищей ребенка должно являться грудное молоко или смесь, а также простая кипяченая вода при необходимости.
  2. 6–12 месяцев – не более 120 мл сока, можно разводить водой.
  3. 1–6 лет – до 200 мл в день.
  4. 7–18 лет – до 350 мл в день.

Ограничьте количество газированных напитков

Разнообразные лимонады и колы частенько покупаются детям. But not always parents remember that soda contains a lot of sugar and acid, which can lead to caries and obesity. Moreover, such drinks often contain caffeine, and its children definitely do not need to consume. It is believed that the sooner the child has tried soda, the more difficult it is to wean him from her and the more he will drink it in the future.

It is worth noting that it is not necessary to categorically ban a child lemonade. If this is a child under 7 years old, then just try not to give it a try, if it is an older child, then explain why you do not like soda, how harmful it is and offer a tasty choice: iced tea with honey and lemon, milkshake or homemade compote.

More about the culture of baby food in the program "School of Dr. Komarovsky":