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Healthy eating habits: 4 myths and facts!

Myth 1: Children eat what they like
Fact: Children develop taste according to what is served and by mirroring parents’ behaviour and give into peer pressure.
If you don’t want your child to eat junk food all the time, limit your visits to the burger and pizza outlets. Follow a set routine and time for having meals, and let chips, cola, burger, pizza, etc. be an occasional treat. Set home rules for meal time, eat as a family, and let your child pick up good table manners. When my child insists he wants chips or chocolates seeing other kids, I praise him for his good eating habits and we decide a day/time to treat his taste buds with the same!
Myth 2: It’s not healthy for kids to eat too much red meat and eggs
Fact: Adults may need to cut back on eating red meat and eggs, but kids generally don’t.
Poultry and meat is excellent source of protein with plenty of iron and zinc and other essential nutrients for growing children. While it is healthy to consume eggs and meat, you may omit egg yolk, fried chicken, or oily gravies.
Myth 3: Kids love to eat the same foods over and over
Fact: Kids do enjoy eating some foods repeatedly but they also crave variety and new things.
My child loves to have Chinese food from the same restaurant over and over again. However, I know for sure that if today, it’s Chinese food; tomorrow it’ll be dosa, and next he’ll be hooked to having aloo parathas every morning! Till I introduce some exciting pancakes or pasta next. Remember, kids have a strong instinct to experience new flavours and go overboard if they like something at the first attempt.
Myth 4: When a child rejects a food, there’s no point in serving it again
Fact: Research shows that a toddler may have to try a new food 15 times before she’ll eat more than a spoonful. Sigh!
At times, children may mirror their parents’ behaviour-if a parent is a fussy eater or just declare his/her love or hatred for something. It’s good to offer new foods as many times as you can and be prepared to take “No” for an answer.
A trick I follow is to engage my boy in some activity or talk while I introduce a new food item. If he says no, I volunteer to feed him, and most of the time, it works! There have been times when he has surprised me by saying, “Not bad,” before he can pick up how and how much to eat in each bite.

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