How to Tempt 12 Year Child to Eat Healthy?
Created by Nandini Muralidharan Updated on Nov 10, 2021
Is your 12 year old a fussy eater? Does she prefer to have sweets or junk food rather than fruits and vegetables? Does feeding your preteen a constant struggle in your home? Does she say 'no' to healthy food? If the answers to all these questions are yes.
If you thought teenagers are tricky, then delicate transition from a child to a teenager – your preteen – will surprise you. They aren’t all grown up, but they think they are. And a significant area of power struggle is food. Saying ‘no’ to anything you put in front of them becomes a daily feature.
Ways to Encourage Child to Eat Healthy
Here are some tips to help you tempt them into eating healthy and developing this into a lifelong habit.
#1. Don’t Completely Ban the Sweets and treats –
If you have a no sweets policy at home, you can be sure that your child will anyway indulge without your knowledge. Access isn’t an issue, what with the school cafeterias and the neighborhood bakeries offering affordable treats. Make sure you ration them out, while explaining the reason behind why these need to be eaten in small quantities.
#2. Make healthy food ‘seen’ –
Keep a bowl of walnuts on the dining table when your child is at home. When they open the fridge, let them see a bowl of fruit salad instead of ice cream. Keep granola bars and crackers in the cookie jar. This seems too easy, but once you make a routine of it, your child will automatically start choosing these foods.
#3. Cook Together –
It’s never too early to get your child to help in the kitchen. Why not have a fun cooking session and tell her about what goes into a healthy meal? Whip up some veggie noodles with lots of carrot and peas instead of the instant kind. Or make a fruit custard together. When the child is involved in the preparation, she will definitely want to enjoy the fruits of her labour.
#4. Take Their Preferences into Consideration –
Many a time, a child refuses to eat certain foods. It may be the taste, or the texture or some other reason. Respect her preferences and try and find a nutritional alternative. If your child doesn’t like curd, try an extra portion of paneer or an extra glass of milk instead.
#5. Set the Example–
When you sit down to a meal together every day, make sure you don’t complain about having to eat broccoli or spinach. If you whine, so will your child. And it gives them the liberty of turning it down. And don’t compare your child to any other. Asking her why she can’t eat well like her friend is not going to help, and will instead send out the message that you think she isn’t good enough.
These are few tips to tempt your 12 year old into healthy eating. If you have any more such ideas please do share with us in the comments section below. Happy parenting!
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