Children can be hard to feed at times and with so much choice now available these feeding tips for 4 – 5 year olds should help you to make healthy choices for your family.
Encourage them to eat healthily and make healthy choices
The best way to do this is by making good food choices yourself and therefore model the behaviour you want to see. If you are unsure what a healthy diet looks like I recommend visiting the NHS Eatwell page.
Relax about having a clear plate
It is alright for children to be picky eaters at this age, they are learning what they like and don’t like so it’s important that they can be allowed to express that. Encourage them to try new things but don’t put pressure on them. Most children grow into new flavours. I know my brother only used to eat potato based products (chips, waffles etc) with tomato ketchup for years but now he has the most adventurous palette out of us all!
Have regular meal times
This encourages routine and discourages snacking, which is one of the main causes of childhood obesity.
Eat together (at a table if possible)
This will create a relaxed environment for everyone to share their day and have some family time together. They also get to copy how you eat.
Teach table manner
At school they will be expected to sit and eat at a table with others so it is important they are taught this at home. It also prepares them for going to a restaurant because you want to feel confident that if you go out to eat, your child won’t be the one who is running around dropping food everywhere!
Encourage them to drink milk and water
These have the most nutritional value and will keep them fuller for longer, thus preventing the between meal snacking. Water is also great for re hydration after activity and milk helps build strong bones.
The habits you teach them now will stay with them throughout their lives so it is important we focus on health and nutrition. Obesity is a real issue in the UK and that is partly due to education on healthy foods. Therefore I recommend that you start with your eating habits and try to make more healthy choices yourself. Your children will follow your lead.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on feeding your 4 to 5 year olds and if these feeding tips have been helpful. Drop me a comment below or come join our Facebook Group.