Seven Feeding Mistakes Parents Make

April 24, 2019
Children need a well-balanced diet for their proper growth and development. However, it's easy to make these common mistakes that could easily turn into bad habits for your kids.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the seven most common feeding mistakes when it comes to feeding children.

The First Months of Life

During the first six months of human life, a baby should only feed on breast milk. It will provide the necessary nutrients and will also contribute to the strengthening and development of their digestive tract and immune system.

After this period, you should slowly begin to introduce other types of food in their diet. However, the way you go about this will shape the future taste and eating habits of your children. Keep in mind that you’re their example to follow, as they’ll try to copy everything you do when you eat – and pretty much everything else you do.

Most adults have a fast-paced life, but you should keep in mind that it in no way should interfere with your establishment of a good eating routine. It’s the foundation of a healthy lifestyle in your children.

Check also: 13 Foods That Will Improve Your Children’s Concentration

Seven Common Feeding Mistakes Parents Make

Serving Incomplete Breakfasts

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it prepares the body to start the day with plenty of energy. So, children should eat a nutritious breakfast daily before sending them off to school.

Unfortunately, your fast-paced lifestyle may lead you to simplify the hearty breakfast they should have. Many parents just give their children juice or cookies or sugary cereals. Unfortunately, this will greatly affect the academic performance of your children and their health.

Children should eat a full breakfast that meets their energy needs. It must contain fiber, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Some great options are whole-grain, natural cereal, yogurt, a sandwich made with wholemeal bread and ham, turkey or cheese, and a portion of fruit.

A proper breakfast will increase their concentration and memory, and improve their ability to learn. It’ll also prevent obesity.

You might be interested: 5 Foods You Shouldn’t Give Your Children for Breakfast

Lack of Structure and Meal Times

A child with a bowl of cereal.

Routines are healthy and a good discipline method for children. We must teach them how to carry out their small daily tasks, assume responsibilities and create healthy eating habits.

Establishing a meal schedule balances the child’s appetite and digestion, and they learn the importance of discipline. In addition to that, meals will become that special moment they share with their family.

Children should have five meals a day. That includes three main meals and two snacks. This will help them better assimilate the nutrients and prevent obesity.

Serving Them Adult Food Portions

Yes, you’d like for your children to grow big and strong. However, that doesn’t mean they should eat more than they need. Serving adult portions to children is a big mistake, although it’s easily avoidable.

Children don’t have the same stomach capacity and the same nutritional need as adults do. However, how many parents fill their children’s plates in such a way that they either overeat or reject eating altogether?

Avoid promoting excess weight in your children and educate them on how to eat properly keeping in mind their particular needs.

Processed Foods vs Fruits and Vegetables

From a very early age, children begin to focus their preferences on “tasty” industrially processed products. Most of these foods are rich in fats and chemical additives that make them addictive.

It’s your duty as a parent to keep these products away from your home and to otherwise try to control their consumption at school and other places they may frequent. Feed your child vegetables and fruits in their most varied forms.

If you want for your child to grow strong and healthy, then make sure to provide them with a balanced diet rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, lipids, and minerals.

Rewarding with Unhealthy Foods

A plate of cutsy sandwiches.

Even though most of us recognize the benefits of good nutrition, we often reward our children with treats that are extremely sugary or salty or high in trans fats. Regardless of the fact that these foods don’t provide nutrients, note that they also contain several addictive chemicals.

Research shows that eating “yummy” processed foods triggers the pleasure centers of the brain and releases “feel-good” chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. This can lead to addiction in the long term.

So, avoid offering “prizes” for children who eat their real fruits and veggies. Otherwise, you’ll be reinforcing the idea that they’re a form of punishment.

There are many delicious alternatives to industrial products out there. Do a search for recipes online.

Taking Children Away from the Kitchen

A child’s contribution may be small, but they can mix a sauce or add a little salt here and there. For children, it’s very fun and stimulating to eat what they helped prepare.

This is an excellent strategy to motivate them to try new foods. In addition, they develop responsibility by learning to share domestic chores.

Of course, you should take safety measures when they handle sharp utensils. Always teach them how to use them safely instead of forbidding their use. There are many easy and nutritious recipes that you and your little ones can make together.

Repeating the Presentation and the Flavors

Both the eye and the nose are the first organs to be stimulated at dinner time. A colorful plate will be very interesting to a child and their curiosity will prompt them to try the food in it.

All you need is a little creativity and tweaking here and there.

Do try to present the food in different ways. For example, lentils are great to make soups, hamburgers, and spreads. Meanwhile, pumpkins can be eaten as cream, a sauce on pasta or even on a cheesecake.

Try new seasonings and the taste experience will improve, not only for your child, but also for your entire family.

Final Recommendations

We hope this article will be helpful to you.

If you have any questions regarding the feeding of your children, then consult your pediatrician. They can further guide you on the best way to implement good habits and avoid feeding mistakes that will affect your children.