The present article is the first one in our series on “ Proactive Moms” who can make quality shifts in her parenting skills. She empowers herself to control a situation or an issue before it escalates into a problem behavior in her child/children.
Today, our focus is on healthy foods that are provided by proactive Moms. The article is divided in three parts, and Part I is presented herein.
Children develop likes or dislikes of foods through their sight and, taste and feel in the mouth. Before a mother starts the process of introducing healthy foods, she has to look inward and ask herself some questions which help her gauge the philosophy and attitude needed to be proactive in this situation.
The checklist that follows does is not given in any order:
Self check for Mom
- Will you ask yourself the reason why you really want to introduce the new/healthy food to your child?
- Will you promise yourself to invest time and effort in approaching/tackling the said situation of providing healthy foods to your child?
- Will you be prepared to take some action if an adult in your family shows aversion to some foods in front of your child?
- Are you prepared to invest time and energy in preparing creative dishes for the child?
- Do you keep your child’s preferences in mind, while shopping for foods?
- Are you prepared to read upon different options and substitutes in elements of food groups as and when necessary because they are beneficial to your child?
- Are you open to occasionally involve your child in different processes (at his/her level) of preparing a recipe with a healthy food item?
- Will you first ask your child’s pediatrician and the nutritionist to test the child for nutritional requirements and suggest a proper diet? We urge you to try this.
There are many facets to the issue of introducing new/healthy foods to young children.
First, the mother has to examine her philosophy and attitude before encouraging her child to eat a balanced meal. In other words, she needs to use appropriate proactive behaviors e.g. She should introduce a healthy food only to complete a balanced diet for her child and, not because it is new in the market!
She also has to meet the family members and encourage everyone on a regular basis to eat a balanced diet and welcome new foods because they are healthy.
It would help a lot, if a mother takes her child to the market to soak in the vibrant colors of vegetables and fruits or pulses and legumes. This will develop happy associations with foods in general.
In other words, the child and the family members should develop a positive attitude to foods as they promote health and wellness.
Next time, we will deal with Part II of this topic.
Happy shopping for Foods!