Want Your Kids To Follow Intuitive Eating Exercise? Try These 4 Practical Tips

Sameer C
·5-min read

The relationship kids build with food at an early age determines how they will handle food as they grow up. When your child has a long-lasting and positive relationship with food, you’ve made them realise the importance of nutrition from different sources. At the same time, you’ve opened them up to a newer palette of tastes. So they are more likely to try different cuisines and develop a curiosity towards new foods as they grow up.

Creating a positive relationship with food will also help your kid develop a favourable relationship with their body. They learn to accept their body for what it is and not the superficial standards that the world is telling them to achieve. And that does help in creating a strong sense of self-worth in the long term.

That’s why fostering a positive relationship with food becomes an important milestone for your little one when growing up. But how do you exactly achieve this? The answer is, through intuitive eating exercise. It is the process of eating to honour one’s own body wisdom.

To get your child to have a nutritious meal and help them understand the importance of food, here are four ways you can incorporate intuitive eating exercise in their daily food habits.

4 Practical Ways To Incorporate Intuitive Eating Exercise

1. Hunger for taste vs tummy

intuitive eating exercise
intuitive eating exercise

Image Source: Pexels

There are two types of eating habits in children. One for the taste and the other for the tummy. The former is about satisfying the taste buds and is more about the sensation of craving something based on the taste alone.

Meanwhile, hunger for the tummy is about having a balanced meal that not only fills your little one up but also provides the right nutrition to help him grow.

With intuitive eating exercise, you provide the control to make food choices with your little one. However, it’s important that your child knows the difference between hunger for taste vs tummy.

  • If your child is craving something particular, ask him about what exactly he is craving for. With mouth hunger, it’s about instant gratification and the mouth likes to find something that’s crunchy, chewy, or sweet.

  • You need to explain to your kids how tummy hunger is all about empowering them. It helps build muscles, promote growth and quench their hunger in a proper fashion.

It’s important that you speak to your kids about this and also how it affects the body. It’s also a great place to talk about different body types. So different children can have different food choices, and that should be respected at all times.

2. Discover new foods through intuitive eating exercise

intuitive eating exercise
intuitive eating exercise

Image Source: Pexels

Following intuitive eating exercise is also a great way to develop a deeper appreciation for different foods and also branch out from regular diet to try new things.

Let your kid have a go at different cuisines, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and more. This will help them learn more about different foods.

It will open their taste buds to a variety of food choices, making them aware of the most nutrient-dense (and tasty) treats out there.

Kids will not only have different food choices to get their nutrition, but also develop healthy habits as they continue to grow.

3. No food is forbidden during the intuitive eating exercise

intuitive eating exercise
intuitive eating exercise

Image Source: Pexels

In our quest to get our children to eat the right foods, we often label a certain food item as “forbidden.” It is likely that the child will only grow more curious and will binge it. If not today then at some point in his future life.

Kids should know the difference between food that’s good for their health and the ones that are just to please the taste buds. But at no point should there be a label such as “good or bad food.”

Children will crave “junk food” from time to time and it is all right to indulge in the same on certain occasions. The whole idea of intuitive eating exercise is that children are aware of what nutritious food is and what isn’t. This method helps bring in a certain degree of self-discipline.

However, when you label certain foods as “bad,” you bring a certain level of guilt associated with eating it.

Kids need not feel guilty about their food choices but need to understand the difference between consuming a tasty meal vs a nutritious meal and its effects on the body.

Remember, having a balanced diet isn’t just about having the most balanced meal, it needs to be a mix of everything from time to time. This way children can adapt to different food choices as they grow up.

4. Give your child freedom to make food choices

intuitive eating exercise
intuitive eating exercise

Image Source: Pexels

Giving your kids the freedom to decide what they want to eat and what they don’t want is an important activity at the dinner table. It helps build a relationship of trust between the parents and children during mealtimes.

This is particularly important when kids can be apprehensive about trying something new or are averse to eating something.

While the choice to eat a particular food rests with the child, parents also need to make sure that kids do not drop foods from their personal palette.

Most kids will choose to say, “I don’t like this” or “This is yuck,” to avoid certain foods. If you are allowing them to choose their food habits, you also need to set the rules that no food is off-limits during mealtime.

Establish a rule where your kid cannot say he does not like a particular food. Instead, allow kids to say “that’s not for me today.” While it may feel similar to the ear, it actually removes the negative connotation associated with the food.

Saying “that’s not for me today” is better than a complete “no,” which creates a mental block in your child’s mind. They are less likely to try that food again in the future. However, when they say “it’s not for me,” you can always respond with “ok, you can try it again next time.”

That way, your child is more likely to give that food a try in the future when the taste buds and food choices evolve.

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