If you’re the parent of an 11 year old, you’re likely familiar with the challenge of getting your child to eat a balanced diet. While it can be difficult to encourage healthy eating habits, it’s important to make sure your 11 year old is getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy. Here are some tips for what to feed your 11 year old.
Variety Is Key
One of the most important things to remember when feeding an 11 year old is to offer variety. This means providing a variety of foods, colors, and flavors. Make sure to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid overly processed foods, such as chips and candy, which are high in fat, salt, and sugar and can lead to weight gain and other health issues.
Encourage your 11 year old to try new foods by preparing meals with a wide range of ingredients. Consider adding some new flavors and textures to meals, like herbs and spices, nuts, and seeds. This can help make meals more interesting and appealing.
Include Nutritious Snacks
Snacks can be part of a healthy diet for an 11 year old. Choose snacks that are made from whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, yogurt, and cheese. These foods are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, and they can provide energy and help keep hunger at bay between meals.
When it comes to snacks, it’s important to keep your child’s portion sizes in mind. Offer snacks that are no more than 200 calories, and try to limit snacks to two per day. Avoid sugary and processed snacks, as these can lead to tooth decay and unhealthy weight gain.
Make Mealtime Fun
Mealtime can be a fun experience for 11 year olds. To make it more enjoyable, involve your child in the cooking process. Have them help out with meal planning, shopping, and cooking. This can help make mealtime more interesting and can also teach them healthy eating habits.
You can also make mealtime more enjoyable by having family meals. This can help foster a sense of togetherness and encourage your 11 year old to eat healthy. You can even make a game out of it and have everyone take turns trying new foods or recipes.
Limit Screen Time
It’s important to limit your 11 year old’s screen time. Studies have shown that too much screen time can lead to unhealthy eating habits. Too much time spent in front of a computer or television can lead to overeating or snacking on unhealthy foods. To help encourage healthy eating habits, limit your child’s screen time to two hours per day.
Encourage physical activity instead of screen time. This will help your 11 year old stay active and maintain a healthy weight. You can also make physical activity more enjoyable by playing sports or going for walks or bike rides together.
Be a Good Role Model
It’s also important to be a good role model for your 11 year old. Show them that eating healthy can be fun and delicious. Prepare healthy meals that everyone can enjoy and talk to your child about the importance of healthy eating. You can also show them how to prepare healthy meals, so they can learn how to cook for themselves.
Finally, be sure to listen to your 11 year old when it comes to food. Don’t force them to eat something they don’t want to eat. Instead, work with them to find healthy alternatives. This will help your child develop a healthy relationship with food and learn to make nutritious choices.
Feeding an 11 year old can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. By providing variety, including nutritious snacks, making mealtime fun, limiting screen time, and being a good role model, you can help your child develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.