Parenting today is no easy business. Read through the following nutrition mistakes and see which ones you’ve been guilty of.

Your force your child to clean his or her plate.

Healthy children have the ability to identify exactly when they are hungry and how much they need to eat. Studies have shown that children of all ages eat more when served larger portions of food.

What to do? Don’t encourage your child to eat everything on his or her plate. Serve your child small to medium sized meals (with the exception of vegetables) and let your child decide how much to eat based on hunger and satiety (meaning when the child is feeling full).

You use sweets to reward good behavior.

You already know that getting your picky-eater to eat vegetables is sometimes an impossible feat. The quick and easy solution to this problem is bribery. Unfortunately, though, this tactic only teaches children that lentils or broccoli are a chore to be endured, whereas sweets are a reward.

What to do? Try combining legumes and vegetables with other favorite foods, in smaller quantities at first.

You completely forbid sweets.

Healthy people should not be forbidden things, and the same holds for healthy children. Besides, prohibition usually brings about undesirable results.

What to do? Allow your child to enjoy an occasional chocolate bar at snack time (1-2 times per week). Choose sweets that have milk and fruit.

Empty calories.

A high percentage of children today get their daily required calories through the consumption of sugary beverages, like soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit beverages and fruit juices. The problem is that most of these beverages only provide empty calories and a feeling of hunger.

What to do? Avoid purchasing beverages like the ones mentioned above so that they are not easily accessible to your children and keep healthier options available like healthy homemade smoothies.

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Christine Johnson
Christine Johnson is a detox drink extraordinaire. She is an unprecedented optimist who lives in the world of people possibilities and is committed to helping you live better and longer, gain confidence and make the haters jealous. She prefers to be swimming in Greece, but also likes hiking, flying, and is strongly considering taking up Tae Kwon Do. See more of Christine’s work at whatdetox.com.