“Here are 9 tips for you to consider while planning your child’s food habits.”

Start each meal with “Bismillah”

Make sure to teach your kids to say “Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem” before each meal and “Bismillahi Awwaluhu wa Akhiruhu” if they recalled that they’ve forgotten to say “Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem” at the beginning of the meal. And don’t forget to say “Al Hamdulillah” once they finish the meal. Starting our meals with the “Basmallah’” will help regulate one’s appetite in fact, numerous Hadith mention that if we do not pronounce Allah’s Name, Satan and his minions will share our meal with us.

Eat With your right hand

The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said: “Don not eat with your left hand, the Shaytan eats with the left hand.“ [Muslim]. Complying to the Sunnah of the messenger of Allah is a great way to gain Barakah (blessings) in everything we do. Although we are unable to relate what Barakah we have earned, it is sure to be healthy for our body & soul at the same time.

Have regular family meals

Knowing dinner is served at approximately the same time every night and that the entire family will be sitting down together is comforting and enhances appetite. As the old saying goes: A family that eats together, stays together.

Get kids Involved

Have your child help to prepare the meals. Often times, they will be more than willing to try something in order to get rewarded for volunteering. Children also enjoy helping adults to shop for groceries, selecting what goes in their lunch box, and into the dinner menu. Go grocery shopping with your children and let them know in and out of all the different fruits and vegetables instore. Have them pick out new ones for fun.

Make it fun!

Present the food as a game, a play-filled experience, cut the food into unusual shapes. Top a bowl of whole grain cereal with a smiley face: banana slices for the eyes, raisins for the nose, a peach or apple slice for the mouth. Create a food collage. Use broccoli florets for trees, carrots and celery for flowers, cauliflower for clouds, and a yellow squash for the sun. Eat your masterpiece!

Fight the Junk Food Temptation

Avoid passing by the sweets & confectioneries aisle when you’re grocery shopping with kids. Your children might be more willing to eat a healthy snack if there are no jelly bear’s or brownies available at home.

Prepare Healthy Snacks

Make a variety of healthy snacks available at home and during trips, instead of empty calorie snacks. Keep plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain snacks, healthy beverages (water, milk, pure fruit juice) around and ensure easy accessibility so kids get used to reaching out for these healthier versions instead of chips, cookies etc.

Limit Screen Time

Spending hours watching TV or tablets leads to “over snacking”. Encourage your children to move, play outdoor games and sports. This not only helps them avoid binge eating in front of the screen, but ends up being a fun way to exercise.

My Body Is An Amana

Amongst the amazing gifts given by Allah (SWT) to mankind, our body is probably the most precious one. It is a brilliant vessel that carries our soul and mind from the day we are born until the day we will return to our creator (SWT).

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