Healthy Eating for Kids
Good nutrition is the basis of lifelong health, and it begins in infancy. Healthy eating can stabilize children’s energy, sharpen their minds, and even out their moods. But this is a common practice for kids, to eat food in front of watching television and munching their favorite junk foods. Health experts always discourage this practice as, this result in lot of eating or not concentrating on food.
However, there are simple steps that parents can take to instill healthy eating habits in their kids, without turning mealtimes into a battle zone. By encouraging healthy eating habits now, you can make a huge impact on your children’s lifelong relationship with food and give them the best opportunity to grow into healthy, confident adults.
Aim to Develop Healthy Eating Habits Among Kids:
Children develop a natural preference for the foods they enjoy the most, so the challenge is to make healthy choices appealing. No matter how good your intentions, trying to convince your eight-year-old that an apple is as sweet a treat as a cookie is not a recipe for success. However, you can ensure that your children’s diet is as nutritious and wholesome as possible, even while allowing for some of their favorite treats. Kids imitate their elders a lot, so be sure that you won’t ask them to eat veggies, while you are munching on chips!!
- Focus on making healthy snacks instead of providing them foods with “empty calories”. Keep plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain snacks and healthy beverages like milk, fruit juice or water in places that are easily accessible for kids instead of chips, sodas, or chocolates.
- Encourage your kids to eat at home and you also try to make your kids restaurant favorite foods at home so they develop a habit to have home prepared food.
- Kids should know that dinner is served at approximately the same time every night and that the entire family will be sitting down together, this thing enhances appetite of kids. Breakfast is another great time for a family meal, especially since kids who eat breakfast tend to do better in school.
- Kids enjoy helping with their elders. Encourage them to get involve in grocery, tell them what foods are healthy and what are un healthy, make them involve in kitchen to help you out in cooking procedures. Children also love to know about their school lunch boxes, so you can prepare a large snack plan with colorful illustrates.
- Don’t insist to finish the whole plate as some kids have less appetite, instead give them a break and try with another session.
All these above activities will surely help your child to know about healthy foods and develop healthy eating habits.
Problems with “Picky Eaters”:
Picky eaters are going through a normal developmental stage, exerting control over their environment and expressing concern about trusting the unfamiliar. Many picky eaters also prefer a “separate compartmented plate,” where one type of food doesn’t touch another.
Following are the points that can help you out to solve problems with the picky eaters;
- Offer a new food only when your child is hungry and rested.
- Present only one new food at a time.
- Make it fun: a game, a play-filled experience. Cut the food into unusual shapes.
- Serve new foods with favorite foods to increase acceptance.
- Eat the new food yourself; children love to imitate.
- Have your child help to prepare foods. Often they will be more willing to try something when they helped to make it.
- Limit beverages. Picky eaters often fill up on liquids instead.
- Limit snacks to two per day.
Other Points to Look Forward:
You need to concentrate on your kid’s sugar and salt intake. The American Heart Association recommends that sugar intake for children is limited to 3 teaspoons (12 grams) a day. Cutting back on candy and cookies is only part of the solution. Large amounts of added sugar can also be hidden in foods such as bread, canned soups and vegetables, frozen dinners, ketchup, and fast food.
Avoid sodas, and other carbonated beverages, one- 12oz of soda have 10 teaspoons of sugar in it, which is more than three times that are required in daily intake.
Also cut down on processed foods like white breads and cakes, this can give a sudden rise in blood sugar that leaves the child tired.
Try to incorporate fiber rich foods in your kid’s daily menus, like add extra veggies to soups, stews and rice. Keep lot of fresh fruits and vegetables available for snacks. Top a whole grain cereal bowl with any of your kid’s favorite fruit like bananas, strawberries or any other berries. Adding extra fiber in kid’s diet also helps them to stay away from being constipated.
In order to avoid, commercial frozen treats and popsicles, try to make them at home like, freeze 100% pure fruit juice in Popsicle containers. Try freezing grapes, and other berries, banana or peach slices and serve them with whipped cream for a sweet treat!!