The key to eating healthy in terms of children is attaining the balance between taste and nutrition. The best part is that one doesn’t necessarily preclude the other.
Healthy eating can stabilize a child’s energy, sharpen their minds and even out their moods! TV commercials and movies popularizing junk food, as a result, getting kids to eat well seem impossible. There are, however, steps that parents can take in order to instill healthy eating habits in their kids thereby avoiding mealtimes from turning into a battle zone. Encouraging kids to eat healthy at an earlier stage can make a huge impact on their lifelong relationship with food and give them the best opportunity to grow into healthy, confident adults.
Ideally, children should eat at least 5 meals a day. So, snacking is necessary to prevent your child from feeling famished at lunch or dinner time. But it is important to ensure that they snack healthy! Snacking can, in fact, help your child get the adequate nutrients and prevent them from feeling irritable. In the case of picky eaters, snacks provide the necessary nourishment in between meal times.
Consider these nutrient-dense foods:
Fruits: Encourage your child to eat a variety of fresh fruits over fruit juice.
Vegetables: Serve a variety of fresh vegetables especially dark green, red, orange vegetables, beans, and peas.
Grains: Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa or brown rice.
Dairy: Encourage your child to eat and drink fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese or fortified soy beverages.
It is essential to note that every child requires, on a daily basis, macronutrients like Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates along with Micronutrients like Vitamins (Vitamin A, B, C, and D) and Minerals (especially Iron and Calcium).
Health Tips for Kids:
- Sugars (white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey) supply a lot of calories, with little nutritional value.
- Foods like candy, soft drinks, jams, and jellies so should be restricted in diet.
- Encourage your child to drink six to eight glasses of water each day.
- Regular exercise of about 20-30 minutes 3-4 times each week is a must. This could include walking, jogging, swimming etc.
- Allow your child to have special foods or desserts only on special occasions and not on an everyday basis.