Good food for kids is crucial for physical and mental development
Below are some nutrition and health tips to keep your children’s health in tip-top shape.
Don’t be Swayed – As the parent, you get to decide what type of food will go into your child’s body.
Don’t be swayed by begging, pleading, and temper tantrums in the grocery store. Don’t give in to the convenience of kid’s meals at the string of fast-food restaurants on your way home from a busy day. Plan ahead so that you have healthy options ready as after school snacks. These will come in especially handy for those days where you’re running from school to activities and from errands to parties.
What can you do to educate and stock up on good food for kids?
Food 101 – Set your children up for success by teaching them the value of good food. One way to do this is to offer a choice of nutritious food options. They will feel like they have some decision in the matter, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that whatever they select, their bodies will be fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Beverages 101 – Sodas and juice beverages are bursting with calories, sugar, and harmful chemicals. While water and milk are ideal choices, 100% fruit juice – served in moderation – adds variety to the menu. Just be sure your children brush their teeth at night to prevent cavities.
Taste Testing – Although the introduction of new foods to the menu is important, allow your children to sample a few bites. How do they like the flavor and texture? If they love the new ingredient, add a little more to their plate. However, if they pinch their nose and push away the plate, you’ll know that it’s something that may have to wait for a second attempt. Never force your children to eat the entire serving.
A Brand New Kid’s Meal – When you are out to dinner, whether it’s in a fine dining restaurant or fast food joint, have your kids skip the kids’ menu. Many of these entrees are chock full of fat, sugar, and calories. Instead, order a healthy appetizer or entrée from the adult menu. If it’s too much for your young ones, share it with others or take the leftovers home.
No More Clean Plates – There are two parts to this tip. First, teach your children portion control so they are not wasting food. Second, allow your children to listen to their own bodies. Their tummies will tell them when it’s time to finish, and they should learn to trust this signal to prevent overeating, fatigue, and obesity.
Snack Time – Use caution when it comes to mindless snacking, especially in front of the TV.
Remember that food health for kids means that they need to be able to listen to their bodies.
Knowing when to stop eating will save them from future health conditions and diseases.
Sugar Matters – Try as you may, you’re never going to keep your child from sugar. Birthday parties, holidays, sleepovers, team practices, and family events are often outfitted with tempting, sugary snacks. That’s just part of the fun, but be sure these sweets are only “once in a while” treats.
Dessert every night is highly discouraged as it teaches poor food choices and creates a host of physical issues that can affect your children’s health.
A Food Superhero – Lead by example. Your children’s health will follow your habits, especially when it comes to food health tips. Eat healthy snacks, sit down for a family meal, and avoid skipping meals.
You may want to take this a step further by teaching your children the fun of selecting healthy ingredients and preparing tasty dishes.