How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy
With an ever increasingly busy world, mothers are also moving to “fast fixes” for putting food on the table. The advertising world is not helping when it comes to getting our children to eat good meals. We know that good nutrition is the basis of lifelong health. Yet we ask the question,”how to get kids to eat healthy.”
While mothers follow their pediatrician’s guidelines for infants, these rules can quickly erode as the child gets older and the parents want to feed their child quickly and without complaints. They resort to food that they like, rather than the best diet for the child. Although it may seem too difficult to change habits, there are certain changes that parents can encourage. It is a lifestyle that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our relationship with food can make us healthy and strong or sick and overweight.
Meals need to be appealing whether we are adults or children. The plate should be colorful and offer choices of protein, vegetables, dairy and starch. Balancing the portions is as important as accepting that your child will have favorites. We all do.
Helpful Eating Tips For Children
Here are some simple, helpful eating tips for children to get into a program that will answer the question on how to get kids to eat healthy and also be a benefit your children and your family.
1. Set aside regular times for meals. Our bodies adjust to certain times for eating. There will be less of an inclination to snack on foods that is high in fat and salt.
2. Have the family eat together so that one meal is prepared for the entire family. Try not to allow separate meals for different family members, unless there is a dietary need.
3. Fix more meals at home and ask the children to help. Children take pride in making things, including meals. It firmly establishes a strong relationship between the parents and children. The meals you make will be healthier than the meals you eat our. You know the ingredients that you put into the meal and you can control how much fat, salt and additives you put into each dish.
4. Let children have a say in their food choices for school with your guidance. Bring them to the grocery store so that you can educate children by showing them how to read the labels on the products. This creates a connection between why a food is good for you and why you should not purchase that product. By choosing snacks that have good vitamins and minerals in them, you are helping to boost the child’s energy and establish good habits. Rather than soda, cookies and chips, offer water, milk and pure juice, not juice with sugar water.
5. Do not eliminate all sugar, but reduce the sugar. Do not give them sugar substitutes, as these are made of chemicals and remain in the body for a long time. Use regular sugar, but sparingly. Sugar affects energy levels and mood levels because of the high glycemic index that raises blood sugar. This blood sugar turns to fat and affects the child’s hormones.
6. Limit pasta and pizza to one to two times a week.
7. Although many of us were raised to eat everything on our plate, it is better to encourage the child to have a taste of everything. This way they will not be afraid of trying new foods that are good for them. There is less of a threat to eat a food they are not familiar with. Children often do not want to try something new. A small portion on a plate may enable them to take a taste.
8. Eat local produce and eat produce in season. Buy as many natural and organic foods as possible as these will have better nutritional value, therefore will also be more satisfying to your child.
Helpful Information On Children’s Diets
According to the Mayo Clinic, children have different caloric and nutritional requirements from the toddler age until they become adults. They published a guideline in 2011 that outlines these recommended calories and levels of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, vegetables, fat, sodium and Vitamin D to help parents understand how to get kids to eat healthy.
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