With the growing TV commercials and peer influence about junk foods, it has been a struggle for the parents to get the healthy eating for kids. Takeout and convenient foods have replaced the home cooked meal for most of the times in kids’ diet. But the major part of parenting is the right eating habit for the kids. It can have a profound effect on the kids’ health, sharpen their mind and make them happier. And it does not require much time and energy.
You can follow the easy tips for healthy eating for kids without wartime at dinner. It gives your children a better opportunity to grow and become healthy. You must try to have regular family meals and be a role model for the kids by eating healthy food. Always try to involve your kids in the process.
Benefits of Healthy Eating for Kids
Healthy eating for kids can benefit multi fold. It can lead to a better lifestyle with fewer health problems and it sharpens their mind. There could be benefits to the mental health of your kids with fewer chances of depression, anxiety, and other severe disorders. There could be chances of better development in adulthood as well. No kid is born with a love for junk food and aversion for healthy food. It is over a period of time that kids are exposed to different kinds of food and you need to battle at the time of meals. You need to add healthy foods and whole grains in the diets of your children to make them crave for healthier foods and it makes the relationship much stronger.
Nutrition for the kids is based on the same principles as for the adults. Below listed are some of the essential nutrients for healthy eating for kids.
Proteins: You can choose from poultry, meat, eggs and unsalted seeds and nuts for your kids’ diet.
Fruits: It is advisable to encourage your children to eat fresh fruits, canned, frozen or dried fruits instead of fruit juice. The juice should be 100% fresh fruits and it should not have any added sugar. Always look for the canned fruits with low sugar which is less harmful to the kids. Excess of any healthy fruit can also lead to extra calories.
Vegetables: Include fresh and frozen vegetables in the kids’ diet and try to add the dark green, red and orange vegetables. Green vegetables are the best source of energy and prevent many diseases. Look for low sodium canned or frozen foods.
Grains: Whole grains can be a lot beneficial. It is always advisable to include the whole grains in the diet like whole wheat bread, oats, popcorn or brown rice. Limit the usage of white bread, pasta, and rice for your children.
Dairy: Encourage your children to eat and drink fat-free and low-fat dairy products. It can include milk, yogurt, cheese or soy.
It is not necessary that all the foods which are included in the diet of your kids are not necessary that it would be beneficial. Some of them to keep in mind are as below:
Added Sugar: Added sugars can be really harmful and the sugar occurring naturally in the fruits and vegetables is not at all harmful. Added sugar can be in the form of brown sugar, corn sweetener, etc.
Saturated and trans fats: Try and limit the usage of saturated fats in the diets. These fats come from poultry and meat. Try to replace it with vegetable oil. There are many forms of healthier fats which can be obtained from the olives, nuts and other forms. Partially hydrogenated oils constitute the trans-fat.
Encouraging Healthy Eating for Kids
Whether your children are teens or toddlers, there is always a tendency for the kids to develop taste for the food which they like. It is for you to serve them with healthy and nutritious options and develop healthy eating for kids.
You should try your best to focus on the whole food which is minimally processed and try to avoid packaged and canned foods. Parents are the role model for the children. You cannot expect your kids to eat healthy vegetables when you are eating junk food. It is for you to act as a role model. You can mix the healthier foods in the diet and make it tastier for the kids. Home-cooked meals are the need of the hour. Restaurant meal and takeout menu are lucrative for your children but they have equally adverse effects on the health of your kids. When you involve your kids in the shopping of the grocery, you make them aware of the different types of vegetables and fruits.
It is the parents who show the path to their children. Same is the case for healthy eating habits. Be a role model and develop good eating habits amongst your toddlers or teens.
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Images: @firstcryparenting @myfussyeater