Children have more appreciation for taste than we give them credit for. Therefore healthy eating for kids cannot be just nutritious but a balanced diet which looks and tastes good as well. Eating right should start right from the childhood and this is where you can lay the foundation of your childs lifelong eating habits and continuous good health.
The formative years are spent in a learning mode children learn as much from their parents as they do from their teachers. So while schools reinforce the importance of healthy eating, kids also need to see that reflected in their homes.
Only then the real importance will set in. it is not as easy as it sounds for children can be picky about what they like and how much they will eat. It is amazing how they quickly develop the taste for junk food when you have to struggle with their everyday meals. The lesson to be learnt here is to pepper their healthy meals with taste.
Healthy eating is important to ensure overall growth and development of the child mind as well as body. A balanced diet means they are getting their necessary nutrients that their growing body needs, they have enough energy for their physical activities and their grey cells are growing overtime which will be manifested in their intellectual capabilities.
When it comes to healthy eating, kids will follow their parents lead. So make sure you are also eating right in front of them and not just expect them to do so.
Heres a quick guide to healthy eating for kids:
Tip #1 Family meals Breakfast and dinners are the two meals a family can have together. It enhances the sense of togetherness as well as discipline since everyone sits down to eat more or less at the same designated time every day.
Eating together also means that your children will eat what is set in front of them food for all. Less fuss will be created since choice is limited.
Tip #2 Involvement The best way to teach your children about healthy eating is the practical approach. Take your child with you when you go to the supermarket for groceries. Point out the food items and explain their goodness. At the same time also pick from these the foods that your child likes best. This way they will choose goodness and taste both, all by themselves!
Tip #3 Reward/punishment While a balance of reward and punishment is part of parental discipline, try not to infuse that into the eating regime. Food will become more of a phobia than enjoyment, especially if they are picky eaters. And too much of it will make them more adamant about likes and dislikes too early in life.
Tip #4 Home cooked meals Try and cook more meals at home if you can. Of course, with busy professional lives it is difficult but eating out means too much fat and sugar intake. Even if you toss in a quick pasta or make rice, it will still be 10 times healthier than a restaurant meal.
Tip #5 Variety and planning Plan your meals ahead instead of leaving it as a last minute decision. When planning for your childs snacks make sure you intersperse fruits with nuts and add healthy beverages. Also, give them some chips and cookies one day a week so that they are not tempted if any other child is having junk food.
Tip #6 Portions Parents tend to overfeed. Its a universal rule. As a result children always leave food behind on their plates which become a source of contention. Limit the portions to their capacities. This way they will finish and feel good about not wasting food. It encourages them to complete their meals without complaining about the food.
Tip #7 Develop eating habits Healthy eating also stems from good eating habits like eating slowly, chewing properly, not swallow food with water but have lots of water at other times, eating without watching TV and discouraging sweet intake later in the day.
To lay strong emphasis on healthy eating, kids should be made an integral part of the knowledge process. Instead of dictating their meals make them aware of the goodness and results of various foods. Healthy eating leads to good physical condition as well as sharper brains.