Healthy Food Habits for Kids
When it comes to healthy food, kids and teenagers have dietary needs different from that of adults. If you are an adult and have kids of your own, you probably would have experienced your kid’s almost endless bursts of energy and an unhealthy craving for sweets and fast foods.
The truth is kids need to eat well, because if they don’t, they will not develop properly and are more likely to be overweight, not forgetting the fact that lack of proper diet weakens their immune system making them more susceptible to various illnesses and cardiovascular diseases.
Furthermore, kids can also easily develop acne, more likely to experience mood swings and basically are not always happy.
Now, the question is, how can you get your kids to start eating healthy food?
Firstly, note that kids copy people who they see as good role models, so if you are going to get your kids to eat healthy food, it has to start with you. Then, once you are eating properly and enjoying a healthy lifestyle, your kids will naturally copy you and adopt a healthy food eating habit too.
Below you’ll find further advice and tips that can help promote healthy food eating and living to your kids:
With the whole family sat at the table for breakfast or dinner, your children are going to observe what you have cooked or are about to eat. In addition, the best time to maintain and develop closer relationships with family is over meals, as families tend to gravitate towards conversations over meals.
Also, outside the health benefits a nutritious balanced meal offers, studies have shown children from homes where there’s a close knit relationship among family members tend to have higher self-esteem and tend to do better in school.
Get them Involved
Get your kids involved in the whole process, whether it is shopping for groceries or cooking your meals, get your kids involved.
In addition, make reading nutritional labels a habit and teach it to your kids when shopping. Compare and contrast the difference in nutritional content and value between products and help them identify and select the healthiest meals and snacks for their lunch boxes.
The idea is to give them the freedom to choose which healthy food they want. If they select something not too healthy, remind them gently of its nutritional content and advise them that they should consider them as a treat not to be eaten often.
When cooking, show them what goes into the foods they eat and let them help out by garnishing the food, stirring the soup and setting the table etc. This encourages pro-activity in kids, it also allows them understand about the healthy food while promoting family togetherness.
Have healthy snacks within reach; put unhealthy snacks out of reach
First of all, place fruits in a fruit bowl in an open place in the kitchen like the kitchen bench where everyone can see. Secondly, place pre-cut fruits like pineapples in a Tupperware in the fridge for optimal taste and ease of reach if your kids crave a quick snack.
In addition, nuts and low fat pretzels can be great snacks too, so open a packet and pour some in a bowl where it can be easily accessed. Lastly, keep snacks such as chocolate, high calorie bars and sweets in the top cabinet where it is out of sight and unlikely for them to reach
If you have kids who are not touching their veggies or your young teen is developing an unusual eating habit as a result of peer group and social activities, supplements make a great alternative in compensating for lack of nutrients from an unbalanced diet.
When you get supplements for kids, look for the enticing ones with fun shapes and flavors that is free from artificial flavors and sweeteners.
Some nutrients that young children between the ages of 5 and 12 need, include calcium for bone growth and development zinc for improved and sharper memory.
Moreover, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, folate, biotin and niacin are very important in providing kids antioxidants that boost the child’s immunity and resistance against diseases.
For teenagers, look for a supplement that provides a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals necessary for the body’s growth and development.
Essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, Biotin, Calcium, Folate, Iodine, Lycopene, Lutein, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Niacin, Thiamin, Selenium, Tumeric extract and Zinc. Ensure the supplement you purchase contains all these important vitamins and minerals as a minimum to ensure your teens growing adolescent body gets improved immune functionality and remains in optimum health.
For Kids and Teens
The first rule about eating right and healthy is- Do not completely take out junk food from their life.
If you try this, sooner or later they will begin to deeply crave for junk food, and they would are yield and binge eat. The way to deal with this is to let them have some junk occasionally, but ensure they eat the healthy food more than the unhealthy one regularly.
Good Night Sleep
Kids need plenty of rest to get the best health results. The importance of sleep cannot be overemphasized as it improves alertness and concentration, which is important at school.
Moreover, sleep is the only activity that allows their body the full chance to recuperate and heal. Sleep, along with exercise increases energy levels that can last through classes.
In addition, exercise when combined with a healthy food diet, will keep away sickness and greatly improve kids’ health and wellbeing. Read more about benefits of exercise “Top 17 Daily Exercising Benefits For Healthy Kids“.
Lastly, you want your teens to keep off cigarettes and alcohol. People just don’t frown on them without a reason. Both cigarettes and alcohol can damage their mental and physical health and increase their chance of developing diseases like lung cancer later on in life. The longer they indulge in them, the harder it becomes to quit as they develop into destructive addictions. So help them start cultivating clean habits from an early age and avoid destructive addictive habits and lifestyles.
In conclusion, healthy food habits don’t just become part of us, they start from developing them as kids and stay with us for the rest of our life. At Wannabees Family Play Town, an indoor playcentre in Sydney we help kids to develop healthy food habits, through role play. Children can pretend shop in the supermarket, pretend cook in our honey room restaurant where there are plenty of healthy food to choose from.