Guiding Your Kids to Healthy Eating
Childhood sets a lot of things for kids on their journey to adulthood. Dreams for the future are being decided, strengths and skills are manifested, and most importantly, a lot of habits are formed. The habit of eating is one of the most important factors that need to be set early on.
An unhealthy child is a mother’s nightmare – obesity and undernourishment are two of the biggest problems that plagues the US and even the world.
Existing studies show that half of obese teenage girls become really obese by their early 30s. Childhood obesity has gone more than tripled in the past 30 years. The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States alone who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to almost 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.
So, how do we get past this problem of malnutrition of our kids?
Education – the best way is to educate them in the habit of healthy eating. Here are some tips on how to guide your child into eating healthy:
- Home is where health starts
The first place that should promote healthy eating is at home. Always keep healthy food on hand. Meals should have a fun variety of food to choose from. Eat with them on the dining table. This will expand your scope of influencing them to eat healthily.
- Step Up Your Treats
Some might say that most treats promote unhealthy eating habits and may contribute to the overall nutrition of your child, but the truth is, there are many healthy alternatives for treats. Instead of giving them ice cream and sprinkles, offer them frozen yogurt and dark chocolate instead. These are equally nutritious alternatives for your child.
- Adjust that Attitude
Children learn well in a friendly environment, which calls for a lot of patience. Often, our kids don’t make healthy choices and would lead us to nag them into eating healthy. A “never give up, never surrender” attitude is needed in helping your child make healthy eating options.
- Promote that Fruit
Kids love fun tasting foods, which is why they are more prone to liking junk foods or sweets. That is why fruit itself gives a better and healthier alternative. Turn that apple into a sugar-free smoothie or delectable fruit juice. A mango shake will surely be a fun, healthy and yummy treat for your kids!
- Too much of everything is too much
Sometimes, nourishment depends on the quantity of the food. Teach your kids to stop when they have had enough. The discipline of eating relies on how much food is going in whether healthy or not.
- The Calendar is Your Friend
Make a weekly (if possible) schedule of your meals. This helps you be on track and plan nutritious meals for your kids and family, allowing for any improvements on your daily menu.
Going healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, but it requires a lot of commitment and guidance. Just follow the guide mentioned above and you’ll surely achieve your goal in no time!