Healthy Eating Habits for Your Children
Food is one of the basic necessity of life. However, it is equally important to choose food according to the age of an individual. When we talk about kids, its necessary to provide them right food that not only helps in their growth but also help them in having healthy eating habits throughout their life. Providing kids with healthy food right from the beginning keeps them healthy throughout their life.
Important Tips to be Followed
Starting with Solid Food at the Age of Six Months
Till the age of six and so the child solely depends on mother’s milk for nutrition. But from six months one can start giving solid foods to the baby. Baby can be given pureed fruits and green vegetables. By the time baby is nine to one year old, it learns to feed itself. To encourage baby feeding itself develops control of appetite in them. Always remember, never force your child to eat more when they turn their head as their regulation system messages that their tummy is full and they are done with eating now.
Give Kids Light Foods too Often
During growth years kids need to eat more often. Children should be given healthy foods in between the meals like a bowl of fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains. This not only will provide fuel to their body but will also supply nutrients to the body.
Try to Maintain Balance
By balancing, we don’t mean that you should count calories given to the child. One should encourage physical activity and portion sizes that are balanced. Suppose if child didn’t had much of physical activity in a day then there is no need to overload their plate. On the other hand, if child had lot of physical activity during the day then they must be given extra fuel.
Eat Together as a Family
Researches have shown that it does not matter how many members do you have in the family and what is the age of your kids, eating together is good. It has been proved in studies that kids take more nutrition when the entire family eats together. Children when eat with their family, takes more fiber, calcium, iron, fruits and vegetables.
Eat Your Vegetables and Fruits
Parents are kids first role model. So if you wish your child to eat everything, they should see you doing the same. Fruits and vegetables should be kept in such places so that they are easily accessible to children.
Serve Nutrient Rich Foods
While making meal for your kids, use fresh fruits, leafy greens, fresh fish, poultry, meats and vegetables. One must avoid using processed food as they are rich in sugar unhealthy fats, sodium and calories. Give whole grains and brown rice instead of white breads and sugary cereals.
Children need variety of vitamins and minerals for their growth. So food that gives such nutrients should be given to them. Kids should be given vegetables and fruits of all colors. Including five servings of fruits and vegetables in kids routine is very good for their health.
Encourage Kids to Eat Variety of Food
Kids must be encouraged to eat variety of foods. To make them eat variety of foods, involve them in planning, shopping and cooking of food. This will surely make your child eat variety of food that he himself has brought and cook.
Try to Incorporate Habit of Portion Control Among Kids
Kids should be encouraged to eat to full satisfaction and still not overfill their stomach. They should be encouraged to eat balanced and variety of food in moderation. Parents can raise healthy eaters by taking care of what, when and how much food their kids intake.
Things One Must Avoid
Asking them to Clean their Plates
If you have a habit of asking your kids to clean their plate always, you may lead them to over eat. Let your kids decide when they are done eating. When the child grows up little say of 5 years, allow them to serve themselves.
Don’t Give too much of Fruit Juice
For most of the children, eight ounces of 100 percent juice should be the daily limit according to Mayo Clinic. Giving too much of fruit juices can have adverse effect on your child’s health and eating habits. Sometimes child fills himself with juice and do not take other nutritious food. Child may intake more calories and still be hungry..
Intake of Poor Nutrient Quality Food
Food items like chips, doughnuts, cookies and such items are kids favorite. These food have high level of fats, sodium and sugar in them. These are caloric foods with very less health benefits. Encourage children to opt more healthy food items and taste these junk food items on rare occasions only.
It requires a lot of efforts from parents and other family members to incorporate habit of eating healthy foods in children, but once they get habituated, they remain healthy throughout their life.
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