Even while you are busy juggling home, office and other responsibilities; you must remember to spare some time to set up and maintain healthy eating habits in your children. This is important because according to a recent survey on child health information it was found that the number of obese children and teens has continuously been rising over the past two decades. So if you want to keep your children healthy serve them a range of healthy foods & snacks. In addition to this, be a role model by eating healthy food yourself!
When it comes to your child’s nutrition, just try to keep things as simple as possible. You will be really surprised to know how small changes in eating habits become beneficial over time; even though changing your child’s food habits might initially seem to be challenging. Therefore it is recommended that you first understand your children’s needs and then set up small goals to achieve your target. Also, measure the health progress regularly, as only then can you be rest assured that you are progressing on the right way.
Here are few tips to improve your family’s eating habits
Make a habit to eat regular breakfast. It is a very important meal Since our bodies need energy after a night’s sleep, start your children’s day with a healthy breakfast. Use plenty of carbohydrates like cereal with semi-skimmed milk, toast or bread with lean meats and fruit or yoghurt.
Include variety of foods every day in the diet
Humans need over 40 different varieties of vitamins and minerals every day in order to have a good health. Given that there is no single food which contains all these 40 varieties, it becomes important for you to balance your child’s daily diet. However, do not need keep away your child from the food they enjoy. Simply make sure that kids get the right balance of food every day.
Do not ignore carbohydrates
Carbohydrate foods like cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes and bread provide at least half the calories of energy that the body requires. Hence include at least one of these in your child’s every meal. You can even try whole-grain bread, pasta and other cereals which give extra fiber to the child’s body.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with meals and as snacks
Vegetables and fruits are the best sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Encourage your child to eat 5 servings a day of these. For example, you can give him/her a glass of fruit juice at breakfast, perhaps a banana or an apple as snacks and two vegetables in meals.
Avoid too much saturated fat as is not good for your child’s health
Fatty foods such as spreads, butter, fried meats, sausages, pies and pastries may be tasty to eat but they are not healthy for your child’s body. Although a child needs some fat to get all the nutrients, it is better if you limit its intake. For example, if you your child have a high-fat lunch, serve a low-fat dinner to him/her.
Choose a variety of snacks to fill in the gaps between meals
There are times in between meals when your child might feel hungry. Snacks can fill this gap. However they should not be taken in place of meals. Also avoid packet snacks, cakes, chocolate bars, biscuits and other processed snacks. Instead go for a sandwich, some fresh or dried fruits, or vegetables like celery and carrots. Always remember to include a variety of snacks to keep your child’s diet in balance.
Inculcate a habit in your child of drinking plenty of liquids
A child needs at least 5 glasses of water every day to prevent dehydration. Encourage him/her to drink plenty of water, fruit juices and milk.
In addition to all of the above, taking care of your child’s teeth is also important. Encourage the child to brush his/her teeth at least twice a day. Lastly, being active every day is needed to keep your child’s heart and bones healthy. So try to include some form of activity every day like walking, running, skipping and swimming.