Being a parent is the most wonderful and perhaps the hardest thing in life.
Every parent’s goal is to raise good, well-educated and healthy kid. Living in a world of fast, over-processed and packaged food it is difficult to establish healthy eating habits especially for kids, but it is not impossible. The calorie-dense, fatty, salty diet combined with serious lack of physical activity causes overweight and obesity in children which further can lead to other health issues.
That’s why it is very important to develop healthy eating habits early in life that will bring long-lasting benefits. Here are some tips for getting children eat healthy food:
Start healthy eating habits in baby chair
Babies who start out eating healthy foods grow up into adults with a good dietary foundation. Many nutritionists recommend parents make their own baby food, rather than feed infants commercially prepared foods that are often full of starch, sugar, additives or meat fillers. Homemade baby food can provide better nutrition at low cost.Preparing baby food is not hard. Simply steam or gently cook the healthy ingredients of your choice, from carrots and peas to sweet potatoes, apples or pears, then puree them.
Be a good role model for your children
Children imitate their parents in everything they do. Nutrition and eating habits are not exception. If you don’t want your kid to eat fast food, you shouldn’t eat it, too. Avoid buying snacks and other processed, packaged foods and don’t keep them in your home. Many new snack food products are being packaged just for kids. They’re bright colorful and “fun” to eat. They come in trendy shapes that match movie and TV themes. But the worst part is, they’re actually being promoted as a good source of vitamins and minerals. Snack companies are now able to add a few healthy ingredients and junk food masquerades as health food and parents think they’re buying something that’s good for their kids. When a product has an indefinite shelf life, how good for you can it possibly be? Additives and preservatives have replaced the valuable nutrients for the most part. Fresh, whole foods, direct from nature, are the only way to get nutrition a kid really needs.
Make healthy food fun for children
It is undeniable fact that fast food has a lot of appeal for kids and it’s not just about its taste, but they also choose this food because it is perceived as fun. This is why the presentation of the meals is very important. Children love to see well-decorated food in their plates. They are also attracted by bite size food in different colors and shapes. Parents can get creative in the kitchen by making meals that look like their favorite cartoon and TV heroes, animals and birds made of vegetables, bears made of rice, smiley face salads, ladybugs made of cherry tomatoes and olives etc. They don’t have to be perfect and kids will more than interested to try the fun food. Take one step at a time because small changes can make big difference.
Eating diet rich in fruits and vegetables is good for both adults and children. Fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber, while being low in calories and fat and contribute to many health benefits. It is never too late to start incorporating healthy food in your child’s diet because healthy kids make healthy adults.