Healthy eating habits in children are vital for their growth and development. How your child eats todaywill have a tremendous impact on his/her health during teenage, adulthood, and old age. Eating patterns developed during childhood serve as a foundation for life. What we eat early on, shapes overall health, metabolism, and brain development.
Consuming nutritious food aids in good health of kids and teens, their performance in academic life, and also, their psychological well-being. Good nutrition also helps prevent child and teen issues like obesity, eating disorders, anaemia, and dental cavities. Children can learn good eating habits with training from the best schools in Lebanon.
It is not easy to get kids to eat healthy day after day. Kids are nowadays introduced to fastfood with high salt content, saturated fats, and sugar content from an early stage. Such food is unhealthy and does not meet the nutritional needs of kids. Since fast food is delicious, it becomes habit forming.
The following are a few things parents can do to make their kids eat healthily:
Meal Times as Family Time
Avoid serving dinner while the family is watching TV. Make mealtime a family time where whole family eats together. By this, there is more family interaction and better chances for kids to learn healthy eating behaviour. It will encourage building a routine of having meals at one place and at one time.
Create Fun Food
Kids love colour even in their food. So, feel free to experiment with varieties of food in various colours. This will tempt kids to try new kinds of nutritious food. For instance, make rainbow sandwiches instead of plain sandwiches.
Use Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Experts recommend that you must include at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits in the diet of a normal child, every day. Organize your meals such that at least one or two servings of vegetables and fruits are part of every meal in breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Importance of Breakfast
Breakfast is the most vital meal of the day, even for children. Kids must gain a steady supply of energy for daily activities and to avoid snacking. As per research, it has been found that adults who have regular, healthy breakfast are less obese compared to those who skip it. In the market, you will find many brands of fortified breakfast cereals, which are loved by kids, and so, you can make them a regular.
Set Your Own Example
When kids observe their parents or other adults around them eating healthy, they are likely to follow suit. Parents can, thus, set a good example by consuming 3 to4 servings of fresh vegetables and fruits daily. Another good habit to set an example is to drink plenty of water to flush away toxins and keep the body hydrated.
Food will be easily consumed if served in different forms and textures. For example, vegetables can be cooked in the form of soups instead of fresh salads. By creating variety, you can tempt children to eat and experiment with healthy foods.
Thus, good dietary habits and healthy eating make for important strategies for proper growth and development of kids. In the long run, sound eating habits will save them from many health issues. When trained early in healthy eating, kids will make it a lifetime habit.