The growth and development of children is highly dependent on the food they receive and the benefits of healthy eating for children are outlined in this article to alert parents to the dangers of neglecting this aspect of child development. Balanced, nutritious meals are a must for all growing children because the benefits carry over into adulthood. Poor nutrition leads to obesity and a host of medical and psychological problems for the child.
For those of us who don’t know, there is a good pyramid guide, which can help us better understand the different food groups. All our food is divided into cereals, vegetables, fruits, dairy products and meats, beans, poultry, fish and nuts. Your child receives a balanced diet when all food groups are covered. There are some groups where the intake should be less than the others, such as oils and meats.
The benefits of healthy eating for children will not be felt if you blindly follow the food groups. For example, an apple in its natural state will do more for your child’s well-being and overall good health than an apple pie with sugar.
For children to develop healthy eating habits, parents will need to lead by example. It is always advisable to start a child in feeding from a very young age because this becomes a habit. You should never put a child on a restrictive diet without the approval and supervision of a pediatrician. Overweight kids go through a lot of trauma as a result of their size, and all of this can be avoided if parents take it upon themselves to make sure kids eat the right kinds of healthy, nutritious foods they need.
Here are some ideas on how to reap the benefits of healthy eating for children:
o You can guide your family’s choices by shopping wisely; never dictate that it won’t go down well. Make sure your home has plenty of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, yogurts, and sauces that you can turn into healthy meals and snacks for the family. Don’t stock up on chips and other junk food, no matter how attractive the packaging and how easy the purchase, just fill the cart with a bunch of pre-packaged kid-friendly foods.
o Make mealtimes a family affair with lots of light-hearted conversation and brainstorming. This will help children eat more slowly. Gobbling down food will not help a child tell the difference between a full and an overly full stomach. When there’s fun and laughter at the table, you’ll find your kids wanting to sit still and eat their food at a slow pace.
o Take your children with you when you shop and prepare meals as much as possible. Take the time to learn about their preferences and take advantage of opportunities to teach them about the importance of nutrition and the benefits of healthy eating for children.
o It’s no secret that kids enjoy snacking between meals, and lots of low-fat milk and fruit should be healthy alternatives. Try to avoid overeating at all costs. Always remember that what you don’t have at home can’t be eaten by your children, so throw away junk food!
Exercise and being active go hand in hand with good nutrition, so use this article to better understand the benefits of healthy eating for children.