Set your kids up for success by providing them with a solid nutritional foundation.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.
Getting children to eat the right food to fuel their bodies can often be a difficult task. They often turn their noses up to green vegetables and busy nights lead to the quick drive-thru dinners.
While it can often be frustrating to fight your kids over what they should and shouldn’t be eating, the truth of the matter is that poor eating habits can have negative impacts on your child’s health. You should strive to instill healthy eating habits in your children as early as possible and talk with your doctor if you’re unsure of what nutrition your children should be getting.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the importance of understanding the value of a balanced diet for your children. Including specific details around:
- Questions you should be asking your child’s doctor at different ages to understand their nutritional needs
- 3 Ways healthy eating will benefit your kids
Knowing what your kid’s body needs at every stage of their life is important. Talk with your doctor to learn more about what foods they should be eating and what you should be limiting. Image courtesy of Pexels.
Understand Health and Nutritional Needs by Age
Knowing what your growing child needs to thrive can change by age. It’s important to keep up with the nutritional needs of your child’s age and level of activity. What you focused on when they were 5-years old will be vastly different than their needs as a 14-year-old.
To help you navigate their changing needs, you should ask your doctor questions during their yearly visits to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight. Recording doctor appointments will allow you to replay details and help set your child up for success from toddler to adolescent.
Let’s take a look at some nutrition and health questions that will help you keep your children on track at various stages of their childhood.
Ages 2 – 4:
- How many meals should my child be eating a day?
- What is the proper portion sizes for a child at this age?
- Can you provide me with a list of healthy snacks?
- How can my family develop healthy eating habits?
- How can I encourage my children to eat healthy foods without putting pressure on them to do so?
- What is the relationship between puberty and weight gain for a child?
- How can I minimize tv and video game time for my child?
- What indoor activities do you suggest for a child who prefers to stay inside?
- How can I encourage my children to make healthy eating decisions on their own?
- Should I take my teenager’s frequent hunger seriously?
- What level of activity is required to keep them healthy?
- Is my child’s current growth rate at the level it should be?
Some children may require different diets and exercise regimens based on medical needs or food sensitivities. The best option is it have open communication with your kid’s doctor to help you understand if your child is hitting the right growth milestones or if you need to make any adjustments to their diet.
Next, let’s look at a few ways eating health can benefit your kids and how you can start improving any poor eating habits you may have fallen into.
Fruits and vegetables should be a staple in your child’s diet, but there are many other small adjustments you can make to improve. Start small and keep adjusting your cooking habits to reach a more nutritional pantry. Image courtesy of Pixabay.
Healthy Eating Benefits for Your Kids
The obvious benefit of eating nutritionally balanced meals is keeping your kids healthy and teaching them good habits for their future. But there are a variety of other benefits of a balanced diet that are just as important for children, such as:
- Stabilizing their energy levels
- Improving their mind and brain activity
- Helping to improve their mood
- Prevent mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD
A healthy diet and an active lifestyle will also help fight many chronic diseases that are becoming all too common in our world today. In fact, nearly half of all Americans have one or more of these illnesses.
Here are some chronic diseases a healthy diet can help prevent:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
Completely changing your lifestyle may feel like a drastic move, but the good news is that even taking small steps toward a healthier life can make a big difference. Let’s take a look at some small changes that can help teach your kids the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Making changes towards a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be intimidating. Take it one step at a time and you’ll be moving in the right direction. Image courtesy of Pexels.
Small Steps to a Healthier Life
Although some people can quit all the bad stuff cold turkey, most can’t. That’s why it’s important to focus on the small adjustments and wins that you can make to improve the health of your family. From getting your kids involved to switch to healthier alternatives, it can make a big difference.
- Pick a Healthier Alternative
There are many foods that we eat that have a healthier alternative available. For example, choosing whole wheat bread and pasta is one simple step you can take each week when grocery shopping to better your health. By swapping the bad for the good you can easily adjust to this new diet.
Here are a few healthy alternatives you can try:
- Eat whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice
- Use oil and balsamic instead of processed dressing
- Substitute Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
- Drink sparkling water instead of soda
- Use brown rice over white
- Get Your Kids Involved
Having your kids help you pick out groceries and cook meals will not only help them learn the importance of good nutrition, but it will also set them up to know how to live a healthy life on their own. Let them help pick out the healthy snacks for the week and teach them how to read labels and identify unhealthy ingredients.
When kids are apart of the process, they learn more and will value the importance of a healthy diet moving forward.
- Don’t Skip Breakfast
They do say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — and that couldn’t be truer for kids. Skipping breakfast can cause kids to feel tired, restless, and irritable. But beyond that, it helps keep weight in line and get their brain working.
A healthy and balanced breakfast that is rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein can help increase attention spans, concentration, and memory levels. All of these are important for school-aged children who need to be ready to learn all week long.
Teach your kids the importance of good nutritional choices and set your family up for success by moving towards a healthy lifestyle. Image courtesy of Pexels.
Nutrition is the First Step to a Healthy Lifestyle
Help guide your children towards a healthy lifestyle by providing them with the right tools to get the nutrition they need. Not only will you be improving their health now, but you’re teaching them habits that they will need for their future. Remember, even the baby steps can help make a big difference in your child’s life.