Tips to Get Kids Eating Healthy
Getting kids to eat healthily is a challenge for parents. Many kids are suffering the consequences of fast food consumptions such as a headache, depression, acne, dental distress, shortness of breath, high cholesterol, bloating, insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and high blood pressure.Fast food is rich in carbohydrates and poor in fiber. The digestive system breaks down the carbohydrates into glucose and releases it into the bloodstream causing the blood sugar to increases. According to the American Heart Association, the human body can afford 100 - 150 calories of added sugar per day, which is equal to nine teaspoons. The 12 oz soda can contains eight teaspoons of sugar, which is equal to 130 calories, and 39 grams of sugar.Fostering a supportive, positive, healthy food environment at home will enable parents to lead the example of the positive relationship with healthy and nutritional food because children imitate their parents. Here are some tips to get kids eating healthy.
Praise Healthy Food
Talk about the healthy nutritional food at home to encourage kids to choose it. The best strategy is to explain the benefits of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy while eating lunch or dinner with the family. Give kids a proud smile and praise when they choose healthy foods.
Stock Healthy Snacks
Stock the refrigerator with fruit in clear to see and reach shelves, and not buried in the crisper section. Keep healthy snacks on the kitchen counters, snack on an apple in front of the kids, and do not forget that your actions scream louder than your mouth.
Tie Food with Success
Tie food to things important for the kid such as sports or doing well in school. Explain to kids the importance of protein in white meat and calcium in dairy products to strength for sports activities; the importance of eating a healthy breakfast to focus in class; and the importance of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables to skin and hair.
Suggest Healthy Options
When children choose unhealthy foods, suggest a healthier one. Instead of candy, try fresh strawberries and dip it in chocolate sauce and instead of French fries, recommend oven roasted potatoes. Keep dried fruit at home for quick sweet snacks.
Food Is Not a Reward
Never reward kid’s achievements with food. Instead, reward kids with something physical and fun such as a trip to the park or sharing the kid's sports activities in the backyard.
Eat Dinner with Family
Eat dinner with family and make it a habit. Social scientists suggest that children who eat meals with their parents have better nutrition and are less likely to get in serious trouble as teenagers.
Obtain the plate portions strategy and avoid the food buffet and serve-yourself strategy. Using this way kids will learn to recognize healthy portion sizes. Use smaller plates to adjust to healthier portions to facilitate the switching process without kids feeling the difference.
Involve Kids in the Process
Have kids grade several kinds of healthy foods according to how tasty they are to them, such as grade A, B, C, and D and serve the food that gets the highest marks more often and the food with the lowest less frequently. Using such a strategy will make the kids involved in decision making at the dining table.
Never diagnose a child as obese or thin by yourself. Consult with a specialist such as the family doctor before starting a diet or making significant shifts in the type of foods kids eat. Nothing happens overnight; it is a gradual change and a lifetime battle for parents.