Healthy Eating Tips For Kids
As a mother for the last 23 years and a teacher for 12 years in the past, the biggest challenge I have ever faced is making kids understand the value of healthy food and good eating habits. Imagine my plight when in the morning I had to exhaust my energy making my two kids eat healthy and nutritious food and in the school as a teacher convincing the parents not to stuff their kids’ tiffin boxes with cakes biscuits and chips. We can’t agree more that school age is the perfect time for children to learn about eating healthy food, having fit bodies and staying active. This is also the time when kids learn to socialize and start asking for pocket money in primary classes to make their own decisions about buying eatables for themselves. There is no doubt that their choices get influenced easily by their friends and popular trends of the day.
Being role model at home
Personally speaking, I think children are not to be blamed for the wrong choices they made regarding food. Let us ask ourselves Have we as parents been real role models? Do we always eat our greens? Do we go for a walk daily? Do we drink only water? I am sure our answers are in negatives. Anyhow, let’s make amends and decide to be a role model for our kids.
Feed according to activity levels
Children in their growing age need a wide variety of foods for a well-balanced diet, but we need to keep in mind if they are active enough to digest what all they are eating? The amount of physical activity they have in a day is an important part of how much they need to eat. When children are into outdoor activities, snacking becomes an important part of daily meals to keep their energy levels up. Two to three healthy snacks like homemade fruit yogurts, sprouts chaat etc can be easy options to keep them from eating junk outside homes.
Breakfast is important
It is important to make kids eat breakfast daily before leaving for school, though it had been and still is my biggest fight with kids (kids remain kids even after reaching their twenties for mom) as they wake up late and after a glass of milk don’t at all feel like eating breakfast. As kids grow up they develop their own habits of sleeping and waking up late but as parents we need to make them follow the rule “early to bed and early to rise”. A good night’s sleep followed by healthy food in the morning will go a long way for kids to stay active and improve concentration. A bowl of cereal like Oats or Dalia with milk and fresh fruit is a great breakfast for them.
School lunch Boxes
A packed lunch from home is any day the best, but kids will still go to the school canteen to buy junk. Is there any way out? Yes, make your child prepare something for lunchbox the night before. something easy like in this picture..
- Whole wheat or multi-grain sandwiches with cheese, hummus and salad
- Whole wheat crackers with cheese slices, and fresh or dried fruits puree.
- Steamed cut up vegetables or fresh fruits with some mayonaise.
- Frozen lime water bottle or tetra pack of soymilk, buttermilk etc.
- Wheat flour cakes baked with the help of kids an intelligent choice.
How to handle treats?
There is no harm in making your kids eat particular popular foods as, if you don’t let them eat, they will anyhow go for it. Let your child eat these kinds of foods may be weekly. A candy or a small bag of chips won’t do any harm. But keep things under control as these foods very easily become habits.
Snacks after school
Once the kids are back from school there should be something ready for them to eat… now if you are a working woman, no issues keep small tiffins with names of kids packed in fridge. These snack can be :
- Fruit cream or chaat.
- Cereal and fruit with milk.
- A bowl of soup or fresh juice.
Family time, dinner time
- Let the kids talk and share whatever they wish to.
- Avoid having food while watching television or attending telephone.
- Please do not force kids to eat if they don’t feel hungry. Let your kids decide when they are full without any argument.
- Make kids help with preparing meals or even laying table.
- Keep talking about simple nutrition facts when kids accompany you for shopping veggies. Let them decide which fruits and vegetables they would like to eat.
- Make your children understand the value of drinking plain water.
- Milk and yogurt are important for good health and can be easily converted into healthy drinks likes shakes and smoothies..
Well with these tips as a parent you can never go wrong with the health of your kids.
Are you ready to try these healthy eating tips for kids?
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