Monday, 28 July 2014

Developing Healthy Childhood Eating Habits

Healthy eating help to stabilize children’s energy and sharpen their mind and even keep their moods stable. Due to peer pressure and increasing TV commercials for junk food can make getting kids impossible to eat healthy diet. There are few steps parents can take to instill healthy eating habits without turning times of meal into a battle zone. By encouraging healthy eating habits now, you can make huge impact on your children’s lifelong relationship with food and give them the best opportunity to grow into healthy, confident adults.

Developing healthy eating habits

The most important point is, that we know very well about children is that the children impulse to imitate is strong. So it is very necessary for you to act as a role model for your kids. It’s no good asking your child to eat fruit and vegetables while you gorge on potato chips and soda.
Here are few tips which help you to promote healthy childhood eating
 
• Cook more meals at home: Home cooked meals are healthier for whole family than restaurant meals and also sets a great example for kids about the importance of home cooked food. Restaurant meals tend to have more fat, sugar and salt.
   
• Involving kids in shopping of kitchen items: Children enjoy in helping elders for shopping of groceries, selecting what goes there in their lunch box and preparing dinner. In this process there is a chance for you to teach them about the nutrition value of different foods and how to read food labels.
  
• Keep empty calorie snacks away from the reach of kids: if you keep plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain snacks and healthy beverages ( water, milk, pure fruit juice) and easily accessible so kids become used to reaching for healthy snacks like soda, chips or cookies.
 
• Limit portion sizes: Don’t insist your child cleans the plate. And never use food as a reward or bribe.
    
• Have regular family meals: breakfast and dinner are good times for family meal. It is found that kids who eat breakfast tend to do better in schools.
    
Persuading children to eat more fruit and vegetables

Making mealtimes playful can mean healthier eating for your kids. Here are some fun, creative ways to add more fruit and vegetables to your child’s diet:
• Top a bowl of whole grain cereal with a smiley face: banana slices for eyes, raisins for nose, peach or apple slice for mouth.
• Create a food collage. Use broccoli florets for trees, carrots and celery for flowers, cauliflower for clouds, and a yellow squash for a sun. Then eat your masterpiece!
• Make frozen fruit kabobs for kids using pineapple chunks, bananas, grapes, and berries.
•Go foods shopping with your children. Let them see all the different fruits and vegetables and have them pick out new ones to try.
• Try fruit smoothies for a quick healthy breakfast or afternoon snack.
• Add vegetables and fruits to baked goods – blueberry pancakes, zucchini bread, carrot muffins.
• Add extra veggies to soups, stews, and sauces, grated or shredded to make them blend in.
• Keep lots of fresh fruit and veggies washed and available as snacks. Apples, pears, bananas, grapes, figs, carrot and celery sticks are all easy to eat on the run. Add yogurt, nut butter, or tahini for extra protein.