A kid’s overall health is among the major issues faced by most parents. In the different countries around the world, malnutrition, obesity, and overweight issues are causing serious problems to parents and even to the government. Such issues need to be handled and controlled at the early phases of life, so that the future of the children will be secure and safe from numerous diseases. There are actually different sources of influences on kid’s eating behaviors. Genetics play small role, social relationships, family and parent influence, community, neighborhood, institutional or schools. Large scale influences are also common like food systems, culture, economics, and even marketing.
Kids learn their eating habits from watching and copying what their parents usually do. Thus, it is more essential than ever that you learn how to teach your children to be health conscious at a very early age. Children can actually learn how to eat only the best or right foods and understand the real essence of eating healthily and getting enough exercises. It’s very possible for you to teach your kids to understand and encourage healthy habits.
Make eating rather colorful – Eating foods in different colors is not only fun, but it has lots of health benefits as well. Help you children understand nutritional value in including colorful foods to their diet. This does not mean that each meal should be multicolored. But you must make efforts on incorporating wide range of vegetables and fruits.
Never Skip Breakfast – if you instill a routine regular mealtimes in your kids, chance is they will continue to practice this ideal habit when they are older. Teach them about low fat breakfast that does not only kick start their energy and brain, but also helps in weight maintenance as well as keeping chronic diseases and illnesses at bay.
Drink more water and not soda: Keep the message precise and clear to your kids – water is very healthy and sodas are not so healthy.
Look at the labels – While your children may care all about labels on clothes, there is another kind of label, which is more important when it comes to their health. Show your kids how all their favorite foods have labels with important details about nutrition.
Always enjoy family dinner – with hectic and busy family schedules, it is hard to set time to enjoy family meal together. But this is definitely worth every try.
Always Serve them healthy foods – avoid serving junk foods, chocolates, bakery products, unhealthy foods and oily foodstuffs to your kids. A balanced diet must be given and encouraged to your kids in order to avoid diseases like overweight disorders and obesity. Healthy eating will help your kids mentally and physically.
Provide healthy snacks – snacking is not a bad thing. Provided that you don’t let them overeat at dinner or lunch time. Just see to it that you are offering them healthy snacks always. Some juice, dried fruits, fruit, small salad, nuts in between meals is always the best choice.
No forcing! – If you kid is not hungry at all, do not make him/her eat. Finishing his/her plate isn’t necessary. Do not worry so much if your kid is getting enough, if your kid is otherwise happy and healthy, he/she probably is.
Slowly introduce new foods to your kids – kids are new food phobic in nature. Tell your kids that their taste buds sometimes need to get used to flavors before they will like its taste.
Teach your kids healthy eating habit early on – use snack and meal times as the best teachable moments in order to help your kids make wise eating habit and food choices.
Involve your kid in preparing meals and food shopping. Such activities will offer you hints about your kid’s food preferences, this is also the best opportunity of teaching your kid about nutrition, and a chance of giving your kid a sense of accomplishment. In addition to that, kids may be much willing to try or eat foods that they prepare.
Discourage snacking or eating meals while watching television – eat in the designated area at home like in kitchen or dining room. Eating while watching TV makes it difficult for the kids to pay more attention when they’re feeling full and it can also cause overeating.
See to it that you kid’s meals outside home are enough or balanced – consider knowing about their ‘lunch program at school’, or better yet, pack their own lunch in order to include varieties of healthy foods. Also, you should choose healthier foods when eating at restaurants.
Other Smart Tips for Parents – For Healthier and Livelier Kids
Teach Them Fun And Enjoyable Exercises And Activities – Not all kids appreciate sports, some hate their PE class, but when children find such activities rather enjoyable, staying active and healthy will become easy for them. If your kid has not found his/her sports just yet, help him/her find the one. Expose your kids to range of activities such as swimming, gymnastics, and archery, among others.
Don’t let your kids stay ‘couch potato’ – get your kids out of the sofa. According to studies and researches, those kids who actually watch over 1 to 2 hours of TV everyday are more susceptible to health problems like impaired performance in school, behavioral difficulties including social and emotional problems, being overweight or obesity, irregular sleep, and many more.
Encourage your kids to read every day – Developing your child’s reading skills and abilities are very important facets of your child’s overall success now and in the future.
Children can actually learn how to become health conscious by the time they’re 5 year old. However, they will only learn it if you really teach it. Talking to them, serving all healthy foods, and teaching them how effective and beneficial exercises are can promote much healthier and livelier lifestyle for the kids. Be a role model, after all, your kid’s health is at stake here. Let them learn the right foods to eat and the right way to live a healthier life.
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