How to Get Children to Eat Healthy
Many children don’t know the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods. It is the parents’ duty to teach and show them the difference. It is a proven fact that children who eat healthy balanced meals daily, fall ill less often. Healthy food choices will support their continuous growth. It goes without saying that, healthier food choices for children are vital.
What is a healthy diet?
A healthy diet is one that helps maintain or improve overall health. A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition: fluid, macronutrients, micronutrients, and adequate calories.A healthy diet may contain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and includes little to no processed food and sweetened beverages. The requirements for a healthy diet can be met from a variety of plant-based and animal-based foods, although a non-animal source of vitamin B12 is needed for those following a vegan diet.
Benefits of Healthy Eating in Children
1) Support continued growth and physical development.
Foods that contain complex Cabohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, provide the necessary nutrients for growth and development.
2) Avoiding health problems.
Many chronic maladies may come as a result of unhealthy diets. For instance: diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease just to name a few. Healthy eating may result in fewer or no cavities all together.
3) Brain development.
Children who eat a healthy diet also receive direct brain development benefits, according to research associate Marc Goodman-Bryan with The Urban Child Institute. For example, if a child does not receive adequate intake of iodine and iron, she may experience both cognitive delays and motor development delays. A child whose diet is deficient in the essential fatty acid DHA might experience delays in learning and development.
18 Tips to Get Children to Eat Healthy
1) Make a schedule
It helps to create a daily schedule. Children should eat every 3 to 4 hours. They should have 3 full well balanced meals, at least 2 snacks and lots of fluids everyday. That will ensure that they receive their daily intake of essential nutrients.
2) Good quality breakfast
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. Breakfast that is rich in fibre helps in preventing constipation. When running out of time, whole grain breakfast cereals with milk or yoghurt are a good choice.
3) Plan dinners ahead of time
This will ensure that healthy and balanced food recipes are not compromised. You can cook meals for the whole week or for a few days in the week and freeze them. Warm them up at dinner times.
4) Introduce new foods gradually
Children are new food phobic by nature. By introducing new foods slowly in their daily diets will help them take to the taste.
5) Get children involved
Involving children in food shopping and cooking will get them more interested in eating the foods they have picked and helped with cooking. This is especially applicable for older children and teens.
6) Cut back on buying junk food
By buying much less junk food will ensure children eat the healthier available foods instead.
7) Allow treats once in a while
Forbidden things can seem more appealing. Allowing children to indulge in treats like sweets and chocolates once in a while is a healthy balance. They won’t appear so appealing after all. This will prevent children from over indulging when the opportunity presents itself.
8) Make healthy snacks available
Ensuring healthy snacks like a variety of fruits and vegetables with healthy dips are available, will get children eating them.
9) Include healthy fats in children’s diets
Fat helps children’s body grow like they should. Fats fuel the body and help absorb some vitamins. They also are the building blocks of hormones and they insulate the body. There are two types of fats that are essential: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Monounsaturated fats include: extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts( almonds, pecans) and seeds( pumpkin,sesame) etc.
Polyunsaturated fats include: omega 3 fatty acids from salmon, mackerel, walnuts and flaxseeds etc.
10) Disguise the taste of healthy foods
Putting healthy vegetables like kale in beef stews, sweet potatoes and carrots mixed together with mash potatoes, can get children eating them.
11) Cook more meals at home
Cooking most meals at home will ensure that nutrients are not compromised and will minimise unhealthy food consumption.
12) Limit portion sizes
Big portions on the plate generally put children off. Minimising the portions will get them eating more. Don’t be surprised if they ask for a second round.
13) Limit refined carbohydrates and sugar
Replacing processed carbs with whole grain ones is a much healthier option for children. Substituting sugar with natural honey is much healthier too. Try giving them whole wheat brown bread, whole grain brown rice instead their processed counterparts.
14) Avoid sugary drinks
Giving children water with a dash of fruit juice is healthier than giving them fizzy drinks. You can also give them milk and healthy smoothies.
15) Make fruits and vegetables more appealing
Incorporate healthy sauces like apple sauce in fruit salads. Serve fruit with a dash of cream or thinly cut cucumbers and carrots with healthy dips (either yoghurt or humus).
16) Make meal time family time
Making all the family sit together during dinner times will set children in a routine. It will give you a chance to observe their eating habits and to talk to them about the day. This will give them something to look forward to.
17) Be a role model
When all is said and done, your actions speak louder than words. Your children watch what you eat so, set a good example.
18) Juice Plus fruit, vegetable and berry gummies for children( chewables)
These are children’s gummies( chewables) which are made from 20 different types of fruits , vegetables , grains and 11 different types of berries. They are derived from whole foods in their natural state. They are tasty and come in a soft chewable form.The appealing taste comes from two all-natural sweeteners – tapioca syrup and organic cane syrup – with absolutely no high fructose corn syrup. They contain no artificial flavors or artificial colors and are 100% vegetarian; the ‘chewiness’ comes from fruit pectins, not gelatin.
Children love these healthy gummies which are packed with essential nutrients. They do bridge the gap between what children eat and what they should eat daily. If your child is a fussy fruit or vegetable eater, these chewables will bridge that gap.
Find Juice Plus chewables/gummies below.