Children And The Healthy Eating Battle
The way children like to eat is often a battle. Sometimes it is just easy to give into their wants versus looking at long term behavioral diet trends. I will tell you with 100% certainty when a preschool teacher see parents bring their children to school with a donut, cake pop or soda we cringe. There is a lot of research associated with behavior and high sugar intake. We should be feeding children with the energy for optimal physical and mental health. Breakfast should be a meal that fuels their body for mental alertness and physical activities.
Feeding children in a healthy manner is no easy task. Good nutrition is vital to growth and development as well lifelong eating habits. Children need proteins, carbohydrates, fat and vitamin and minerals. A lot of children’s diets lack most of major dietary components and consist of high sugar and fat. When we feed children in this manner it sets the stage for adult eating patterns. Children like sweet foods that is no mystery but once sugar is decreased in one’s diet the craving for sugar decreases. Making good habits in childhood will help raise healthy adults.
Decreasing sugar intake with children needs to be gradual. When making changes in your diet it needs to be gradual. When changes in one’s diet planning is gradual the longer lasting the results. Starting with one meal should be easier to make lifelong changes then changing everything at once. Adding a healthy well balanced breakfast is a great start. Breakfast should be a healthy balance of all food fuels. Protein a grain and possibly some fruit would be a great start over just a sugar and fat laden donuts that provides no nutritional value.
Having veggie taste test as a family event can really open our eyes to what different things children will eat when you implement things in a fun manner. There are a ton of different healthy dips to help compliment vegetables to make them more appealing to children. With the rise of childhood diabetes decreasing sugar should be a goal for all families.
Besides sugar fat intake is also on the rise in children’s diets. Many high sugar foods are also high in fat. Besides and increase in childhood diabetes there is a rise in childhood obesity and childhood heart problems. Balance is key and once families start to eliminate some high fat and sugar foods building a healthy diet for the whole family can be achieved.
Parenting is very difficult and the fussy eater does not make planning healthy food choices any easier. Presenting food in a fun manner and involving children in the shopping and cooking process can help a lot. Children are very visual so you need to make sure food looks appealing to them. Having children involved in the whole process is a very encouraging aspect of meal prepping with children.
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