Develop Good Eating Habits In Children
Good eating habits in children are important since food can stabilize their energy, sharpen their minds, and even regulate their moods and can also reap benefits for a lifetime. “A sound mind resides in a sound body.” This old adage contains a very sound message for all parents indeed.
In today’s globally connected world, we are loading our kids with toys, books and labeled clothes so they are able to compete with their peers as kids and as adults. But are we ensuring the proper development of their bodies as well?
Develop healthy and good eating habits in children. Learning to make the right choices and actually wanting to make the right choices is something that will come with time. You have to make the decision that you want them to start eating healthier and know that you are not going to do it temporarily, but that it has to be a lifestyle change.
High Needs, Fussy Feeds
Children are fussy eaters but their nutritional requirements cannot be played around with. If you are satisfied with your child consuming endless sweets, noodles and bags of chips, then you need to take your child’s diet more seriously before your careless approach results in health issues for her. With growing bodies, kids need plenty of nutrients for their bodies to develop in an optimal manner. Since junk food is hardly rich in anything worthwhile, its consumption must be kept at a minimum.
So, which are the essential nutrients that must form a part of your child’s diet no matter what?
Include The Crucial “FOUR”
Proteins, Calcium, Iron and Vitamin A are the nutrients you need to keep a special eye on when it comes to your child’s diet. She also needs other nutrients that form a part of a balanced diet like carbohydrates, fats and other vitamins and minerals but these nutrients are the ones you need to monitor in a careful manner.
Everyone knows the importance of calcium for kids’ bodies. To ensure the proper absorption of calcium in the body, your child also needs to consume Vitamin D and phosphorous in the right amounts. Too much of phosphorous interferes with calcium absorption while its absence also does not ensure calcium absorption. So, balance is the keyword.
Most kids drink milk in one form or the other which gives their bodies several great nutrients. The easiest source of Vitamin D is sunlight but given the summer heat, a lot of kids are kept indoors in air conditioned houses which keeps them away from the natural source of good health.
Eggs come to the rescue by supplying your child’s body with Vitamin D and aiding calcium absorption in the body. Eggs also contain iron and good quality proteins besides several other beneficial nutrients. Many people in India believe that it is not a good idea to consume eggs in the summer season as they are a ’hot’ food item.
There is no evidence to prove such a claim and children are needlessly deprived of some great nutrition due to this. Good eating habits in children can make a huge impact on their lifelong relationship with food and give them the best opportunity to grow into healthy, confident adults.
Iron helps in the formation of Hemoglobin and this is the reason it is essential for children to consume it in adequate quantity. Since children’s bodies are growing at a rapid pace, they also require proteins to meet these growth needs. However, it is important to consume adequate energy-supplying foods like carbohydrates ad fats along with proteins to ensure that the body uses proteins for growth instead of using it for meeting its energy needs.
Vitamin A is important for maintaining good vision and the absence of this vitamin can have seriously damaging consequences for a child’s eyesight. Good sources of vitamin A are animal foods like milk and butter and our bodies can also produce vitamin A with the help of orange fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, mango, carrots and the like.
Nutrition: A Light Matter?
Advik was born on June 2, 2008. His mother, Shalini was a corporate executive with an annual package of Rs.7 lakhs per annum. As theirs was a nucleur family, Shalini admitted Advik to a posh daycare center after school since she did not want to give her career up.
As a result, he received breast milk for the first 2 months of his life as opposed to the recommended feeding period of 6 months (minimum) after which Shalini resumed her job. The resulting loss of immunity caused him to fall ill numerous times and he became even weaker than he was to start with after the recurring illnesses.
Shalini served him easy and convenient food items he accepted readily like noodles, chocolates and chips for breakfast and dinner as she was either too busy or too tired to bother with his strong preferences with food items. At 3 years, Advik had been hospitalized three times, appeared frail, could hardly speak to express himself and remained inactive and morose most of the time.
Read more on this topic Healthy Eating Habits For Children
Be creative and try a number of food items with your child until you discover her preferences. Include healthy ingredients like whole wheat flour, brown rice, eggs, milk and its products, chicken, meat, fish (for non-vegetarians), fruits and vegetables especially green leafy ones and yellow ones to ensure wholesome nutrition for your offspring.
Good health and good eating habits in children kick-start a child’s life on a solid foundation—one which every parent should strive to create.
Good eating habits in children should be developed when they are young. This will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults. Continuous snacking may lead to overeating, but snacks that are planned at specific times during the day can be part of a nutritious diet, without spoiling a child’s appetite at meal times.
These are just some suggestions on how to develop healthy eating habits. Developing this habit is not something that will happen overnight. You can try one of these, or you can try all of them, but you might not want to try all of them at once. In order for your new healthy eating habits to stick, it should be a gradual process.
Otherwise, you may get frustrated and give up. Just like anything else, you will get more used to it, and it will get easier with time. Good luck!