It’s understandable that parents might require assistance in determining what is healthy and what is unhealthy for their children. From regular stalking food guides to the latest food fad, it can be awfully confusing sometimes. Furthermore, in a world that promotes junk, chocolate, and chips over meals that are healthy and will help your children grow up strong, encouraging healthy eating and nutrition can feel like a really difficult task but don’t worry this article will ease some of your difficulties.
Importance of healthy and nutritional diet for children
One of the simplest and most significant strategies to prevent disease is to eat a healthy diet and concentrate on nutrition. Many chronic diseases like Obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure etc. can be avoided by eating well Healthful eating has many benefits for kids, it helps them to –
- Stabilize energy.
- Improve minds.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Prevent mental health conditions. These include depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
Harmful Effects of Junk Food
Many kids’ diets involve a lot of convenience and takeout food and It is a well-known truth that junk meals have a negative aspect and can be unhealthy because they contain a lot of fat and sugar, as well as salt, but are relatively low in other important nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They have the potential to harm your child’s health. Some of the issues that improper eating might bring can last throughout adulthood. Some problems like childhood obesity, heart disease and diabetes and other chronic diseases can potentially turn into life-threatening illnesses
Some unfavorable and unhealthy effects of junk food on children are –
- Less Energy
- Sleep cycle disturbance
Nutrition Tips to Improve Kids’ Health
No compromise on Veggies and Fruits
Always keep some vegetables, fruit, and healthy items that you know your kids would enjoy in your kitchen. Make it visually appealing. Kids love colour and eat with their eyes first. Teach kids to “eat the rainbow,” which is the key to obtaining all of the beneficial components found in vegetables. Also, Vitamins in leafy green veggies like broccoli and orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes help is maintaining energy for a long time and boost immune health.
Build a healthy and balanced diet
Meals are more intriguing and savoury when eaten because each item contains a unique combination of macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) and micronutrients, it’s also the key to a healthy and balanced diet (vitamins and minerals). Along with filling half of kid’s healthy eating plate with colourful vegetables and fruits go for whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice and choose beans and peas, nuts, seeds, and other plant-based healthy protein options, as well as fish, eggs and poultry cooked with healthy oils from plants like extra virgin olive, canola, corn, sunflower, and peanut oil. Accompany the meal with unflavoured milk, plain yogurt, small amounts of cheese, and other unsweetened dairy foods.
Gradual shift to healthier foods
Limit intake of processed foods, which are heavy in added sugar and sodium. It’s fine to allow a cupcake or a bag of chips once in a while, but don’t let it turn into a habit. Don’t make a complete overhaul of your meal plan. Simply replace a few harmful things in your refrigerator or pantry with healthier options. Gradually increase the kid’s intake until you’ve acquired healthy eating habits.
Offer different sneak choices such as –
- Ice cream to Home-made smoothie
- Butter to Olive oil
- White bread to Whole wheat or whole grain food
- Chips to Home-made baked chips or nuts
Don’t avoid Fat
Healthy fats are an important part of both kids and adult’s diets. They offer energy and vital fatty acids, which are required for a range of biological functions. They’re also good for the brain, as they improve memory and improve mood. The goal is to ensure that your children consume the right and proper healthy and unsaturated fats and decrease processed foods high in saturated fat.
- Healthy fat is found in – Nuts, avocado, olive oil.
- Unhealthy fats are trans fats that can be found in – Fried food, baked food and, packaged food
Don’t fear Carbs
Carbohydrates, such as grains and starchy vegetables, are burned for energy and provide fuel for active brain functioning and growing muscles. Whole grain bread, cereal, brown rice, potatoes, fruits, eggs, nuts, beans etc are known to be the best kind of carbs as they also provide children with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Vitamins and minerals also aid in the maintenance of good health. Calcium and vitamin D, for example, aid in the development of strong bones. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that preserves skin cells.
Limit Sugar content and maintain calories count
Sugar is found naturally in a variety of meals. Fruits, vegetables, cereals, and dairy products are among them. These foods provide us with all of the sugar we require. Extra sugar is added to a lot of foods. All of this extra sugar, at the very least, adds empty calories to diets. It has the potential to cause hyperactivity, mood disorders, obesity, and type 2 diabetes in the worst-case scenario. Soda and other sweetened beverages are high in calories and interfere with proper nutrition. For children, the optimal drinks are water and milk. When juice is 100 percent, it’s OK, but kids don’t need much of it – 4 to 6 ounces per day is sufficient for preschoolers.
Making nutritious food the quickest and easiest option will enhance the likelihood that your children will choose it. That’s why it’s also a good idea to keep junk food out of the house, or at the very least out of reach and sight of your children and teach them healthy eating habits as a child, so that they are more likely to stick with it as an adult. That is why it is critical that you instil excellent habits in your children now. It will assist them in sticking to their dietary habits. As a youngster or an adult, this will aid them in avoiding chronic diseases.