The health of your children is of utmost importance to you, as healthy children will most likely grow up to become healthy adults. Habits formed when they are young, including a sound diet, sufficient rest and an exercise regimen, can go far in ensuring that your children stay healthy.
Some parents may be under the impression that achieving good health takes much work, but the reality is that common sense practices coupled with some prodding by mom and dad can help keep your children healthy. Please read on for some tips on how to use foods to advance good health in your youngsters.
Shopping for Food
Your children want the sweet cereals, ready-made lunches and pop in the oven dinners. These items to not have to be excluded entirely from their diets, but must be controlled and served only on occasion. Most packaged food is heavily processed and may lack the nutrients growing bodies need. Moreover, such foods are typically high in salt and fat, two dangers that can cause obesity and lower their mortality later in life.
When food shopping, keep your food choices simple. Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, and emphasize whole grains. Go lean on protein foods and make use of dairy products. In each food group you have many choices; get your children accustomed to trying new foods. For instance, frozen yogurt can be a substitute for ice cream. If your children detest creamed spinach, then try spinach salad.
Save dining out for special occasions or no more than once per week. You can dine at a fast food establishment, but make sure that you read the menu carefully. If dietary information is included, add up the calories before placing your order. Many restaurants post detailed menu online — read up on it before you go out to eat.
Your dining out meal should approximate one-third of your child’s calories for the day. Boys that are 10 years old can have as much as 2,200 calories per day. Therefore the meal should come in at about 700 calories or fewer. You may need to substitute the fries for sliced apples or choose skim milk over a soft drink to reach your goal. Know what your child’s caloric consumption limit is to keep within that number.
Meal Planning and Preparation
Make meals interesting and healthful. Children may resist eating well, but you can still deliver meals that are interesting and was as healthful. Consider that portions play a significant role in advancing human nutrition, therefore do not fret if your child wants battered chicken strips and avoids the salmon. Simply keep your meat count down to an age appropriate level, while also including cooked vegetables and whole grain rice with your meals.
You can also substitute certain ingredients to control fat content. Olive oil can be used to sauté although it does have a high caloric count. Consider also serving a hot breakfast occasionally at night. You are pressed for time during the morning, but you can make a healthful omelet in the evening or whole wheat pancakes or waffles. Put out the fruit preserves or allow your children to dip their strips in maple syrup.
Meal preparation with young children by your side can give you the opportunity to impart good and healthful eating habits. If your children are resistant to vegetables, allow them to dip carrots, cucumber chips and celery stalks into a dip. Ranch dressing is one option, hummus is another one. If a child prefers zing in her dip, then break out the salsa. Put out a display of fresh fruit for dessert including oranges, apples, bananas and seasonal fare.
Plan your meals several days in advance and post your menu where your family can see it. You do not need to be an expert cook to serve up delicious and healthful meals, so stick with the tried and true food ideas, mixing and matching as you see fit.
All together now. One way that parents can ensure that their children are eating right is to have the family enjoy meals together. Make a habit of serving dinner each night at the appointed hour, with everyone doing their part to get the meal ready. Your children can set the table, one parent can cook, another parent can clean up and a child can load the dishwasher.
Alice Pettaway is a medical industry writer. She contributes to various online publications and communities. To learn more about banking cord blood visit Familycord.