10 Nutritional Tips For Children

10 Nutritional Tips For Children

There are many messages about nutrition, our food, “good” and “bad” foods. They are also often contradictory and confusing.
It is a challenge for most adults to determine what is fact and what is pure fiction when it comes to healthy eating. So how can we expect children to know the truth about nutrition?
1. Choices, Choices – Give children choices. Kids love to make their own choices about almost everything, so why not give them a choice of what to eat? Start with a trip to the grocery store or farmer’s market, let them pick a veg or two they like, and have them help you prepare their choices in the kitchen. Studies show that children who prepare meals are less likely to develop diabetes and obesity and eat high-quality, nutritious foods overall.
2. Don’t be afraid of fat. Both children and adults need fat. They are a source of energy and provide essential fatty acids necessary for various bodily processes. In general, fat should make up less than 30% of the calories in your child’s diet, no more than a third of those calories from saturated fat. Try to cut down on processed foods high in saturated fat like bacon, hot dogs, and burgers, and choose healthy fats like nuts, avocado, and nut butters.
3. Drop off processed foods. Limit processed foods, many of which contain high amounts of added sugar and sodium. A cupcake or bag of crisps every now and then is fine, but don’t make it a daily habit. Instead, offer different choices of snacks, such as nuts, vegetables, fruit or hummus.
4. Eat for the environment. Sometimes telling kids to eat for their health doesn’t resonate – they’re young and often feel invincible, after all. However, telling children that eating for the environment can help prevent climate change can make them think twice about their choices. The advice I give my own children – eat less packaged food, eat less animal meat, and try to grow your own food – is helping them and their global community.
5. Eat your vegetables. In fact, eat vegetables or fruits with each meal. Make it visually appealing. Kids love color and first eat with their eyes. Teach them how to “eat the rainbow,” the key to getting all of the amazing nutrients that vegetables offer.
6. Mix it up. Never give up on serving a variety of foods to your children. It’s assumed that all kids love bland food, and restaurant kids’ menus seem to have a standard offering of chicken nuggets, burgers, or grilled cheese, often with fries. Most children, if they are hungry, will try what you put in front of them. Don’t make it difficult for kids to try nutritious foods by not offering them.
7. “Moo” -ve over meat. Just like adults, children can tolerate having less animal protein in their diet. Protein can come from various foods that are not meat. Beans, edamame, walnuts, nut butters, and even whole grains contain protein and, as an added benefit, are often cheaper than meat.
8. Keep carbs cool. Carbohydrates provide fuel for an active brain and growing muscles. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the best type of carbohydrate: wholemeal bread, pasta and cereals; Brown rice; potatoes; fruit; peas; and beans – also provide vitamins, minerals and fiber. Baked treats, candies, and sugary drinks should be kept as occasional treats, as they don’t offer nutrition beyond a quick source of energy.
9. Give up the diet. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children and adolescents not diet, but instead focus on quality nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. In fact, dieting has a negative effect on almost everyone, but especially a growing child who has hormones that will be affected if he drastically decreases his nutritional intake. Instead, help your child establish a healthy relationship with food through your own example and attitude.
10. Focus on the family. Eat together at least once or twice a week – more often is better. Developing a connection by cooking, preparing food, and eating it together helps create healthier relationships with food. Eat mindfully without a screen or phone at the table. Only serve the amount they are likely to eat. Kids need smaller portions than adults, and they can still ask for seconds.

Attract kids to eat green vegetables


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