Nutritional needs of your children vary with age. Every balanced meal should include carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the right amount. Children who consume low quality food for a prolonged period of time are more likely to suffer from chronic physical and psychological ailments.
Know the Signs Your children’s weight is one of the biggest indicators of their nutrition level. Those who consume excessive amounts of junk food are prone to obesity, Type II diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis among other things. Children may also suffer from developmental delays. Deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals can lead to serious complications such as reduced immunity and weakness. Poor nutrition also has a negative impact on your children’s performance at school and at the playground. They are unable to focus on work, and lack the energy required to interact and play with peers. Your child’s doctor may also notice some abnormalities and recommend tests to diagnose the underlying nutritional deficiency. As parents, you can play an important role in teaching healthy eating habits to your children.
Early Start Start when your children are young. Early healthy eating experiences leave a lasting impression on their eating and nutrition habits. Nutritious meals during early years also provide them essential nutrients required for ideal growth and development. Making sure they start right will put you both on a good path.
Consistency Eat your dinner at a fixed time each night. Make sure your entire family is present at the dinner table. Sitting together can help improve appetite, and make meals more enjoyable. Healthy, home-cooked meals everyday can become a habit and benefit your children in the long run.
Involve your Children Cook meals at home frequently, and allow your children to be part of the meal making process. It can be a fun way of teaching important nutritional values to them and can help teach them early about how to distinguish good foods from bad. It will also develop a sense of accomplishment in your children.
Right Choices Stock your pantry and refrigerator with healthy snacks. Provide your children with some good choices and guide them through the decision-making process. When surrounded by right options, your kids will slowly learn to avoid junk food cravings, and enjoy the healthy ones instead. Try not to deprive children a certain kind of food, allow them to make the choice and help them learn to make healthy habits.
Timing The right timing is absolutely crucial. Offer new foods to your children only when they are hungry, and in a good mood. This helps them approach the food with a positive attitude, and they are more likely to enjoy it. You may allow them their favorite snacks and meals as incentives.
Five Servings of Fruits and Vegetables The American Pediatric Association recommends at least five servings of fruits and vegetables to all children. They provide essential nutrients for your kids’ overall health and well-being. Include fruits and vegetables in every meal. Most Americans are finding that they don’t get enough of these vitamin rich foods. Make an effort to introduce them to your children when they are young.
Judicious Discrimination Most children are attracted to cakes and candies. While it is important to cut down on processed foods to limit sugar and salt consumption, complete elimination may lead to unwanted cravings. Choose judiciously, and allow your children some fun on special occasions.
Set an example for your children by eating nutritious meals and leading a healthy lifestyle. Remember that your children look up to you and follow your actions, not your words. Healthy nutrition is possibly the best gift you can give to your child. Remember to supplement your children’s nutrition and provide them essential components required for a long and healthy life by using vitamins and medicine from natural companies like Melaleuca. Your child can get the right amount of nutrition with a little forethought and discipline.
“Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives in Los Lunas New Mexico where she loved to spend her time outdoors.”