Healthy Eating Benefits the Entire Family!
June 7, 2017
Starting healthy eating habits at a young age has some great long-term effects for children that includes supporting growth and physical development. It’s recommended that families “focus on making healthy food and beverage choices from all five food groups including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy” to get the nutrients they need. Research shows the earlier you start healthy habits with your child, the more likely those habits will be maintained throughout their lifetimes.
Eating a variety of nutritious foods from every food group is a great way to create a well-balanced healthy diet. This provides children with direct brain development benefits and it’s also an excellent way to avoid future health problems. Many health problems—cavities, obesity, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes—have all been related to unhealthy eating at a young age.
Here are some steps to inspire your children to eat healthy now and into the future:
- Set a good example and be honest with yourself about the kinds of food messages you're sending. Trust your body to tell you when you're hungry and when you're full and your kids will learn to do the same.
- Avoid buying unhealthy foods.
- Encourage kids to drink water when they are thirsty rather than juice, soda or other sugary beverages.
- Promote fruit and veggies at each meal.
- Stick to a meal and snack schedule.
- Sit down for dinner together as frequently as possible.
- Get them cooking! If your children become involved in choosing or preparing meals, they'll be more interested in eating what they've created. Take them to the store and let them choose produce for you. You can involve them in meal preparation such as allowing them to cut up vegetables and mix them into a salad.
- Lastly, always celebrate healthy choices!
This article was written for the June 2017 edition of Parent Source.