Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

Friday, December 10

Healthy eating habits for kids

Healthy eating habits are often overlooked by parents of very young kids. Eating healthy food is not a choice kids make by themselves. It's a habit parents have to inculcate right from early childhood. By the time they realise their kids are into all sorts of unhealthy food it might be a little too late to change things. Healthy food habits are an invaluable part of a long and happy life for your kids.

teach kids to eat healthy when young
Photograph courtesy

Healthy food habits are not something you enforce on your kids one fine day. If you haven't been doing it since they were babes in your arms, you've left it a bit too late. You now have to fight off junk food, advertising, colourful toys, and media circuses, in addition to your kids own whims and fancies. All this make eating healthy a big chore when, in fact, it should be one of the most natural things in the world. But that doesn't mean parents should give up without a fight. This is a battle parents have to fight for their kids' health and overall well-being.

kids need to eat healthy home cooked food
Photograph courtesy

Junk food is here to stay due to its wide availability, low prices, convenience, and addictive taste and flavours. They cause childhood obesity, behavioural problems, temper tantrums, health risks, and diseases in adulthood. They take away considerably from a normal, happy life. There are a few things you can do to reduce its vile repercussions. 

Help kids eat healthy food like salads
Photograph courtesy

Cut out from children's diet from an early age

  • white bread 
  • white sugar
  • processed food such as cakes, biscuits
  • refined food
  • sugary drinks
  • soft drinks
  • lollies

Check food labels for and avoid

  • Soy lecithin 
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Trans fats
  • Sodium
  • Added Sugar
  • Artificial Colouring Agent
  • Artificial Flavours
  • Preservatives

If exposed to these products in infancy, a lifelong addiction is in progress by the time they're five. Replace them with wholemeal products, lean meat, pulses, yoghurt, fruits, vegetables, healthy snacks, fresh water, and simple, easy-to-make home cooked food. Teach them to read food labels when they are old enough to understand. Make your own bread, cakes, muffins, and cookies using healthy non-refined ingredients and make this a treat and not a daily affair. Create your own jams and preserves using traditional methods without harmful chemical preservatives

healthy eating habits in childrearing
Photograph courtesy

By inculcating healthy eating habits in early childhood, you're giving your child a head start on the road to good mental and physical health. Armed with healthy food habits, your kids will be spared annoying diseases such as allergy attacks, asthma, frequent coughs and colds, temper tantrumsand whining temperaments. Introduce them to salads early so they don't miss out on the goodness of  raw food alongside a well-cooked meal. By encouraging your kids to eat healthy you would have given them a legacy that's hard to beat where family health is concerned for generations to come. 

teach kids to eat healthy
Photograph courtesy

 If you find your kids are fussy when it comes to eating healthy, encourage them by, 

  • showing cooking shows such as Jamie Oliver's 
  • get colourful magazines and cookbooks that are full of tempting pictures of healthy food
  • get them to begin cooking their favourite dishes
  • starting them on tossing their own salads with their favourite ingredients
  • bring up the topic of healthy food vs. junk food whenever appropriate without sounding preachy
  • enlist their help in making grocery shopping lists
  • show enthusiasm when cooking rather than treat it as a hated chore; your kids will soon catch it
  • have a small veggie patch with the basic tomato and herbs and enlist your kids' help in maintaining it
If you have ideas about healthy eating for kids that you'd like to share, we'd love to hear from you. Do take the time to leave a comment. Thanks!

Sunday, December 5

Drinking Clean Fresh Water is a Healthy Habit

Drinking water that is clean and fresh regularly is an invaluable healthy habit parents can instill in kids right from the beginning stages of life. If you can programme them to equate thirst with clean fresh water rather than soft drinks, you've done them an immense favour in terms of parenting. Honestly, can anything taste sweeter than fresh water after an energising fitness workout?

Wednesday, December 1

Fruits Vegetables and Kids

Childrearing tips on feeding kids fruits and vegetables might seem redundant at least to some parents. But the surprising fact is that there are Mums and Dads who think it's no big deal. At least some parents think it's okay as long as they are eating some kind of food and not going hungry. Raising children anyway calls for, what they see as, far more important issues than insisting that children eat their fruits and vegetables. Well, not quite. 
fruits and vegetables are healthy options
Photograph courtesy

Fruits and Vegetables are Important

Fruits, vegetables and kids sometimes don't mix. And this is one thing that parents easily give up on. But fresh fruits and vegetables have a very important role in children's diet. They supply essential nutrients, enzymes, and vitamins in their natural form. These are the building blocks of good physical fitness and mental health as the child grows into adulthood. Make it a natural part of their lives. 

Fruits are healthy snack options
Photograph courtesy

Eating fruits and vegetables as a matter of routine is an invaluable habit that parents can help inculcate in their children quite easily during the early childhood years. After that it might become an uphill task. Include fruits in breakfast and snack menus and veggies in lunch and dinner menus quite normally as you would chicken and dessert.

More Vegetables than Fruits

Most kids love tomatoes
Photograph courtesy
While kids should be encouraged to eat both fruits and vegetables, ideally you should give more importance to vegetables. The fructose in fruits is converted to sugar and so it might become too much of a good thing where a child's health is concerned. On the other hand, vegetables can be indulged in to any amount

Try to feed your children organic fruits and vegetables as far as possible. If buying conventionally grown stuff, make sure you wash off the pesticides thoroughly. You can't see or smell pesticides and might be driven to think a simple soak is good enough. No, it's not. You need to scrub them thoroughly and rinse well in flowing water, especially if you're making salads. When making salads, 
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly
  • Chop, slice, carve into interesting shapes and figures
  • Add salad dressing sparingly
  • Avoid store-bought dressing
  • Mix contrasting coloured vegetables to make it look enticing
  • Give a huge platter of salad pride of place on the dining table
What Parents Can Do

Walk the walk and eat them yourself. Do not put down any fruit or vegetable however much you may dislike them personally. Do not resist buying some vegetable that you may not particularly like. You might be inadvertently denying your child something that could well turn out to be his favourite. 

eating vegetables make kids healthy
Photograph courtesy Anita
Get recipe books with enticing pictures in them to get your children interested in the concept of fruits and vegetables. Put your child in charge of maintaining the fruit bowl with clean fresh fruits, noting when something needs to be refilled. 

If your child consistently  rejects certain vegetables, give him a break and gently re-introduce it later on when he's a bit older. Try new recipes. What she doesn't like grilled, she might take in a salad or boiled lightly. Use vegetables in  slowcooker recipes, soups, salads, stir fries, and juices. When using vegetables, 

  • Do not overcook
  • Do not cook in large amounts of water
  • Make your own salad dressing rather than store-bought ones
  • Avoid deep-frying
  • Avoid charring on barbeques
  • Eat raw as much as possible
  • Avoid genetically modified (GM) fruits and vegetables
Veggie Patch For Your Child

Give your child an active role in making grocery lists, shopping, washing fruits and vegetables before eating, salad preparation, and even setting up a vegetable garden. Prepare a small portion of your backyard, freeing it up for a veggie patch. Get a small watering can, gardening gloves, a couple of implements, some organic manure, seeds or seedlings, and you're all set.

Encourage kids to eat vegetables
Photograph courtesy
If space does not permit a whole garden, go for a pot with a tomato plant or a herb garden. Your child gets to see how vegetables come about from tiny flowers to big, fat tomato. Soon you'll have raised yourself a proud little farmer telling you to eat your veggies.