In the United States, more and more children now are considered overweight and obese. Obesity is linked to many cardiovascular problems for your child like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. These conditions will likely affect your child’s childhood, which might affect him or her later on as an adult.
To reduce the risk of these health problems, it is best that you help your child follow a healthy diet and encourage him to exercise regularly. Read on and find the best nutrition tips for children.
Top 10 Nutrition Tips for Children
Buy Healthy Foods
As a parent, you decide which foods you can buy and what foods are stacked in the fridge. In buying foods, remember to buy healthy and nutritious foods. Kids will somewhat pester you to buy something unhealthy and sugary, but you still have the last say. You may buy them some treats but do not make it a regular habit. Do not worry, kids will definitely eat what is available around the cupboard.
Follow a Routine
Serve your child’s meals and snacks at the same time daily. Offer a milk or juice along with the snacks. You can also offer water between snacks and meals. Giving your child too much milk or juice, though, will cause them losing appetite for meals.
Do not open television and other gadgets during mealtime. Without television and gadgets, your child can eat without any distractions. Remember, ads that are seen in television may only encourage your children to eat unhealthy and sugary foods. Minimize your child's exposure to ads that promote unhealthy eating.
Avoid Clean-Plate Club
Parents are often guilty of clean-plate club. They have grown to that rule and they want their kids to do the same. However, it is important that you let your kids quit eating when they are already full. It is one way to encourage the kids to listen to their own bodies. When your child knows when he or she is full, there is less likelihood of overeating.
Do Not Use Food as Reward
Some parents use food as reward to show their affection, but this is not healthy. You have to find suitable ways to show your love; If you use foods, they may think that foods are used to cope with emotions. Instead of food, show your affection with praise, hugs and attention.
Eat Fruits and Veggies with Each Meal
Fruits and vegetables are very important sources of fiber, minerals and vitamins. It is best to try eating 5 servings of them per day. You can give fruits to your child during breakfast , a serving of banana or apple as a snack and other servings of veggies for mealtime. You can try different kinds of fruits and vegetables from the supermarket to add variety.
Physical activity is essential to keep the heart healthy and the bones strong. Encourage your child to be active. Being active can bring lots of fun. You can let your children walk to the school or even run in the stairs. You can boost them to join sports like football or swimming since these activities are good for body and it is similar to having a workout.
Make Mealtime Fun
Mealtime does not mean it should be boring. Create your foods in creative ways. Use cookie cutters to mold your foods in different sizes. Add some sauce or favorite dips when serving vegetables. Kids will also love brightly colored foods. You may also cook some breakfast foods for dinner. With a little creativity, you can encourage your child to eat.
Set a Good Example
Kids will be likely to follow your lead. If you eat healthy foods, your child will be encouraged to eat the same. Show your kids that as a parent you take care of yourself by eating healthy foods.
One teaspoon of salt is equivalent to 2,300 milligrams. For children ages 1-3 years old, salt intake should be less than 1,500 milligrams per day. For children 4-8 years old, salt intake should be below 1,9000 milligrams per day while children 9-13 years old can have salt intake less than 2,200 milligrams. Cut back on eating pretzels, canned soups, frozen dinners, potato chips and fast food.