It can be hard to make healthy food choices for your little ones in the day and age of dollar chicken nuggets and free refills on sodas.
How do you choose what to feed your children so that they can grow strong and thrive in a world full of unhealthy choices? Below I have seven diet tips to help you in this endeavor.
The first tip for making healthy food choices is planning ahead, especially if you’ll be traveling or on the go running errands.
I find that a lot of our unhealthy eating choices come from being on the go. We’ll get hungry while we’re in town and some of us think that the McDonalds value menu is a good solution.
To combat this bad decision making you should started to plan ahead for your trips out. You can take healthy foods like
A little planning ahead can go a long way in helping your children to eat healthier.
Another bad habit many families have is to snack at home between meals or when watching TV. Snacks are not necessarily a bad thing, but if there’s junk food in the house, that’s what you reach for first.
Basic behavior modification techniques say to keep healthy food on hand and in visible places, rather than junk food.
Solution: At the store you should buy a lot of fruit like apples, pears, bananas, and oranges, and keep them in a bowl on the dining room table, and on the kitchen counter.
You also can pick up easy to eat veggies like carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. With few junk food choices, and an abundance of healthy food choices around the house, you will find yourself reaching for the healthy snacks more often.
More on healthy snacks here:
My aunt once taught me a valuable lesson: kids don’t have the same size stomachs as adults. It’s easy to put a lot of food on a child’s plate and expect them to eat it all because you don’t want it to go to waste.
But in reality you are just teaching them to overeat. My friend says: In our family we give our daughter a small portion of food for each meal (about the size of her fist).
If she eats all of it and still wants more, then we give her more. And if she says she’s not hungry any more, then she doesn’t have to eat anymore and no food goes to waste. I think this is good advice that you can take advantage of.
When giving a child a snack, make sure to give them a portion, not an entire bag of chips or crackers. When people eat in front of the TV or during a movie, they often don’t realize how much they’re eating, even if they’re already full.
To combat this it’s best to put the snack in a small bowl, and when the bowl is empty, not to get up and get anymore.
Whether at home, or in a restaurant, there are steps you can take to make sure that each meal your child eats is well rounded.
For starters, choosemyplate.gov suggests that
Think about this when fixing dinner for example. A well rounded meal could consist of:
Arguably one of the most important ways to get your kids eating healthy is to eat healthily yourself. If your children see your healthy food choices are fruits and veggies instead of junk food then they are more likely to want to eat healthy foods as well.
One way you can handle this is to show your kid verbally and physically that you are trying new fruits and vegetables and that you like what you’re eating.
My friend says: From the time my daughter was just starting to eat whole foods I always tried to act excited when I introduced a new vegetable to her. She is now four years old and today she’s a lean, vegetable eating machine who is always willing to try a new vegetable.
Her preschool teacher told us that she was the only child going back for seconds on the beets, onions, celery and other vegetables they brought in for veggie day. You can imagine how excited that made my husband and I feel to know that she is now making healthy food choices on her own.
Something you didn’t even realize how much salt they add to food these days. Even if you’re buying canned vegetables, the odds are that there is a lot of sodium in it.
Now don’t get me wrong, sodium isn’t bad. It’s an important electrolyte to have in your system, especially if you’ve been sweating. But too much of it can do more harm than good. What are electrolytes? Learn here.
The next time you go to the store, read some labels on the things you buy and check out how much daily value of sodium you’ll be eating in one portion of food. You might be surprised. Learn how to read labels here.
For your healthy food choices try to stay away from high sodium food,
and when buying canned food, try buying the ‘low sodium’ variety when
possible. But better eat fresh fruits and veggies.
High fructose corn syrup is another one of those ingredients that is in just about everything these days. They say it’s added to foods to enhance the flavor, but in reality there’s no real benefit.
Two excellent resources to learn about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup are the documentaries: Food Inc. and King Corn. These were real eye openers for me, and now I read labels more than ever at the store to reduce high fructose corn syrup intake.
A recent study done at Yale suggests that consuming large amounts of high fructose corn syrup is linked to
Again, one of the ways you can avoid this problem is to make right healthy food choices:
Making healthy food choices for your kids doesn’t have to be a hassle. With a little research, and some planning ahead, you can have your kids eating healthier, and living a healthier happier lifestyle. Learn simple tips for healthy eating for your kids here.
For more information, check out the websites below: