Nutrition Guide to Keep Your Child Healthy

You are what you eat. It’s an old expression but on every single level imaginable, it is a statement of fact. From the time your child comes out of the womb and is no longer a product of what mom ate, what goes into the mouth of your children will control or change their life and lifestyle for as long as they live. More and more, parents and adults are starting to see and take hold of the factual advantage that a controlled diet can have for health and happiness of children. There are various methods and approaches to healthy eating for children that can be broken down into sections that parents can take in whole or in part as they find reasonable for them and their family.

Restrict Unhealthy Eating

For those starting early: If you are expecting or your children are still very young where their diet is completely under your control you have an advantage in turning them on to healthy eating as opposed to falling for the push for junk food eating that is so large in our society. Start out by feeding your children fruits for snacks or as treats as opposed to reaching for the potato chips or other sugary snacks. The less your children see of the unhealthy foods while their bodies (and mouths) are still developing, the less interested they will be in them as they grow older. When it comes to drinks, make it a rule to never offer your children soda. Try to get them to drink water and occasionally fruit juices as a treat. When dining out or going through the fast food (which you should also avoid as much as possible), order them milk, water or lemonade for their beverage rather than a carbonated soda.

For those starting later: If your children are older and more in control of their own diets while they’re out and about, turning them to healthy eating becomes more a matter of discussion and possibly negotiation. Despite their opportunities to eat junk while out of your control at a friend’s house or at school, you can help enormously by resolving not to keep such food in your own home. Stock up on fruits and vegetables and encourage them to eat that whenever they are home. Don’t expect immediate results but over time, they should slowly begin to fill their appetites with more and more healthy foods rather than other junk offered to them.

Vegetable Tip: You can get great recipes and information on finding vegetables for consumption on many various websites. Simply do a Google search for “Vegetarian Eating” and dive into the numerous results.

Learn Healthy Cooking

For those starting early: If your children are still young switching to healthy eating can be done very quickly and without much notice by your kids. For those starting in infancy or with toddlers, the absolute best thing you can do for your child’s entire dietary life is to get them used to eating fruits and vegetables. Many parents offer their children a taste of strained peas or carrots and if the child doesn’t seem interested – they throw the jar out and never try again. Be more persistent, put the jar away if the child doesn’t seem interested at first and then offer it again an hour later. You will find that hunger makes them much more interested in something that didn’t seem all that great before. Continue that behavior as your children grow and you will find them asking you for fresh fruits and vegetables on their own. You can learn to cook these types of foods, making sure to have a vegetable offering with every meal. Steamed vegetables are second only to eating them raw as far as nutritional content. Avoid deep-frying or boiling if possible as it drains many of the nutrients out.

For those starting later: If your children are older, switching to healthy eating can be done one of two ways: either by discussing it with your children and trying to come to a compromise, or by making a gradual change in the foods that you prepare on your own. Your children might wrinkle their noses at steamed broccoli the first time you offer it, so try steamed carrots with the next meal. Eventually when they see you sticking to it, they will begin to pop one or two into their mouths and within a few months most teens and young adults will bend and start finishing their vegetables. You also should try cooking more with rice and other grains and changing the method of your cooking to include more baking, grilling and steaming with much less frying.

Cooking Tip: healthy cooking tips include not only methods for actually cooking the food but for preparing it for cooking as well. For example: it matters when baking meats how your meat is placed in the pan. You can find more information on various cooking methods online.

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