Healthy Foods to Eat – Cultivate Good Eating Habits in Children

If you have been giving in to your child’s demand for fast food over healthy foods, then think again. Regardless of the stress you are undergoing, be it at home or at the office, it is a sin to just give in to the child’s demands. The child cannot think right, but you as the parent have the onus of ensuring they get the needful nutrition, that they cultivate healthy eating habits so that they can grow strong and healthy. Most fast foods, though labelled “the most nutritious protein food” is more often made up of more than 50% non-nutritional material such as preservatives, stabilizers, sodium, sugars, synthetic substances and fat. Protein, the most important nutrition for healthy growth makes up less than 10%. With a wailing 3 year-old on your hand, it is understandable to just give in and have some peace, but this is detrimental to your child’s health. If you have been finding it difficult to manage, here are some tips.

Get your child involved in the preparation of family meals from an early age. Show them what to prepare, teach them what is healthy food, explain why they are healthy and most of all, make the food look and taste good. In as much as possible, stock up plenty of healthy foods of many varieties so that your child gets accustomed to healthy eating from an early age. Allow your children to make their own snacks; in this way they are more likely to eat what they have prepared.. Make your marketing and grocery trips interesting and fun. Bring along your children. This is one area where it allows you to educate them on the value of healthy food. It will also give them the sense of pride that they are allowed to take part in making purchases.

Children love finger food snacks especially chicken. No, do not run to the nearest fast food outlet. Make your own, they are easy. Just cut chicken breasts into “finger” size, and bake them or have them grilled. At all times, avoid frying. Make some healthy and tasty yogurt dressings to go with them. Serve a variety of foods and a spectrum of colors to make the foods you are serving attractive and delicious. There are times when you do need to eat out and when that happens ask for food to be grilled instead of fried.

Fruits and vegetables are healthy foods to eat

As an adult, you need to show good examples. Children ape their parents, so as a responsible parent avoid snacking on salted chips or processed food too often. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, they do make delectable snacks and meals. So, make a habit to snack on fruits, salad and juices instead of reaching for that bag of chips. Fruits can be sliced; carrots and celery cut into sticks and serve with a bowl of yogurt dip, low-fat sour cream added with honey as well as applesauce. Children just love anything that comes with a bowl of dip.

Remember, it is the owner of the hand that feeds them that makes children what they are. So start now and give your children healthy foods to eat.

Ali Hyder

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