Habit development starts at an early age, as children tend to model the behavior they see on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, if they keep eating burgers and fries every single day of the week, chances are they’ll follow the same diet as grown-ups. Now, we don’t have anything against an occasional Big Mac, but the emphasis is on occasional.
Teaching your kids good eating habits from the get-go will allow them to have a healthy relationship with food. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry — we’ve got you. In this article, we’ll share some useful diet and nutrition advice, followed by delicious meal ideas you can try out. Let’s get started!
Importance and Benefits of Healthy Eating Habits
A nutritious diet is essential in leading a healthy lifestyle. There are many benefits to having a balanced food intake, and we’ll outline the most important ones in this section:
- Gut health: We all know that our colon has bacteria, some of which help our metabolism and digestion. That’s why it’s important to consume food that will help these microbes do their job. For instance, a fiber-rich diet is known to decrease inflammation. Meanwhile, probiotic-rich food like yogurt helps the good bacteria thrive.
- Improved memory: You’ll see a bunch of diet tips online these days. But did you know that food can impact our cognitive health? For instance, food rich in omega-3 acids and vitamins C, D, and E is said to protect against dementia.
- Better mood: Have you ever felt hangry? If yes, then you know that food (or a lack thereof) can impact our mood. Furthermore, different research indicates that healthier diets (e.g., Mediterranean diet) may be linked to having better mental health.
- Heart health: The CDC has declared heart disease as one of the leading causes of death in the US. Luckily, plenty of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented with lifestyle modifications, including dietary changes. For instance, grains, fruits, and vegetables are all heart-friendly foods.
- Stronger bones: Have you ever wondered why so many parents insist on their children drinking milk? Well, this calcium-rich liquid is extremely important for developing strong bones and teeth.
Tips for Incorporating Healthy Eating Habits Into Your Daily Routine
As a parent/caregiver, you are the one in charge of supporting your child, including instilling positive life choices. We know that kids can be picky eaters, so we have prepared some useful, healthy eating tips you can incorporate. That said, there’s no need to demonize an occasional snack or candy — it’s all about the right balance. Proper nutrition is essential, so let’s learn how to make the most of it so that your children can develop a healthy relationship with food.
You, your parents, and generations before them have insisted on breakfast being the most crucial meal of the day for a reason. While we cannot deny the importance of lunch and dinner, a healthy breakfast will provide your child with the energy they need for the rest of the day. You don’t have to prepare a five-course meal; something nutritious like a peanut butter whole-wheat piece of toast and their favorite fruit will do the trick.
Our second of many nutrition tips is to have family meals as often as possible. We are aware that two working parents won’t be able to meet their children at the same time for every single feeding, but try to serve at least one meal and snack at the same time of the day. The truth is, everyone, kids included, enjoys having a routine, and this is the perfect opportunity to teach some healthy habits.
Get your kids involved in meal preps because they’ll love being part of the process. Take them grocery shopping, and listen to what they have to say. For instance, you can let them pick a vegetable or fruit you’ll include in their lunch box every once in a while. A meal prep container, like the one from INEVIFIT, will help you portion the nutrients. Make sure to select a food from each of the categories. Select one main course (e.g., hard-boiled eggs and crackers, a whole grain wrap with cheese and chicken, a veggie omelet, etc.), fruits, and vegetables. You can even use animal-shaped molds to cut the food and make it even more kid-friendly.
Try and teach your children to really enjoy the food they’re eating. Have them describe the textures and flavors of food and turn the whole process into a memorable experience. Let them savor the crunchiness of apples, the juiciness of grapes, and the softness of bread. This way, they’ll learn to appreciate the food and its rich flavors.
Our final piece of nutrition advice is to do away with the bans. If you tell your children not to consume chocolate, they’ll only want to eat it more. Moreover, they’ll look for opportunities to circumvent the rules at all costs. Instead, strive for a compromise. Allow them to have a chocolate bar, but portion it instead of letting them eat the whole thing.
That’s it — we’re done with our diet and nutrition advice for the day. As you can see, nurturing food habits play a crucial role in your child’s life. It’s up to you as the parent to foster those healthy behaviors and help them grow into kind and caring human beings. If you want to read more about fitness and wellness tips and tricks, make sure to contact our team of professionals and follow our page for more.