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Healthy eating habits for kids

With childhood obesity worldwide tripling over the past 20 years, what kids are eating has become a major concern. In this day and time healthy eating habits for kids should be on every parent’s priority list. Overweight kids use to be rarity but not anymore. Instead of playing outside during the summer months, they are now in their rooms playing video games. Thus they are no longer getting exercise they need. And instead of eating a home cooked meal, now fast foods are becoming the staple of their diets.

As parents, we should strive to do our best to keep our kids healthy. These days children have a lot more unhealthy options than ever before. Our job is to make sure that they get proper exercise needed as well as eat healthy. Here are some ideas to help establish a pattern for a healthy life style.

1.    Do set a good example for your child to copy. Share mealtime and eat the same healthy foods.
2.    Do discourage snacking on sweets and fatty foods. Keep plenty of healthy foods such as fruits, raw vegetables and low fat crackers, yoghurt etc. around for children to eat between meals.
3.    Do allow children to follow their natural appetites when deciding how much to eat
4.    Don’t force children to eat more than they want.
5.    Don’t use food as a bribe.
6.    Don’t accustom children to extra salt and unnecessary sugar to drinks and foods.
7.    Encourage your child to eat slowly. A child can detect hunger and fullness when eating slowly.
8.    Involve your children in food shopping and preparing meals.
9.    Discourage eating meals or snacks while watching TV. Eat only in designated areas like dining room or kitchen.
10.    Encourage your children to choose water as their beverage. Over consumption of sweetened drinks and sodas has been linked to the increased rates of obesity in children.

Overweight children and teens are more likely to develop serious health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholestrol, heart disease and diabetes. Good nutrition and balanced diet help kids grow up healthy.
Encourage your children to get some physical exercise by encouraging participation in sports activities. Give your children the types of gifts that will encourage them to exercise such as sports equipments and skate boards.
Keeping your children physically healthy in an unhealthy world sometimes seems impossible. But by instilling healthy eating habits for kids and encouraging more physical activity, you are giving your child the best gift they could ever get from you. By instilling these habits while they are children, you are directing them down a path to a lifetime of healthy living.
 
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