Not a day goes by without some mention of the best ways to ensure that your kids have a balanced, healthy diet. This subject has seen increased focus because of the increase in childhood obesity throughout the United States.
Unfortunately, busy modern life makes it hard to get it right all the time, and it is so easy to just rely on fast food and snacks. However, this doesn’t provide your kids with all the nutrients they need to grow and develop healthily. Therefore, we have put together some tips on nutrition for kids that will help you put a plan of action in place.
Benefits of a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet has many benefits for a little one as they go through the different stages of their childhood. Making sure that they eat a variety of different nutrients will help to:
- Build up their energy levels
- Aid in their physical and mental development
- Prevent the development of some chronic diseases
You can make life easier for yourself by adding lots of different foods at an early stage and making sure that your babies and toddlers see you eating the types of foods you are trying to introduce to them.
Be a Role Model
This is such an essential factor in helping to develop healthy eating habits in your kids. If they see you binging on potato chips and chocolates, they are going to think this is normal. And they will certainly let you know about their objections if you try to impose restrictions on them.
Therefore, you need to practice what you preach and eat a variety of foods around your little ones. If you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, they will think it’s perfectly normal and will follow suit. And if you need to have a chocolate fix, do it after the kids have gone to bed!
Breakfast Is the Most Important Meal of the Day
You should always make sure that your kids have breakfast before they leave for the day. Adding some form of protein will help them maintain their energy levels during the morning. Yogurt, eggs, and peanut butter are some examples of foods that kids usually like that will give them an excellent start to their day.
Create a Schedule
Mealtimes can be quite chaotic if you have a small army at home, but they are a vitally important part of your child’s daily routine. Having regular dinner times and insisting on eating together has many benefits—and not just on their eating habits.
Kids need routines, and this is a way to introduce new food groups. During dinner time, you can also monitor the kinds of foods your children like and make any adjustments to your meal plans as necessary.
Make Fruits and Vegetables Easy to Find
Kids love sweet and salty treats, but that doesn’t mean they have to go straight for the cookie jar! Fruits and vegetables should be introduced at an early age, as kids love experimenting with different colors and textures.
As your child gets older, you should try to encourage them to try different fruits. You can have a fruit bowl that is always full of some fresh, delicious fruits that your kids like. This isn’t to say that they can’t ever have doughnuts and cookies, but they should be seen as more of a treat than the norm.