9 tips of healthy eating habits for your kids
Eating habits of children are formed in the first years of life, which is why it's extremely important that parents pass on to their children really good eating habits.
Try to be playful! Food should be fun for children. Kids love diversity and colourful food. Entice picky children's palates' with a wide variety of choices and different variations of their daily meals. Why not prepare for them wholemeal bread sandwiches with cheese and cut vegetables in the shape of a clown?
Use toothpicks to pin in the following vegetables to a slice of bread or baguette:
- 2 slices of cucumber and 2 halves of olives (for the eyes),
- half cherry tomatoes (for the red clown nose)
- thin moon red peppers (like a red shaped mouth).
Here are 9 failsafe tips on how to teach children to eat properly:
- Be a role-model for your children and show them how to eat properly. Eat together with them as much healthy food as possible.
- Do not let them munch on empty calories. Have plenty of healthy sweets/snacks available like fresh and dried fruit, nuts, carrots. They will sustain the children between main meals.
- Giving children fruit and vegetables from an early age will build a healthy habit for a lifetime. Aim for five servings a day of fruit and veggies and alternate between different types so that the kids will get to taste and try more varieties.
- Let the children be your helpers during cooking. Children love this activity. It's fun and it builds up the social aspect of doing things together, plus they gradually learn how to cook. The knowledge of the art of cooking will certainly come in handy for them in the future.
- Do not cave in to the children's cravings for sweets and junk food. Nobody needs their food and drinks to be too sweetened, this will create a bad habit – or even an addiction.
- Teach children to add as little salt to their meals as possible, only according to their own taste.
- Children under 5 years old shouldn’t drink skimmed milk. They need all the energy they can get; they should be given semi-skimmed or occasionally whole milk.
- Children under 4 years of age shouldn't be given whole nuts. They could choke on them. Make sure the nuts given to older children are small and given in small amounts.
- Do not force children to eat more or eat up food when they do not want to. Food has to be the child’s need, not a punishment. Alternatively, eating up should not be treated as a proof of merit and grace by the parents.
Did you know, that in the European Union, about 38% of all children are overweight? Obesity is increasing rapidly among children between the 13 - 17 years of age. The most common cause are low levels of physical activity and bad eating habits.
Children are our future and it is up to us to help shape a good life for them!
If you need help with nutrition for yourself or for your children, do not hesitate to contact our nutrition coaches. We will be happy to answer any questions or draw up a menu to fit you and/or your children.
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Source of data: http://www.cnn.com