July 4, 2019
Childhood is about learning, developing and growing. As kids learn, develop and grow they model the behaviour of the their parents or guardians. Kids who grow up in families who enjoy nourishing foods are more likely to make their own healthy choices as they grow up.
It is important for parents and families to practice easy lifestyle approaches to help their children grow up healthy! To achieve a healthy weight, children should eat nutritious foods and should be physically active, children should also have their weight and height monitored while they are growing.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming or expensive, as a minimum children should be encouraged to eat a variety of vegetables, fruit and wholefoods.
Some ideas to meet nutritional needs for kids include; packing a whole food lunch box for school, making sure there healthy snacks are included like a piece of fruit and a slice of cheese with some vegetables sticks and dip or a tub of yoghurt, add or hide thinly sliced/grated vegetables to their dinner. It’s important to make food fun by creating an ideal environment at eating times, this could be getting the kids involved with the cooking and the experience of flavours and textures. Teaching your children about where the food comes from and what nutrients it contains can also create and encourage healthy eating behaviours.
Discretionary foods such as, take-away, chips, biscuits, cakes, chips, should be limited or saved for ‘special’ occasions only, try offering a healthy alternative first, like a piece of fruit prior to ‘unhealthy’ choice. When choosing these discretionary items, read the nutritional label and make the best choice, the best choice would be one with less calories, sodium, and saturated fat per 100g.
Always provide water as the first choice of drink, avoid allowing children to drink soft drinks, cordial, vitamin or sports waters, energy drinks and processed sugary juices, if you are choosing to give your child a juice, squeeze some orange and mix it with water instead of supermarket purchased juice. Soft drinks and juices may also cause dental issues in children. Sugary, processed foods should be limited to avoid unnecessary weight gain or dental issues.
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