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All parents know the nightmare of getting kids to eat healthily which is even more difficult given the rampant child-targeted advertising of junk food, longer video game play time or TV watching, and Covid-19 restrictions.
While video games and TV are a suitable form of entertainment, they can detract from a child getting enough exercise which is why a well-balanced diet for a child is essential for their development and will have lasting results well into adulthood until you have no ability to control what they eat.
Should children indulge in the doomed combination of sitting around all day and eating junk food they definitely will develop weight issues which can lead to loss of motivation, anxiety, and depression.
Exercise should always be encouraged where possible but there are also some things you can do that can be a great benefit when it comes to your child’s health. including:
Limit portion sizes
Start them young
Portion sizes will directly contribute to the weight of your child while getting them to eat healthy food as early as possible will get them used to it and many vegetables that kids don’t like can be disguised inside other flavors.
Actively Monitor Intake
Experts from the Insurance industry have identified that obesity will soon overtake smoking as the biggest health risk to people and one of the biggest contributing factors to weight gain among children is the size of a meal portion. Because you want to make sure that your children are getting enough to eat, it can be very easy to serve them a portion size that is larger than necessary.
Toddlers should be served around a quarter of an adult meal while older children require a varied amount so the best way to decide how much to serve your children is to measure calorie intake. 6 to 8-year-olds require 1,600 per day, 9 and 10 require 1,800 per day, and 11 to 13-year-olds require 2,200 calories per day. Older teen boys and girls grow at different rates and will require between 2,000 and 2,800 calories per day.
Introduce Healthy Foods Early
Even into adulthood, most of us will continue to eat what we were given as a child since that is where our taste profile begins to develop. For example, a child who is never given spicy food is extremely unlikely to enjoy or even try spicy food as an adult, and if they do will probably not do so again.
Allowing your kids to try different types of foods as early as possible is vital to having them develop a taste for them. Dreaded broccoli, for example, can be given to toddlers who may not enjoy it the first few times but at around the sixth time will have adapted their pallet for it. However, forcing a child to eat something they don’t like can also make them develop a hatred for it, so baby steps are necessary when it comes to strong-flavored foods and children.
Hide What’s There
Should all your efforts fail, then it might become necessary to disguise vegetables and healthy foods inside meals. A great way to do this is to use a blender to make sauces made with many vegetables such as a tomato-based meat sauce for spaghetti and meatballs. Sauces are a great method of doing this since the children can’t see the vegetables in the sauce and are therefore more likely to eat it.
Serving food that the kids don’t like alongside foods that they do is also a good way of getting them to try new healthier options. Placing broccoli with some fried chicken for example means that they are more likely to eat it and associate one flavor with the other.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.