For many parents, it may seem like a struggle to simply make sure that their kids get three meals a day. However, there are plenty of easy ways to improve your child’s nutrition. As you work to train your kids on how to take care of their bodies, consider making these simple changes to ensure that they are healthy and happy.
1. Switch From Soda to Water
Sugary drinks are bad news for kids. With so many calories and sugar, sodas automatically create a huge impact on the overall health of kids. As much as possible, cut sugary sodas out of your children’s diet and encourage them to drink lots of water. Forming a habit now of drinking plenty of water will serve them well later in life.
2. Choose Whole Grains
One simple substitution you can control is to choose to buy whole wheat bread, pasta, and crackers instead of the versions made with white flour. Whole wheat products contain all of the vitamins and nutrients that are lost when flour is bleached to make white flour, plus they provide much more fiber.
3. Encourage Movement
When your kids are playing, encourage them to make it active play. Even if they aren’t participating in a sport, running around at a playground can provide lots of good exercise. Dancing, rollerblading, biking, jumping rope, and playing tag are all great options.
4. Make Breakfast a Must
Skipping breakfast is a bad habit that will hurt kids when they grow up. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, as it jumpstarts metabolism and provides fuel for energy. Include a fruit and some kind of protein to make sure that your kids won’t get too hungry before lunch.
5. Avoid Processed Foods
Clearly, it’s almost impossible to completely avoid processed foods, but choose unprocessed options whenever possible. For example, offer your kids a fresh apple as a snack instead of applesauce. Take a minute to read the ingredients before you buy something – if it contains an ingredient with an unpronounceable name, consider looking for a more natural option!
6. Don’t Bring Junk Food Home
It’s really quite simple – if there’s no junk food in your home, your kids won’t have a chance to eat it, at least when they’re at home. Encourage children to enjoy junk food as a special treat, but teach them to not make it a daily habit.
Nutrition is an important part of your child’s overall wellbeing. Applying these six steps will help you maintain a healthy diet for your child.