Grow Healthy Eating Habits for Your Kids
A recent study found that teaching children from a young age to eat a healthy, low fat diet can carry into young adulthood. Researchers followed more than one thousand children from 7 months old until age 14. They found children began forming their eating and lifestyle habits very early. Experts say the earlier you teach your children to eat properly the more likely you are to be successful. The study also found that those children who were taught to focus on healthy fats like those found in fish and nuts, had slightly lower cholesterol levels.
It's a huge responsibilty, so here are a few tips to help make the job easier for you and the kids!
1. Let them help: Let the kids help plan meals, shop and prepare food. Helping to organize a grocery lists and menus, choose fruits, or make frozen yogurt treats are excellent ways to get children interested in healthy cooking and eating.
2. Knowledge is power: Teach kids where their food comes from. Go to the local farmer's market once in a while and talk to the people who produce our food. Plant a blueberry bush or start a small garden patch. Go to a dairy farm or a pick-your own strawberry patch. There are a lot of fun, educational activities that focus on families.
3. Maintain a healthy kitchen: Offer healthy options. Keep a variety good snacks on hand at all times.
4. Diversify preparation: Your child may resist eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, so let him or her drink them! Fruit smoothies or slushes can be a fun way to introduce new fruits. Let the kids design their own slushes to share!
5. Don't give up: Most children need multiple exposures to try new foods. To be honest, so do most adults, but it's worth the wait to watch them open up to new experiences.