Developing healthy eating habits at an early age is important. As children mature and become adults they will already have established eating habits. It is up to us as parents to make sure we teach our children to make good food choices that are healthy. The number of children that are obese is growing at a substanital rate. As parents we must help our children eat healthy and lose weight.
With the prevalence of fast food restaurants and advertisements targeted at children it can be difficult to avoid requests for these meals that often include free toys of some sort. Rewarding children occasionally with one of these meals is okay as long as it does not become a regular occurrence. Children should only be allowed these types of meals once every few weeks at most. There have been scientific studies performmed that show children can become addicted to fast food and it has been established that eating fast food all the time can cause obesity.
Children in school that participate in the school’s lunch program will have access to pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken strips so they will already be getting this type of food. Meals and snacks at home should consist of more rounded meals. Eating healthy at home can translate to your children making better choices with their lunch meals at school, as well.
Children should be encouraged to try different fruits and vegetables. Parents should not force food on their children if they try something and do not like presently. As we age our tastes changes and foods we previously may not have eaten, we will now like. If a child does not like something currently, wait a few months and then have them try it again later.
One way to promote eating healthy is to have children to help prepare and plan meals. If the children are included they will feel more involved and can be guided to make healthy choices about the meals that are prepared for the entire family.
Many of the foods children crave can be prepared in ways that are healthy. Chicken strips that are normally breaded and deep fried can be substituted with boneless, skinless chicken breast strips that are not breaded and baked. Beef hamburgers can contain a lot of fat used as fillers. Rather you can use lean ground sirloin and broil or grill the meat instead of frying it. For snacks and desserts parents should encourage children to eat fresh fruit or frozen low-fat yogurt instead of candy and ice cream.