A balanced diet is necessary to ensure the good health of children. If you have kids then you probably want to make sure that they are eating as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, the spread of processed foods today has made healthy eating very difficult. Follow these guidelines so you can ensure that your kids are eating a balanced and nutritious diet.
Have Regular Family Meals
Eating as a family is one of the best ways to ensure that your kids are eating well. If your family is like most families then the best time to have a family meal is during dinner time. Needless to say, you can monitor the foods that your children are eating when you have prepared them yourself. Studies have also shown that children who belong to families that regularly eat together are more likely to eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They are also less likely to try unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol. Having difficulty getting your kids to eat healthy dishes? Get them to help in preparing the food. They will be more likely to eat healthy foods if they were involved in the preparation. You can also use family meals as a chance to introduce your kids to new nutritious foods.
Learn About the Different Food Groups
Before you can feed your kids a balanced diet, you will naturally have to know what makes a balanced diet first. This means learning about the various food groups. Vegetables and fruits are essential and should make up a large part of your children’s diet. Protein and calcium are also important nutrients that all growing children must receive. Foods that are rich in protein include poultry, fish and beef. As much as possible, stay away from lunch meats and other processed meats as these contain very little nutrients. For calcium, serve low-fat milk, cheese or yogurt to your kids. Instead of the usual bread and other refined flour products, opt for whole grains instead. There are now many whole-grain breads and breakfast cereals available that are both delicious and healthy.
Replace Unhealthy Snacks with Healthy Ones
Children love to eat snacks. They love to eat snacks after school, while watching TV, while doing homework or even before bedtime. If the only snacks you have in the fridge and pantry are the unhealthy ones (potato chips, pastries, cookies, ice cream, etc.) then you’re going to have a hard time teaching your children to eat healthier. What you can do is replace these snacks with healthier ones. Frozen yogurt, fruits and assorted nuts are all examples of healthy snacks. However, don’t completely forbid your children from eating their favorite junk food once in a while. This will just make your kids feel deprived and can cause them to crave the foods even more.
Pack Their Lunch
Most foods that cafeterias serve today are more convenient than nutritious. To make sure that your kids eat a well-balanced diet, not just at home but also at school, make the time to pack their lunch every morning. Ask them about the dishes they like to make sure that their packed lunches don’t go to the trash bin instead.