One of the most important parts of parenting is to give your kids the tools they need to lead happy, healthy, successful lives as adults. Keeping them happy and healthy now is important too, of course, but how they live now will also impact the rest of their lives! Teaching children what good nutrition looks like and why it’s so important is one of the best ways to set them up for a healthy life. Nutrition is a broad topic, so start with these simple tips and work from there!
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Focus on Whole Foods
One of the simplest ways to significantly impact your kids’ diet is to focus on whole, unprocessed foods. This naturally pushes the menu to include more fruits and vegetables, which is always a good thing! Teach your kids that eating natural foods in a wide variety of colors is the best way to keep their brain and body healthy. You can also explain that processed foods contain more packaging, causing more harm to the environment.
Provide Plenty of Options
Kids love to feel like they’re making their own choices. Encourage your child to try new healthy foods by giving them plenty of options! It can take over 100 exposures to the same food before a child actually wants to taste it. Keep serving a healthy variety at each meal and allow your child to choose what they eat. Pressuring them to take a bite or try a new food before they’re ready increases the risk of picky eating in the future.
Eat with Your Kids
Family meals are important because they model by example. Your kids will be able to see you maintaining a healthy diet, and they will be more likely to follow suit! Family mealtimes should be free of screens and distractions. Try to get a family meal in at least twice a week, but more is always better!
Education is Key
Your kids are sure to have questions when you start teaching them about nutrition. Questions are good! Educate your child on their body, health, and nutrition in an age-appropriate way. For instance, you can tell a younger child that orange foods are good for their eyes. An older child would be able to understand a more detailed explanation of what is in orange foods that make them good for your eyes. If you don’t know the answer to a question, research it and learn with your child!
Maintaining good nutrition for your kids is essential to their health and development. Instead of forcing that nutrition on them, ease into it in a way that educates and benefits the entire family! Contact AFC Urgent Care North Andover today for more nutrition tips for your kids.