Is it time for your children to learn how to make their own healthy food choices? Exploring the world of nutrition can be exciting. As soon as kids can start opening the fridge to pull out an afternoon snack, the importance of nutritional education becomes even more apparent. Are you ready to have fun teaching your children how to make smart food choices? This guide will help you get started.
Kids love to ask “why”. It’s the go-to response whether you’re asserting a rule or just walking through the park. This curiosity is what makes early education so effective. Your child will actually want to make healthy food choices after learning about the benefits.
Sometimes choices are the greatest motivator. Does your child have any favorite fruits or vegetables? He may not even know his favorite foods are healthy. Offer a variety, and let him choose. Ask why he made the choice and then explain why it’s a good, healthy choice. Make it a habit of asking, “Why did you choose this?” Most kids don’t think about why they chose a certain snack but the questioning exercise will help him remember to think about it more carefully.
The doctor’s office is also a great place to learn – pediatricians are great at explaining why good food leads to a strong body and brain, and why bad food leads to health complications. Let your child ask some of those pressing questions she may have, like what would happen if she ate only one food for a year. Don’t be afraid to be a little bit silly.
Young people prefer to follow advice they can understand. It’s hard to stick with a healthy diet if you don’t know the effects of a bad one.
Rewarding Ways to Teach Nutrition
Teaching nutrition is much easier when fun is involved. Visiting farms and snack food factories are a great way to show the distinction between the two types of food – the junk food factory may be huge and exciting, but even kids can see that the magic of the farm is all about life and vitality, and healthy living.
Cooking is also a great way to learn. Try these activities and take time to explain the health benefits: bake a meal instead of frying, cook with healthy ingredients, and opt for fresh foods instead of canned when possible. Try making a healthy dessert to remove the misconception that only junk food tastes good. Make a smorgasbord representing the suggested food pyramid portions. Kids need to know what makes a meal healthy compared to unhealthy meals.
We hope that your child can get just as excited about nutrition as you are. You have already taken an active interest, which means you’re already off to the best start possible.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7331527
By Nelly Bee
Most mothers are keen on what they feed their children. Our number one goal is to make sure they eat food that are healthy and will keep their little bodies strong as they grow. When things are hectic and time runs low, there is a turn of events with fast food taking over the dining table. Here is a list of 5 foods that you should avoid feeding your kids whenever possible.
Kids will do almost anything for a hot dog or some other processed meat. However, these come packed with fillers, artificial colors, sodium, potentially carcinogenic nitrites and nitrates as well as saturated fats. So potent is this deadly mix that kids who ate 12 hot dogs in one month were found to be 9 times more likely to suffer from leukemia. Pre-packed lunches should be avoided as well. They can have a fat count of up to 38 grams, which is more than half the amount recommended for an adult. Imagine what they can do to your child.
Don’t be deceived by the word ‘fruit’ in these gelatin snacks. There is only a trace amount of fruit and the rest is artificial color and lots of sugar. If it’s in the candy section it’s candy, fruit will be on the fruit and vegetable aisle.
If the drink you are buying is not 100% juice, chances are that you are giving your child high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors to drink. Avoid these drinks like the plague and instead plan on squeezing your own juice from fresh fruit. This way you are not contending with additives. However, it is recommended that children take only 4- 6 oz of juice daily. Even though the juice you squeeze out for yourself has much vitamin C, the fiber is lost. Encourage your child to eat the fruit instead of drinking juice.
We have all heard of this one before but it’s worth repeating. French fries have too much sodium, fat and calories to be good for your child. When starchy foods like potatoes are deep fried, heating them to extreme temperatures, acrylamide, a cancer causing agent is produced. French fries do not have much nutritional benefit at least not as much as can be found in spinach, Brussels sprouts, carrots and the like. Children could eat French fries every day if you allow them, so put a stop to it or reduce the consumption of fries in your home as much as possible.
Non-Organic Chicken Nuggets
This is an all time favorite for kids and we have all been told that white meat is healthy, so what is the problem? Chicken nuggets made from organic meat are very healthy for your child. However, the commercial kind is made up of high fructose corn syrup, sodium and compressed fat. They may look like organic chicken breast, but most of them are made from left over pieces of skin and chicken meat ground together and shaped like a nugget. These are not healthy for your child and should be avoided at all costs.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6162959
By Kelly DiLauro
Every parent I know wants nothing less than the best for their children. They want their children to be happy, healthy, and smart. While every child is different and unique, just as every parent is, there are some things you can do to help to insure your child is the happiest, healthiest, and smartest possible. Here is a list of the top ten parenting tips you can use to help insure your child’s success in life:
Tip 1 – Command Respect, Don’t Demand It. One of the foundations of a good relationship with other people is mutual respect. As a parent you should be commanding the respect of your children, through your actions and words, not demanding that they respect you. As your child learns to respect you in this manner, they will also learn to command respect from others, rather than trying to demand it.
Tip 2 – Maintain Healthy Relationships with Others. Whether it is your spouse or your own friends, it is important that you model good relationship behavior for your children. By having strong relationships with your spouse and your friends, you can show your children how to have strong and healthy relationships with you and the other people in their lives.
Tip 3 – Be a Role Model. Who do you want your children to emulate in their lives, a famous sports star or yourself? Parents should always want to be the number one role model for their children. You want to show them right from wrong, and do this through being a role model who they can emulate in their own lives. Show them how you live and how you do the right things in life even when you are challenged.
Tip 4 – Talk With Your Children, Not At Them. It can be easier to tell your child not to do something or how to behave. However, if you take the time to talk with your children about your expectations, and their expectations as well, you can have a healthy line of communication. This communication channel will grow over the years and you will find that your children will come to you with their issues they need help with. If you talk at your children, they will be less likely to come to you because they will fear a lecture and disapproval.
Tip 5 – Give Unconditional Love and Support. Children are still growing and learning. They will do things at times which you will not approve of, and may not even understand their thinking behind. By always supporting your child with unconditional love, even during the rough times, you can show your child that they will always have your love and support. While you may not approve of their actions, they know that you love them and that you simply do not love the action they took.
Tip 6 – Show Support Though Positive Reinforcement. Never use the words stupid, dumb or other negative words to describe your children. Never tell them they are, or make them feel, less-than. If your children are in school, they will hear enough negativity from the other children when adults are not present. Build them up through positive words at home, so that they will be able to deflect the negative words they hear when you are not with them.
Tip 7 – Eat Smart as a Family. Food habits start from a very young age; what you eat as a child has a lot to do with your eating habits later in life. Start your children off right by offering them whole and healthy foods. If they start eating healthy from a very young age, then they will likely continue to eat well throughout their lives. It is much easier to get children to eat healthy foods if that is the only thing they know.
Tip 8 – Play With Your Children – Often! Children learn though play. By playing with your children you are able to teach them, and they will believe they are just simply playing. Teaching through play is a wonderful way to keep your children both entertained and captive to the lessons you want to instill in them.
Tip 9 – Avoid The Bad Toys, Games and TV. While it may be easier to turn on the TV for your child and let them watch whatever they want this is not a good option. TV will constantly sell to your child through advertisements which are very well designed to make your children want certain toys and games. If you can avoid as many of the bad toys, games and TV itself, you are on the way to having much healthier and safer kids.
Tip 10 – Educate Your Children With Their Toys. By purchasing educational toys for your children you are enabling them to have fun and learn at the same time.
Hopefully these top ten tips of parenting will help you to raise your children to be happy, healthy, and smart adults while getting the most of their precious childhood years.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/919039
By Denny Wong
The food your child eats is important not only now but also for the rest of his or her life. A small child is going to need various types of foods for energy to play, grow, and to build a healthy body. Muscles and bones are forming over the first fifteen years of life, and when eating the right types of foods and including smart nutrition your child is more likely to avoid sickness and to ward off some types of disease.
Your child’s nutrition is going to start with you. You child is going to see what foods you eat, and when you are more likely to eat them, and your child is going to build their own habits from those habits he or she sees you following. If you eat breakfast on the go, all the time, your child will feel this is normal and ok, but you should be sitting down to a breakfast every morning for good nutrition basics. Even if you are eating a bowl of cereal or you are enjoying a glass of juice, taking five minutes will encourage better eating habits.
Nutrition for your child’s health
Healthy beginnings start with fruits, vegetables and good portions of meats. The food pyramid is going to be important in the early stages of life so that your child will learn to eat many types of foods, and not only the foods they like the taste and looks of. Giving your child many options in life will help them pick foods that are better for them in the long run. Healthy children are not going to eat burgers and fries for every meal, but they will have a well-rounded life with nutrition builders such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and variations of these builders.
Teaching good habits for your child’s nutrition awareness will start with reading labels. Learn about what preservatives and additives are in some of the foods you are eating, and then talk about these with your child as they grow. Include foods that are all natural, or that contain very little preservatives for a solid start in their understanding of nutrition.
Don’t try to force your children to eat if they refuse to finish their meal. By creating drama in the kitchen, you set a bad tone for the future. Kids will automatically think of mealtime as a negative experience and will only become more reluctant when it comes to eating. Be persistent by offering a variety of foods along with those you know they like. As new foods become familiar, your children will be more likely to try them.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6868076
By Dhames Wary Karthiges
Feeding a baby just starting out on solid foods is not just your job; your child has a major role in this as well. Feeding will be easier, more interesting and more nutritionally and emotionally satisfying if you follow your baby’s lead. Don’t worry about them needing to eat a certain amount of a certain food at a certain time of day. By carefully observing your child you will soon become quite good at realizing when they are hungry and when they have had enough to eat. New eaters won’t eat much at first as they are becoming accustomed to new textures and tastes. Most of their nutritional needs are still being met from breast milk or formula. Closer to 1 year of age your baby’s solid food intake will expand in quantity and variety. Then their nutritional needs can be met by the solid foods. Use the list below to keep feeding focused on your baby’s needs, not yours. Mindfully observe your child, let them do their jobs and you do yours.
- Choose appropriately textured foods
- Choose 1-2 foods, if rejected- meal is over
- Baby strapped in high chair
- (Hold baby in lap for beginner eaters)
- Keep baby upright to avoid choking
- Have baby face forward, looking at you
- Talk calmly to baby, don’t entertain
- No toys, TV, games
- Allow baby to explore food
- Use spoon or let baby self feed, or both
- Follow baby’s lead for hunger and satiety
- Follow baby’s lead for tempo of eating
- How much to eat, by signaling fullness
- Whether they eat or not, whether they open their mouth or not
- Paying attention to each spoonful
- Touching food in dish or spoon
- Set tempo for feeding
- Self feed if they want, with which ever hand or both
How Often to Feed
- Offer solids once per day until 2 tablespoons is consumed, then increase to two feedings per day
- When that feeding reaches 2 tablespoons, add another feeding
- Continue until you are feeding 4-6 times a day
- Formula or breast milk can be fed with or separate from solids
- Where to Feed
- At the table and in a baby safe chair
- In an adult’s lap
- Never feed in a reclining position
- Watch your baby carefully the next time you feed them or share a meal
The newest solid food eaters are usually willing to let a parent feed them, but many want to touch the food and/or spoon before it gets to their mouth. This being impolite behavior for an adult, we stop this action. But remember that this whole experience, sitting in a chair, having a spoon move toward your mouth, having something solid in your mouth, and having new taste is all novel.
Of course babies want to examine the food before they let it in. So let your baby check out the situation. Let them know that now they will be eating in a chair just for them. Show them the spoon, without food, let them mouth it. Then tell them that you are helping them learn to eat. Try not to push their inquisitive hands back to their laps. Put some food on their tray and let them explore. While this is happening, offer a small spoon of food by putting the food up to their mouth. If they are ready, they will open their mouth. Their table manners will conform to societal norms as their coordination develops and they start to observe others eat.
Each baby experiences foods in their own way. Some babies will grimace, some will smile, and others will look surprised or excited. However your baby reacts, don’t read meaning into it. When your baby is done chewing, offer another bite. Keep this up until they show you that they are done exploring and eating. As your baby becomes accustomed to foods, they will not need to explore as much. But they will probably still want to use their hands, and/or try to use the spoon to self feed. They want to do it themselves and are very proud of this accomplishment. So your job is to sit back, smile and let them know, “I see you can feed yourself.”
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7044863
By Beverly Pressey