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
Many people’s feelings about food were instilled as children.
We learn good and bad food habits from our parents and friends as we grow up, and these habits shape the rest of our lives. Although some children might have a genetic predisposition to obesity, evidence shows many children as young as preschoolers have a self-regulating caloric consumption.
Environment, parental influence, food choices, and learned behavior might well contribute to the seemingly degeneration of the body’s natural system. Early education has touched health, food, and eating from a purely scientific, void any emotional connection with food. The government has created charts for food groups and made recommendations. Although this is a positive step, many children are not offered healthy food choices or are allowed to make their own decisions. A diet of processed and unhealthy food would probably disrupt the body’s ability to regulate digestion and energy expenditure.
Kids who skip meals or overeat after long periods of going hungry create a vicious cycle of gradual and progressive weight gain.
The development of a myriad of emotional responses associated with food and eating can be derived from as many environmental influences. Food can become a desired stimulation after experiencing the effects of a sugar rush. Children will adopt their parents eating habits and emotions regarding food. Just two generations ago, fast food was not as readily available or an accepted meal. Fast food restaurants began growing like suburban weeds, after years of parents rolling through drive- thrus, and when the next generation reached driving age, the lines still got longer.
Eating can evolve into a very personal battle of control. Many American parents attempt to control their children with food. Food was often a motivational tool of reward or punishment.
Schools instituted lunch as a social event, often with rewards for eating quickly. Many schools allowed children to exit the cafeteria to go to the playground as soon as they finished eating. As many children reached their teens food became their choice for the first time. Fast food actually became a form of rebellion. The fast food industry marketed toward children and teens with characters such as Ronald McDonald, the Hamburger, and ‘Happy Meals.’ The fast food industry and Hollywood formed alliance to lure children with the latest movie action figures and toys. Fast food then infiltrated schools with sponsorships and meals. In addition, soda is now offered in many lunchrooms across the country. Soda was considered an unhealthy drink just twenty-five years ago. Soda fountains were a rare treat and self serve fountains almost unseen.
Today, the situation is different and children are bombarded with unhealthy foods. It’s time for us to teach our children healthy food habits before its too late, since childhood obesity is rising in America, and is higher than ever before.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/585182
By Nitin Chhoda