Correcting Children’s Eating Habits Early Leads to Better Lifetime Health and Well Being
As bad as the obesity problem is in the world, the problem of childhood obesity is even worse. Being overweight as a child causes emotional distress as well as creating long term health issues. Monitoring and preventing poor eating habits in children should be easy, but it isn’t. Part of the reason for children eating the wrong things is that their parents often do as well. However, even children from otherwise healthy homes can have eating problems. Getting unhealthy food is not difficult, it is everywhere.
The best way to get your children off to a healthy start in life is to teach them from the beginning to enjoy better foods. Offer them non-fat or low-fat dairy products, skinless chickens, lean meats, whole grain cereal and breads as soon as they begin eating solid foods.
Avoiding the Biggest Culprit in Poor Children’s Eating Habits
Sugar is a big problem in childhood and adult nutrition. Avoid giving your children sugary drinks including the seemingly healthy fruit juices that have sugar added. Consuming soft drinks and other sugar-filled drinks contributes to a tremendous amount of consumed sugar throughout the year. Salt is another diet disaster that is abused too often. Salt is an essential mineral, but that doesn’t mean we need to eat a lot of it to get proper nutrition. Plenty of foods contain natural salt. Adding it to prepared foods is not only unnecessary but has a big impact on weight gain.
Unless your child’s doctor prescribes it, you do not need to restrict foods from your children’s eating habits. Keeping them from eating the foods their friends enjoy can create an equally large emotional issue. Instead, limit those unhealthy foods to special occasions and do not keep them in the house. Your kids will have plenty of access to those items outside the home, and are less likely to overindulge in the company of their friends and in public.
When at home, discourage children from sitting in front of a television or computer while eating. It is far easier to overeat when distracted. It is also more difficult for you to keep track of your children’s eating habits when they are not at the table with you.
Eating right is not just for overweight children. All kids should be taught the best way to get proper nutrition and learn to enjoy good foods that are healthier for them. Not only will that help prevent future weight problems, but it will give them the knowledge they need to provide good, healthy foods for their families when they grow up and keep future generations healthy as well.