Today’s kids are faced with fast food choices and junk food because we live in a fast-paced lifestyle that often does not include meals centered around optimal nutrition. The majority of today’s children get 25% of their daily calories from junk food. Along with those calories are salt, preservatives and many other artificial ingredients. When a child takes their calories in through junk food they are depriving themselves of the nutrients they need on a daily basis.
Parents and adults are given the responsibility of teaching children good eating habits. The first step in teaching them is by eating healthy. A child mimics adult behavior they see. If the adult influence in their young lives is eating vegetables and whole grains and enjoying them, this increases the chance the child will also want to eat these foods.
Children need essential vitamins and minerals in their daily diets to ensure healthy growth. Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron and Zinc are all important. They ensure a child will have healthy bones and growth patterns.
Another concern with children and nutrition is childhood obesity. With the availability of bad food choices surrounding them it is a growing issue in developed countries. The number one vegetable choice for children is the french fry. Teaching our kids to eat healthy is important in raising a healthy generation. Children who make bad choices and become obese may encounter many health issues while growing up and into adulthood.
Have your child help with the menu. Children who play an active role in making the decisions on healthy food choices will more willingly eat healthy. Explain to them the benefits of healthy eating in terms they can understand. Children are intelligent. They want more than candy is bad for you. Explain to them the importance of nutrition and their growing bodies on a level they can grasp.
Do not totally outlaw unhealthy food. We all know when things are forbidden they are desired even more. We need to teach our children moderation. Eating healthy can be a huge source of frustration if we let it escalate to that point. Some parents think they can’t turn their child’s unhealthy eating around. Balance is key. If you start slowly, and address one meal at a time, utilizing the suggestions above, healthier eating patterns can be established in a short time.
Get your children out and get them active. A child exposed to sunshine ten to fifteen minutes several times a week will get a source of Vitamin D that is important to bone and teeth health. Keeping them active on a regular basis also helps them maintain a healthy weight.
We are all concerned our children do not get the proper amount of minerals and vitamins. Even if they are eating a well rounded diet with varied foods and limited junk food, we still worry. Talk to your health care provider. Many times they will recommend the child take supplements. Food supplements will make certain your child gets the recommended daily allowance of nutrients the AAP, American Association of Pediatrics recommend.
A quality multi-vitamin/multi-mineral can insure children get all the nutrients they need to be healthy and grow healthy. Science keeps us up-to-date on the specific vitamins and minerals we need to fill the gaps. Recently new immunity ingredients have been added to multi-vitamins, like the Shaklee Corporation being the first company in the U. S. to add lactoferrin to their new Incredivites product. Fish oil is like the new wonder food with its ability to help boost children’s performance at school, and help children with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, ADHD, and dyspraxia. Since many children do not like to eat fish, there are high quality, pharmaceutical grade natural supplements available.
The health of our growing children should be a priority. That they receive the daily nutrients they need for strong bodies and minds is key to raising healthy kids. Teach them to try different foods. Lead by example and eat health foods yourself. Limit the junk food and fast foods consumed, and watch liquids that contain sugar as these are liquid calories and many have very little if any nutrition.
Get involved in your child’s food choices. As they get older they will make more of these decisions on their own. Giving them a strong foundation to make the right choices can help make a dramatic difference in the health they enjoy as they grow.
To learn more about pharmaceutical grade kids nutrition proven to work to build good health in childhood and lay the foundation for a healthy life, visit our healthy kids page.