Rules for a Healthy Diet for kids

*Rules for a Healthy Diet for Kids

It can seem very difficult to find a diet that your children enjoy eating, but is also very healthy for them. When there is so much pressure to encourage your children to eat healthily, how do you get a reasonable balance between making sure they have a good diet and not getting them so obsessed with food that they will be worried about their weight?  Here are some hints and tips that will hopefully help you with working out a healthy diet for kids.

1) Don’t use food as a treat.  If children consider food to be a reward for good behaviour, this can turn out to be a habit for their lifetime.  You need to make sure that they see food as fuel and not a treat.  Try not to let them feel that they only get pudding as a reward for eating their dinner or other similar things, as this can turn out against you when they only want to eat sweet treats, or binge on food as rewards for doing good things.

2) Try to keep sugar in the diet at a minimum. Sugar not only rots teeth but can also cause children to put on weight if they have too much. It can be difficult, but it is often better to give children more of their main course than to give them cakes or dessert after their food. If they are still hungry then let them have a piece of fruit as this will give them a sweet treat without the fat that usually accompanies desserts.

3) Keep snacks at a minimum. Some children need snacks between meals to give them a burst of energy but you should really only give these if they are needed and not as a habit.  Good snacks include nuts, seeds and unsweetened yoghurt.  If you are out and about they could snack on fruit bars or fresh fruit.

4) Don’t give in to advertising.  A lot of children will want to eat foods that they see on TV or that their friends have.  It can be very difficult to not give in to their demands for the latest items.  However, try to think of their long term health and how it can affect their behavior if you give in to what they want all the time.  Just occasionally buy them the things they want, but make sure that they aren’t eating unhealthy foods all the time.

5) Show a good example. If you are expecting your children to eat all their vegetables you will need to make sure that you eat them too. Children copy the behavior of the people around them and so they will need to see you eating well too.

6) Eat a good variety of foods. Unhealthy food is fine every once in a while as long as there are good healthy foods eaten in between. So make sure that the diet has plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and salads mixed with proteins such as beans and lentils and complex carbohydrates like wholemeal pasta and wholegrain bread.


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