01 09 10 Tweet Dietitians Eat Chocolate Too: Guest Post: Eating Healthy Made Simpler

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Guest Post: Eating Healthy Made Simpler

Kitchen then gymCandy, soda, cupcakes and french fries are all culprits in the obesity epidemic that is taking over the United States. However, no matter how big containers of french fries and cups of milkshakes grow, healthy eating habits need to begin at home. Ultimately, parents are the ones who are responsible for teaching their children about proper nutrition and ensuring that they eat healthy meals.

Prepare Healthy Meals
Of course, the most simple step is to prepare cuisine that is healthy. Do not introduce vegetables and fruits as "yucky" foods. Simply give them to children as you would with any other snack. Introduce fish and other seafood to your child as long as the doctor says the children are old enough, since these types of meat are lean and healthy. Furthermore, try to find some child friendly options. For example, baked chicken nuggets with whole wheat breadcrumbs are much better than the traditional ones. Do not offer children unhealthy options if they do not like what you have made. Go by the old adage, "You get what you get, and you don't get upset."

Away from Home
It is very difficult to monitor what your children are eating when they are not with you. Send them off to school with healthy snacks that have flavor to them. For example, celery sticks with peanut butter or apples with a little bit of cinnamon sprinkled on them are ways to incorporate both flavorful and fantastic food.
When children are old enough to understand, educate them as to the consequences of eating too many fatty and sugary foods. Do not be paranoid though. You have to do the best that you can to educate your child, and hope that he or she makes the right decisions. However, you cannot shield your child from the world.

No Forbidden Foods
Unless there is an allergy present, do not feel as though you have to entirely eliminate every single sweet and fat from your child's diet. Making soda or french fries entirely forbidden could make your child want them more. Furthermore, instilling the motto "Moderation is key" in children from any early age helps them to make healthier choices later in life.
You might allow them to have a special treat from the ice cream truck one every couple of weeks, or make fast food a dinner option once every few months. You could also make exceptions at parties. For example, allow children only water and juice at home, but give them the option to order a soda when they are at a birthday party. You might find that they do not even like soda or sweets, but you will not know unless you give it a try.

Hiding Foods
Hiding foods should be the last resort if all else fails. If your child absolutely will not eat fruits or vegetables, consider mashing some of them up in a pasta sauce, yogurt or other food that your child will eat. Of course, parents want their children to willingly enjoy these foods; however, sometimes, they need the nutrition. Make sure that you are careful as to what foods you are "hiding" though, as you do not want to inadvertently cause a choking hazard for your little one.

Getting children to eat healthier can be a trying task, especially since some fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods can present themselves as rather unpleasant looking. Do not allow your child to get a sense of that. Instead, incorporate healthy eating as a normal way of going about life from the time that your child starts to understand the wonderful world of food.

Marshall Ford writes about parenting, finance & saving money at www.lifeinsurancequotes.org.