Teaching Kids to Eat Healthily

Teaching your kids to eat well must be done during the first years of their life. Read on to find out how!
Teaching Kids to Eat Healthily

Last update: 23 April, 2019

Teaching your kids to eat healthily can seem like a challenge, but if you can teach them how to brush their teeth, you can teach kids to eat healthily.

In modern societies, children’s nutrition has been a conflictive subject because adults worry too much about what they eat. However, people don’t pay enough attention to how they eat and how it can affect their health.

Variety is the spice of life

It’s after the first 6 months of life that babies experiment with different flavors. This is when you start giving them fruits or puree. At this time, there isn’t really a problem to teach them healthy habits because food’s colorful looks and sweet flavors make the little ones eager to try them.

The hard part is when they taste something they don’t like. That’s when you should act. The best way to do that is to introduce food in a positive light. Press the matter a little bit, but don’t force it on them. Don’t keep them in front of a plate filled with broccoli for hours until they decide to eat it.

The key lies in letting the child experiment with flavors, even in spoonfuls, and little by little help them familiarize with them. A good way to help them is to purée foods they don’t like with foods they do like.This is the beginning of teaching kids to eat healthily.

teaching kids to eat healthily

Kids learn by imitating

Usually, kids copy what they see. The child should see their parents or siblings eating fruits, vegetables or trying food unknown to them. It’s a great way to pique their curiosity.

It’s also important that they watch their parents deciding what food is bad for their health like sugary foods. To teach kids how to eat healthily, you need to start by teaching what isn’t healthy.

Too much sugar is bad for you

too much sugar isn't healthy for you

Sugary products with refined sugar, what’s in them, and their sweet flavor can have potent effects on adults and children.

  • With such sweet and unnatural flavors, children could reject food and natural sweets.
  • Sugar triggers the rewards-response system in the brain the same way as some drugs do, that’s why it can be addictive. Besides, studies show that children addicted to sugar are more likely to be addicted to other substances in adulthood.
  • The false feeling of energy that comes from refined sugar can increase hyperactivity in children and mood swings.
  • There are many diseases and disorders linked to sugar, such as diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, etc.

Most noteworthy, global sugar intake is higher than advisable. It’s not only a risk to children’s health, but also to adults’ health.

Being overweight: The first sign of unhealthy habits

Your body has an outstanding way to manage nutrients, but what happens when there’s too many?

Simple. Your body stores it. That bad thing is it doesn’t store it like money in the bank, or in a food drawer outside your body. It stores it as fat. When there’s a massive accumulation of fat, you get overweight, and, to a higher degree, obese.

Being overweight means there’s a visible fat accumulation in main areas of your body, like in your belly, and therefore you get bigger and heavier. Even though there are many levels of obesity, depending on your height and weight, none of these levels are considered appropriate.

Overweight Children

Nowadays, children being overweight is as not frowned upon as it should be. You might think is as trivial as eye color. Not quite so. If a child is overweight, it can be detrimental to the child’s development.

Physical health risks

For example, joints can suffer a lot more. Being overweight can cause you to develop heart disease, kidney problems, and respiratory issues.

Mental health risks

Overweight children have a higher risk of being bullied by their peers. This can affect their self-esteem well into their adult lives.

Financial risks

Being overweight and obese require medical care and supervision.

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It’s better to prevent

Investing resources and developing ideas to teach kids to eat healthily can be life insurance in the long run. However, when doing so, you must involve the little ones.

Parents and guardians have to explain to them the benefits of eating healthily. Teaching kids to eat healthily can save you some money, yes, but it can also keep their bodies and minds healthy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.