Healthy Eating, Healthy Families

 

Did you know that a healthy diet is the number one way to combat childhood obesity?  But, sometimes it can be a challenge getting kids to actually eat the food that is good for them.  Below are a few tips of how to incorporate nutritious foods into your kids’ diet as well as suggestions for getting your kids on board.

Grains- Wheat bread, brown rice

Make sure you’re buying whole-grain foods such as wheat bread. These are the ‘premium fuels’ for active kids. An easy way to add whole grains to a picky eater’s diet is to use brown rice instead of white. It is far more nutritious and your kids won’t even notice the difference! Other good ideas are whole-grain crackers and oatmeal.

Vegetables- Smiley-face salad

Make sure your kids are getting 2-3 servings of vegetables every day.  Vegetables are important because they contain high levels of vitamin C, potassium and fiber that strengthen their heart and immune systems.

For additional tips, head over to this fun blog called Mommy Poppins and read the post “Five Food Hacks: Getting kids to eat vegetables and love it.”

Fruit- Make a rainbow!

Fruit is low in fat, yet delicious and packed with vitamins that will keep your kids healthy.  Instead of sugary, processed mid-day snacks, replace with fresh fruit in between meals.  Try replacing dessert with fruit.

One way to get your kids involved in their diet is to bring them to the grocery store and allow them to pick a new fruit/vegetable that they haven’t tried before.

Meats/Protein- Lean meats, poultry, and nuts

Growing kids need protein, so buy lean meats and limit red meat. Chicken, turkey, and fish are a healthier source of protein but still provide all the nutrients to keep your kid’s bodies growing.  Nuts and beans are an alternative that still pack a protein punch. Help your children eat healthier in between meals by snacking on their favorite nut.

Low-Fat Dairy- Yogurt, cheeses, milk (ice cream doesn’t count!)

Do your best to buy low-fat options of milk, yogurt and other dairy products. Calcium is essential to build strong bones and regular doses are crucial to the physical development of children of all ages.

And don’t forget to practice what you preach!  Eat healthy alongside them, sit around the dinner table as often as possible, involve your children in planning weekly meals, and bring them along to shop for ingredients. Your lessons will last a lifetime… a long, healthy one!

 

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