Helping to establish healthy eating habits for children is one of the biggest investments that parents can make. I think the 5 healthy eating habits that are important are as below:
- Choose white water
Avoid children drinking sugary drinks as much as possible. White water is always the best. It is important for children to develop a habit of drinking white water from an early age to help them get a healthy body shape and good teeth.
Although fresh fruit juice contains a lot of vitamins, it is easy to drink too much, resulting in excessive intake of sugar and energy. However, if you want to add a bit of fun or taste to your child's drinking water, you can add some fruit pieces so that they can take a bite. Eating fruit can get the benefits of juice, but not the disadvantages that juice might bring.
- Enrich the taste of food
It is very important for children to try a variety of foods as early as possible (6 months later that the children can add complementary food). Rich foods can ensure comprehensive nutrition. In addition, trying rich foods early may reduce the child's picky eating. Some studies in recent years have also found, add some allergic foods early, such as eggs, peanuts, instead of makes children allergic to them.
Because different food tastes and natural aromas may be familiar and liked by children, children 18 months to 3 years old can add some flavors to food, such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, pepper, etc., especially after children start school, they may become pickier about taste. We can add as little salt as possible, but that does not mean that children need to eat boring food.
Children are also very sensitive to smell, so let them enjoy the scent of various foods and natural spices, such as turmeric, garlic, mint, lemon, coriander, sweet basil, cinnamon, etc. These are great natural flavoring agents, which not only increase the flavor of food, but also not lose nutrition and health.
- Save sweets for special moments
Give your children some unhealthy foods as a memorial with special significance instead of eating them often. By doing so, you can help your children reduce their intake of a lot of sugar, salt, and fried foods. For example, a piece of chocolate can be taken after vaccination to celebrate the child’s bravery; When traveling, the child walked to the destination by himself without the request for a hug, there will be a cotton candy to commemorate; successfully learned to go to the toilet, and then bid farewell to diapers, so can go to KFC to celebrate.
But remind everyone that the sugars (carbohydrates) in natural foods are important nutrients that provide energy to the body and can maintain physical fitness, so there is no need to deliberately limit fruits. What we have to do is to limit artificially added sugar, high salt, and fried foods as much as possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Replace candy with healthy food
Instead of giving children candy, eat dried fruit as a substitute for candy. Children can get the sweet "sugar" they want to eat, as well as some corresponding nutrients. For example, dried apricots are high in potassium and raisins are high in iron and dietary fiber. These dried fruits are convenient to carry when going out. It's also very delicious.
Of course, fresh fruit is also a very good substitute for candy. You can also give your children candy-like fruits in a variety of ways. For example, you can use fruit and yogurt to make popsicles. Isn’t it more nutritious than the popsicles with a lot of sugar and water that you buy outside?
- Vegetables are more than just "dishes" that can be eaten at the dinner table
The Australian government has always advocated "5 kinds of vegetables + 2 kinds of fruits" every day. Eating vegetables is not only for lunch and dinner, but also for all day! You can also make milkshakes with vegetables and fruits to increase your intake of vegetables.
- Apple and cucumber, milk or yogurt
- Watermelon and carrots, milk or yogurt
- Strawberry, spinach and mint, milk or yogurt
- Blueberries, lemon and root vegetables, milk or yogurt
- Celery, orange and kiwi, milk or yogurt
This can also be a good morning or afternoon snack! Why must snacks be high-sugar and high-salt foods purchased in supermarkets? Healthy natural food is the best snack! Develop healthy eating habits from an early age, which will benefit them for life.
In addition, you can also think of ways to make eating vegetables more interesting, such as cutting cucumber or zucchini into shapes that your children are interested in.