Tips and Tricks to Teach Kids About Nutrition and Wellness
How does your child react when they see their favorite junk food on the table? Do they show the same enthusiasm for healthy veggies on their plate? We understand that teaching kids about healthy foods can be a challenge. But it is very important to help them develop healthy eating habits from a young age, as it will benefit their health in the future.
Kids can be picky and stubborn when it comes to eating, but we can make mealtimes more fun and enjoyable for them by involving them in the food preparation, serving, and eating processes. This way, they can learn to appreciate healthy foods and develop a positive relationship with them. Healthy foods are essential for kids’ growth, development, and well-being. They provide them with energy and nutrients that support their brain function and learning abilities. Kids who lack proper nutrition may suffer from poor immunity, delayed development, and cognitive problems. That’s why parents need to help their kids adopt healthy eating habits from an early age without forcing or bribing them.
Essential Nutrients for Kids
To help your child eat well and stay healthy, make sure you include these vital nutrients in their daily diet:
Multivitamin for kidsA balanced diet is the best source of nutrition, but it may not always provide enough vitamins and minerals for children. That’s why multivitamins for kids are helpful. They are specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of children and fill in any gaps left by selective eating or poor food choices. They contain a concentrated dose of vitamins that are essential for children’s growth, immunity, and health, such as vitamins A, B, C, and D. Multivitamins for kids can offer many benefits, such as boosting immunity, enhancing brain function, and supporting growth and development.
Probiotics and prebiotics for kidsThat tummy ache may not always be an excuse to bunk school, but it is genuine at times and possibly due to a sensitive gut. Similarly, if your child falls prey to viral infections often, it's time to reflect on his gut health, as 70% of our immunity lies in the gut. Adding probiotics and prebiotic foods can do wonders for your child’s gut health. Probiotics are healthy live bacteria that reside in our gut and are found in certain foods or supplements, while prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that promotes the growth of these beneficial gut bacteria, supporting the digestive system. Apart from vitamins, probiotics and prebiotics are yet another crucial component of children's nutrition. Some of the common probiotic foods for kids are yogurt, kefir, and aged cheese, while prebiotic foods include bananas, oats, and onions.
Omega-3 for kidsOmega-3 fatty acids are among the healthy fats needed by the body to function at its best at all stages of our lives. The three primary forms of omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It is an essential fatty acid, which means our body cannot make it on its own, and hence it is vital to incorporate it into kids' diets through food or supplements. This omega-3 fatty acid plays a vital role in the brain development of kids. Brain development is linked to all aspects of a child’s growth, such as IQ levels, language development, cognition, fine motor skills, communication skills, problem-solving and developmental milestones, and behavioral patterns. Thus, supplementing omega-3 fatty acids for kids in their developmental stages through food or supplements is extremely important.
Tips for getting kids to enjoy and look forward to eating healthy
Ensuring proper nutrition for kids should be done through a holistic approach. Here are a few tips to get your kiddo excited at the table each time it's mealtime. Every child and his or her preferences are different. Pick and see what works best for you.
- Involve them in grocery shopping; let them pick their favorite foods for every not-so-favorite one.
- Play games like who eats the most colors of fruits and vegetables in the day or whose meal plate comes out the cleanest after completing the meal.
- Encourage and praise them every time they try a new food or eat foods that they do not like much.
- Be their role model by enjoying healthy food and demonstrating healthy eating practices.
- Limit or restrict their cheat or junk foods to a minimum.
- Teach them about hunger cues and let them eat when truly hungry.
- Let them play in the field or outdoor games more often to increase their appetite, rather than giving them screens indoors.
With so many tempting junk food options around, it is more important than ever to teach kids about healthy eating. Nurturing their interest in nutrition can help them make better choices that will benefit them for life. Healthy eating can improve their mood, memory, and physical well-being.
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