A solid foundation in balanced nutritional habits can offer many rewards to kids as they grow and develop. Good nutrition at a young age can help them know how to nourish their body throughout their life and diminish the chance of chronic health conditions in the future. In addition, this could also boost their energy level at school, enhance their ability to take part in extracurricular programs, and improve their quality of sleep.
GI Alliance understands that healthy dietary habits can markedly impact kids throughout their life. Since September is recognized as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we have provided suggestions to help parents and caregivers gain valuable information concerning nutrition for kids, healthy foods for kids, and lunchbox suggestions for school-aged children. We welcome you to read the tips below and schedule a visit at a GI Alliance location near you if you have any questions or concerns.
Ways to establish healthy nutritional habits for kids
There are several approaches to help encourage balanced eating habits for healthy kids. These include:
- Involve your kids in the cooking and food preparation process. You will have the opportunity to teach your kid about selecting nutritious foods and dietary labels when preparing and choosing food. This situation can enable children to have fun learning about nutritious eating while also enjoying time spent as a family. In addition, this can help minimize the chance of picky eating since your child has an opportunity to understand more about the foods you choose.
- Sit down to eat meals as a family on a consistent basis. Throughout the meal, keep the conversation positive so your little one does not negatively associate food with stress. Eating associated with stress may result in additional concerns later on.
- Avoid utilizing food as a punishment or reward. If you put your child to sleep and without dinner as punishment or utilize sugary foods as a reward for proper behavior, it could impact your child’s relationship with food down the road.
- Follow portion suggestions on food packaging and check the list of ingredients. Talking with your child about nutrition labels and ideal portions can help them to understand how the ingredients can impact their health.
- Control snacking times and food choices. Snacks are an essential component of a healthy diet. It is a good idea to plan out set times for snacking and the kinds of food your child consumes. Additionally, discourage your child from eating in front of the TV, as doing so could lead to overeating.
What healthy foods for children should you select?
Our pediatric gastrointestinal specialists recommend a nutritious food plan of vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein, and grains. If feasible, it is advisable to regulate sugar and trans fat when consuming meals and snacks. By sticking to a diet that centers on these quality food items, you can help your children have more energy and experience better overall health. If you are the type of parent who likes to plan, check out some of our favorite lunchbox tips for school-aged children below.
How can I locate more resources about healthy foods for kids?
Besides the information detailed here, our staff members wish to provide a helpful collection of tips for parents and caregivers, which can help them find the latest details concerning children’s nutrition. A selection of the sites we suggest are as follows:
At GI Alliance, our team members are focused on helping kids develop healthy habits early on. Our pediatric GI specialists commonly team up with parents to help establish a proper nutritional foundation for their little ones. Reach out to a GI Alliance digestive specialist near you to find out more about the advantages of nutritious foods or selecting proper meals and snacks for your kids.