It’s not just adults that have busy schedules – kids do too! With this in mind, what your little ones eat every day has never been so important. We know they should eat a balanced diet to ensure they have a long and happy life but there are plenty of things that can help develop in their childhood, both in body and mind, which we may not readily consider. Healthy eating isn’t just about the physical benefits; it can also affect behavior and mood, which can, in turn, affect their overall wellbeing. Each meal can help kids stay on track for the day and leave them feeling refreshed and full of energy for the important things.
Take a look at some of the foods that help kids both in body and mind:
Breakfast is believed to one of the most important meals of the day so starting it with a hearty meal that will see them through to lunch is a must. Mornings can be a stressful time as everyone is fighting for the bathroom and you’re already running late. Trying to incorporate protein into this meal is key to helping keep kids fuller for longer and avoids them wanting to snack during the day. Some examples of healthy breakfasts include egg on whole grain toast, Greek yogurt and peanut butter on whole grain toast. These are simple and yummy, so you won’t have any issues at the kitchen table.
When kids are at school, they may be tempted to gorge on sweet treats and unhealthy snacks. If they have cooked meals, many schools cater for a wide range of tastes, and this is often healthy choices to fit in with educational standards. If they are taking food to school, be sure to fill up a snack box with healthy alternatives such as fruit and nuts. Try to limit sugary treats as much as possible, as this can lead to unhealthy habits in the future.
The best way to encourage your children to eat healthily at dinner is by being a role model to them. As we lead hectic lifestyles, it’s easy to fall into bad habits and cook convenience food to fill the gap. Packing their plates with a balanced selection of veggies, protein, and carbohydrates is ideal for encouraging healthier eating habits and introducing a range of foods to their taste buds. During this time make a focus on encouraging overall health and eating in moderation, as cutting out foods or banning sweets is going to backfire in the long-term. Deprivation of certain foods will lead them to want to explore and may result in kids over eating or sneaking banned foods, which leads to unhealthy habits and negative well-being. Health professionals can help with advice and feedback and experts such as Rishin Patel Insight Medical Partners and partnering practitioners can explain the benefits of good eating and how this relates to other positives in kids wellbeing.
Starting kids young and encouraging healthy eating will see you reap the rewards for your child’s health in years to come.