Published On: Sat, Jun 15th, 2013

Helping Children to Develop Healthy Habits

denishaGenerations today are not what they were of yesteryear as fast food has become more of a norm in society when compared to healthy home cooked food as there is no option for those who have office hours. Life is a rush which causes everyone to be more careless causing them to neglect their health. This will eventually influence their families eating habits as well. These habits are what lead to health problems which are caused by obesity. You have to realize that more than anything it is important to not only look after your health but your children’s as well. Today children are becoming more prone to sitting in front of the television, playing video games, or usually hanging out at the malls rather than getting some type of exercise. They eat all the junk food which they can get their hands on eventually making themselves sick and become a potato couch who plays games on the computer or television all day.

The more they continue these habits, the worse it will be when they are in their 20’s. It is a fact which everyone knows that the eating habits which children develop at a young age will continue into their adult hood making it more likely to them contracting diseases due to obesity. So it is better to start as soon as you can to help your child to maintain healthy habits such as consuming all parts of the food group, and to equal it up get a good amount of daily exercise.

Any parent should know that every child needs all the nutrition in their bodies. To keep them immune to the cold’s and cough’s, start your child off with freshly squeezed orange juice. Orange juice helps build a healthy immune system.

Make sure that your child eat tons of fruits each day. There are some kids who may not like fruits one bit, but find a way to make them eat it either by making fruit salad, or mixing fruits with homemade ice cream, or adding fruits to custard or healthy cakes which you can bake.

When it comes to vegetables, it is probably one thing kids detest, especially when they see anything green. So to get your kids to eat vegetables, make sandwiches or salads which contain a bit of cheese or any of their favorite sauces or meats, which will make it easier for them to eat. Rather than letting them see what the vegetable is, mix is with one of their favorite dishes. If your kid loves chapaiti then mix vegetables in with the chapiti dough and roll it out. Or use vegetables as a filling for chapiti instead of aloo.

Make sure that your kid has milk, or any dairy product everyday. Dairy products are very essential for children, as they are still growing, and it helps strengthen their muscles. Now if your kid hates the sight of milk as I did when I was a child, it is best to mix some type of flavoring such a rose syrup or mix in saffron with some sugar. And sometimes it maybe that your child does not like warm milk, if that’s the case just heat the milk up, mix it with rose syrup and let it cool in the fridge.

It is very important that children eat meat, however there are vegetarians who can substitute the meat protein received from meat with beans. But for those children who do eat meat, it is best to go very light on meat products such as beef, pork and mutton and eat chicken. Beef, pork, and mutton is very high in fat, and it is safer to avoid. Chicken is better to eat especially when grilled or broiled.

Try to get your kids used to eating fish at an early age, if they simply don’t like the taste then you should just leave it, because there are some kids who cannot even stand the smell of fish. If you can somehow try to get the fish smell out and don’t tell your kids it’s fish. Just make cutlets, or dumplings using the fish mix it with some herbs to take the smell out and make a snack out of it for them. Fish has oils which are good for the skin and for the body.

Have your kids drink plenty of water. If you start this at a young age, then it’s better, avoid giving them sodas such as Cola or Pepsi, it’s will lead to much sugar intake, and obesity. Cola, Pepsi and such is very unhealthy as it does not quench their thirst but rather make them hyper, though the regular ginger sodas or plain soda’s is not a problem.

Join your kids into some sport activity, whether it maybe cricket, football, basketball, hockey, or track. Make sure that they are involved in sports activity, don’t worry about them playing in the sun too much, just put sunscreen on for them and let them go out, it’s healthier for them to be out in the sun running around playing rather than sitting at home in front of the computer, or television. Always make sure that your children are involved in some after school activities which keeps them running around and active. Remember that eventually when it comes time for college, they will look to see if your kids have had extra circular activities. Though there are scholarly programs which will give your children that credit, sports and such can also earn them the extra points.

As parents it is your duty to teach your children what they should do. Because they look up to you and follow what you do. If you continue your bad eating habits, this will have them doing the same at a young age. Changing your food habits and getting involved in physically activities will not only serve to be a benefit for you but for your children as well. And this does not mean to diet or keep your children on a diet, but to have them eating healthy. There’s a difference between eating healthy and being on a diet. Eating healthy is something which will keep your kids fit lifelong. Diet is only temporary and it is not the safest method to teaching your children healthy eating habits. Instead of placing fried foods as snack give them fresh vegetables or fruits, and a glass of fruit juice.

Denisha Sahadevan

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Helping Children to Develop Healthy Habits