Health Habits That Lasts A Lifetime
By teaching and encouraging healthy eating habits, you are giving your child important tools for a lifetime of healthy living. The following are some ways you can help.
Offer healthy food options at home. Be sure you have healthy, appealing food options available for your family. Provide a variety of choices so your child can try different things. Be persistent in your efforts to introduce healthy food options. Children are not always open to new things right away. Specific ways to support good nutrition include the following:
• Offer several fruit and vegetable options every day. At the store, let your child choose fruits and vegetables that he or she enjoys eating or wants to try.
• Provide healthy sources of protein, such as fish, eggs and lean meats like chicken and turkey.
• Serve whole-grain breads and cereals.
• Broil, grill, or steam foods instead of frying them.
• Offer low-fat milk, cheese, and other dairy products.
• Encourage your child to drink plenty of water or milk instead of sugar-added drinks such as fruit juice, soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened or flavored milk, or sweetened iced tea.
Limit fast food, takeout, and junk food. Avoid fried snacks. Opt for baked chips, pretzels, or unbuttered popcorn instead. If you do eat out or get takeout, avoid fried foods and choose the healthiest options available. For example, choose fruit instead of french fries or grilled chicken instead of a hamburger.
Why it’s important to develop these habits from an early age.
• Healthy weight for height
• Mental well-being
• Ability to learn and concentrate
• Strong bones and muscles
• Good energy level
• Ability to fight off sickness and disease
• Faster wound healing
• Easier recovery from illness or injury
• Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancers, and bone diseases in the future
Remember; Kids may need exposure to a food 10 to 20 times before they decide to eat it. It can take another 10-20 tries before they determine if they like it.
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