Teaching Kids How to Eat Right and Still Have Fun

Kids Health and Nutrition - Teaching Kids How to Eat Right and Still Have Fun

Sound nutrition plays a decisive role in every child’s physical and mental development. Kids can love healthy foods as much as they love candy or ice cream. It all depends on how they are introduced to healthy eating habits.

Kids Develop Food Preferences
Early in Life

The nutritional needs of children differ greatly from those of adults. Moreover, they change from one age group to the next. Infants and toddlers have completely different dietary requirements than older children and teenagers, especially during phases of growth spurts.

Kids Love Healthy Foods as Much as They Love Anything
From early on, kids begin to develop their own preferences for certain foods. Those are usually influenced by other children, like older siblings, playmates and friends at school. TV commercials and advertisements geared towards children also play a major role. For parents, it is crucial to understand their kids’ nutritional needs and direct them accordingly.
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Healthy Eating Habits Can Be Learned – Mostly By Example
Kids learn mostly by example. If your kids have bad eating habits, ask yourself how that happened in the first place. If you eat a poor diet yourself, neglect your health and physical fitness or smoke and drink in front of them, you shouldn’t be surprised if your children go down the same road. So, be a good role model and set the stage for healthy eating at home and when you eat out as a family. Let your actions speak louder than your words.
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Do You Know Your Child’s Daily Calorie Needs?
Your child’s daily calorie needs are different from yours. Understanding the appropriate amount of calories your child requires and the ways these calories are being spent is not always easy. So, here are some guidelines. The estimated amount of calories vary between gender, age as well as differences in physical activity.
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Healthy Foods Your Kids Will Love
Who says you can’t have it all? There’s no need to choose between delicious and nutritious foods when you make breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks for your kids. Even salads and vegetable dishes can be prepared in ways that kids find appealing and are happy to eat.
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Health, Growth and Development
Nutrients are substances the body cannot make on its own, but they are important for good health. There are six essential nutrient groups:  Protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. Ten “key” nutrients are essential for healthy growth and development. Here is a list of how they function and what their sources are.
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The U.S. Government Guidelines to Healthy Eating For Kids
Why is it important to include grains, vegetables, fruits, lean protein sources and dairy products in your child’s diet? The U.S. Government releases every ten years guidelines for healthy, balanced nutrition for all citizens, but especially important are those for children.
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Reading Labels – Cracking the Code
Reading “Nutrition Facts” labels can be a challenging task. Trying to decipher what they are all about is almost like cracking a secret code. So, here’s some help. As you scan the labels, there are important sections you want to pay extra attention to.
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Portion Sizes Parents and Kids Can Understand
Understanding serving sizes can be challenging, especially when you try to determine appropriate portions for kids at different ages. Here are some useful, easy to explain guidelines everyone in the family can remember.
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Young Bodies Need to Move
Regular physical exercise is a lifetime necessity, but it is especially important for kids during their growing phases. Unfortunately, many youngsters are not sufficiently active, both by choice and lack of opportunity. Physical education (PE) may no longer be part of your child’s school curriculum, and organized sports can be expensive or are simply unavailable. Many parents are on their own trying to support their kids’ athletic ambitions.
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Regular Physical Exercise – A Habit That Must Form Early in Life
America has long been a nation of athletes. Americans win the most medals at the Olympics, rank among the top players in many disciplines and hold a great number of world records. Many new sports, including the X-games, have been invented here. The vast majority of our children play sports at an early age. But physical education (PE) has long fallen victim to financial cut-backs in most public schools all over the country. When it comes to physical exercise, especially poor children are regularly left behind and the consequences for their health are often devastating. The thought of our kids growing up without ever learning about the importance of regular physical activity is unacceptable.
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