If you have a child, you know how important it is to ensure your child gets the nutrition they need. Unfortunately, trying to sort through all the information out there can be confusing. Early childhood is a crucial time to ensure your child establishes healthy eating patterns. Giving your child a balanced diet is essential to develop these healthy habits because it will provide a child with the nutrients that are needed to grow. This diet needs to contain three meals per day, along with two healthy snacks, and foods from each of the following food groups: carbohydrates, protein, vegetables, fruits, diary, and some sugar and fat.
The Impact of a Healthy Diet for Children When They Reach Adulthood
Parents who encourage their children to form healthy eating habits while they are young will have a positive influence on the dietary habits of their children later in life. Through the years, some researchers have discovered that the meal habits and eating behaviors developed during early childhood will have an impact on a child’s food preferences and their eating parents when they are an adult.
This doesn’t mean that a child that is overweight will become an overweight adult, but there are some studies that have suggested weight patterns for children are an early indication of health problems during adulthood. Also, research has shown that the likelihood of children experiencing obesity will double if their parents are overweight. The good news is, there are several ways that parents can take steps during childhood to shape eating behaviors in a positive manner that will follow the child into adulthood, including things like making healthier choices and following a lectin free diet plan.
Give Your Child Multiple Food Options
Today, people are busy. As a parent, you may find you have less and less time to prepare home-cooked, healthy meals. However, it is necessary for you to avoid too many sugary drinks and junk food items that are high in sugar and fat in your child’s diet. This is important because any food that contains a large amount of sugar or fat and low amounts of carbohydrates can result in overeating because the brain doesn’t register that the stomach feels full.
A better strategy is to offer children an array of healthy food options, such as vegetables and fruits, which are fast and easy to prepare. By doing this, a parent can shape a child’s food preferences, because the child is much more likely to prefer and choose the foods they are given on a regular basis. Also, a child learns their eating habits by watching their parents. This means if their parents are eating healthy foods, they are more likely to follow suit.
Teach Your Child to Know When They are Hungry
As an adult, you develop the skill to know if you are full or hungry because you know how to listen to the “physical cues.” However, for children, this isn’t something that is always inherent. Your role as a parent is to help them know the feelings that indicate when it is time to eat because they are truly hungry and when they feel full.
This also means that you should eliminate the “clean your plate” method of eating. If a child is full, they should not be forced or pressured to keep eating. This is a behavior that may lead to overeating when a child gets older.
By teaching your child healthy eating habits now, you can help them live a happier and healthier adult life. Take time to review the information here and, if necessary, speak with the child’s doctor to learn more about what you can do to help improve your child’s nutrition and health now and how you can shape good eating habits they will take with them into adulthood. These early efforts will pay off for you and your child, helping them avoid serious health concerns, such as obesity, later in life.