How can I encourage my child to eat healthy food?
What is a balanced diet?
Children need a balanced diet with different foods and proportions, so they receive all of the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, protein, and calories in the correct amount. Too little or too much will lead to nutrition-related problems. A food pyramid is a good way to understand how to plan your child’s daily
How can I teach my child to eat healthy food?
Teaching children to eat healthy should start early. Be a role model for your children by keeping a healthy selection of food at home, and by eating healthy food yourself. Keeping junk food at home and expecting your child to eat only fruits and vegetables will not work.
What else can I do?
1. Cook tasty food using healthy ingredients.
2. Introduce new healthy food frequently when children are young. They may need to try new food several times before accepting it.
3. Let your children choose from a variety of healthy snacks. This will give them freedom to choose something healthy.
4. Involve children in shopping (for fruit and vegetables) and in cooking healthy food.
5. Avoid serving children sweetened drinks like cola and cool drinks. Avoid highly processed food with preservatives.
6. Eat meals together, so you can supervise what they are eating. Children who eat a full meal are less likely to eat junk food between meals.
What are the effects of poor nutrition on children?
Nutritional deficiencies (or) low calorie food
Impaired growth, poor development of bones
High sugar food and carbonated drinks, preservatives
Dental caries, muscle cramps
High intake of food, especially if high in sugar
Obesity, early onset of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancer
Cognitive and behavioral problems
Delay in milestones like language, learning disabilities, ADHD*, restlessness, temper tantrums, nervousness.
*ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is characterized by problems with attention, hyperactivity, poor organization,
and low self-esteem. Poor nutrition is one possible cause.