There is a growing concern about childhood obesity globally, especially in the United States. Lack of exercise and poor eating habits points to be a significant contributing factor to it. The prevalence of a vast number of fast-food chains leads young people to unhealthy eating habits. Clean eating habits have not been given enough importance, as well.
Health experts have warned that children who have a regular habit of consuming sugary and fatty foods are most likely to become obese. This habit can greatly affect their growth, cognitive skills, and stress hormone levels. They are most likely to suffer other diseases when they grow up. These can include diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, joint problems, and even cancer.
Statistics show that the recommended 60 minutes daily exercise is achieved by less than half of American children. To address this, parents must consider taking appropriate steps by incorporating healthy eating lifestyles into their children.
The good news is that healthy eating can be fun. In this article, we give five tips that you can do to enjoy healthy eating with your whole family.
Apps are great, fun and the easiest way to convince your kids to eat healthier and learn about clean eating. The following Apps are our top recommendations to get you started.
The following apps are useful, kid-friendly and will help your child learn the value of food as fuel.
· Smash Your Food: It’s a fun way to encourage your children to ditch unhealthy foods and beverages like burgers and milkshakes by learning how much sugar, salt, and fat content their favorite food contains. It virtually lets your children see and hear their unhealthy food burst as they smash it.
· ABC Foods: Through watching videos and viewing photos and tapping letters, children as young as four can learn how to chop celery and cook pasta and learn about new foods everyday. It teaches your kids new words through sight, sound and touch.
· Healthy Heros: This adventurous aims to spread health awareness among the young generation about healthy lifestyle, healthy eating, physical activity, hygiene and effect of smoking. As heroes of the city of Yogopolis, they must conquer the Hungry Monsters by feeding it lots of fruits and veggies.
· Eat and Move-O-Matic: This app allows the kids to learn how to budget their energy by being able to decide where to spend it. They have the choices of dancing, running, reading or doing homework. Pretty much real life lessons on how energy works inside our bodies.
The value of books can not be undermined. There are many book selections for your kids that will encourage them to have healthy eating habits.. The Hungry Caterpillar and Green Eggs and Ham are just a few of these. They can learn the importance of choosing to eat healthy foods and the dangers of bad foods.
You can turn this even more fun by doing a reading session with your kid. That way, you can explain and emphasize more about clean eating. As young as they are, they need to learn how to read food labels, so that they can make better choices with their food intake.
If you are having a hard time to engage your kids, you can try a fun and interactive method through games. It’s a subtle and more engaging way to make your child eat nutritious foods.
· Choose a letter of the week and make a list of healthy food that starts with that letter. Try to prepare at least or two of those and discuss the nutrient value of that food with your child.
· Play a guessing game. Prepare a selection of healthy snacks. While your child is blindfold, let them select a snack by smelling and feeling it. This will h]greatly improve their recognition of different foods and makes the eating healthily exciting.
· Vegetable magnet. Buy a vegetables ref magnet and assign points to each. For every type of vegetable your child eats, give him/her a points. Reward your child when he/she obtained the desired points you have set.
4. Cook Together
Another way is to let your son or daughter participate in the actual food preparation. Not only is it a form of parent-child bonding, it can also be your means of laying a very important life skill to your child. Choose to prepare healthy snacks and meals. This way, you can train them to prefer home cook meals rather than fast-food ones.
Research shows that people who know how to prepare their own meals consume more vegetables than those who do not. Among the adolescents, it is found out that their tendency to meet their daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables are more likely when they know how to cook.
Gardening is another fun way of involving your kids with nature while teaching them the value of food. If you have a space at home, work on a small garden with your kid. If you do not have, you can make use of small pots and plant them with vegetables. Assign one or two to your kid, tell them to water it and monitor their progress. Just by seeing the growth of the plant will teach them to give importance to food all because they have labor into it.
Setting an Example
The success of these tips lies in your involvement. As they say, practice what you preach. It will be a lot easier to convince your kids if they see that you do it yourself. Be a good role model in living a healthier lifestyle for you and your family.
The best way to teach your children healthy eating habits is to do so yourself! Be their role model and set a good example by making smart decisions and doing your best to cook at home. Avoid purchasing sweets, foods high in carbohydrates and saturated fats and sugary drinks. Instead, aim for naturally sweet foods like bananas or strawberries and items that are clean sources of fiber, whole grains or healthy fats, like avocados. And keep healthy snacks on hand that don’t need much preparation to keep healthy eating easy and fun.
Creating a healthy environment starts with you. Kids notice more than you might think, so be a good example. Making your health and happiness a priority will inevitably result in a healthier lifestyle for both you and your children.