Most parents today are concerned with providing a well balanced healthy diet for their children. With the skyrocketing rate of obese children across the world, this is a very real concern.
However, providing your children with healthy food choices does not have to be a battle.
There are many nutritious foods you can offer that your children will love to eat. Consider the following foods to offer for your children, and those you should avoid.
Skip the Fast Food Restaurants
While it may be more convenient to go through the drive than to cook at home, it is usually very unhealthy. If you avoid fast food your children will be much healthier.
Instead of hitting the drive through when it gets late, you can keep a few healthy snacks in the family car to tide everyone over until dinner.
Try keeping a box of granola bars on hand, or you can pack a cooler with fresh fruit for this type of situation. However, if the fast food joint is not to be avoided, make sure you are choosing the healthiest foods on the menu.
Choose an establishment where you can forgo fries for fruit, yogurt, or a salad. You can also choose a skinless chicken breast sandwich, over a burger for a main course.
Most kids prefer to have cookies or chips as an after school snack. However, this is not always the best choice to make. While cookies and chips can be consumed as part of a healthy diet, they should never be a daily food choice. Instead, choose things that are high in protein to give your kids renewed energy for after school activities and homework.
One of the easiest choices is peanut butter. Peanut butter provides an excellent source of protein, and can be used in many different ways. [High Protein Diet]
Your children can enjoy celery sticks with peanut butter one day, and sandwiches the next. Keep the sweets and junk food to a minimum and you will find that your kids are happier and healthier.
Follow the Food Pyramid
When you are planning meals consult with the food pyramid. You will find that is very easy to include healthy food choices, if you know what should be consumed on a daily basis. The following list is a basic sample of what a proper diet includes for children.
- 3-5 servings of vegetables
- 2-4 servings of fruit
- 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, or pasta
- 2-3 servings of milk, yogurt, or cheese
- 2-3 servings of meat, fish, poultry, beans, eggs, or nuts
Consider the Choices You Make
Everyone has a basic sense of what is healthiest. When your child asks for a doughnut, it is obvious that a healthier choice would be a piece of fruit, or a serving of low fat crackers.
Take the time to analyze whether there is a healthier substitution available. However, if you need help determining what is best, you might consider contacting a dietitian or your pediatrician for a more precise diet.