How To Get Your Kids To Eat Healthy
Nutrition is important at any age, but as kids are growing up, it is really crucial that they get all the nutrients necessary for proper development.
We know now that the food pyramid guide that was the standard nutritional advice for so long likely has some deep flaws in it. We know that a foundation of grains, starches, and carbohydrates might be linked to a variety of health problems, including diabetes and obesity and children, and perhaps even heart disease later in life.
Furthermore, many products that exist in that “foundational” category of foods, such as sugary cereals, breakfast foods, and snack foods targeted at kids are often loaded with corn syrup, sugar, dyes and other ingredients, many of which are linked to hyperactivity.
We know that official recommendations might short sighted, or flat-out wrong, in light of new research; so how should we feed our kids?
The Kaufmann Diet might be an excellent place to start; focus on lean, minimally processed meats, eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and a little bit of fruit. Given what we know about the poor health that high-carb diets promote, it is certainly best to avoid foods made with grains, corn, added sugar, or soy. Keep foods like breads, pasta, potatoes and other carb-heavy products to a minimum.
Kids do, however, likely stand to benefit from more carbohydrates in their diet than adults do, particularly if they are active. The Maintenance Phase of the Kaufmann Diet might be the best place for them to start, unless they are experiencing health problems of some kind. The Maintenance side of the Diet includes foods like sweet potatoes, beans, and sourdough bread in moderation.
Feed Your Kids Fat
Healthy fat is crucial for growing bodies and brains. Kids need fat, but not the vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats found in processed foods or fast food. Fat from foods like olive oil, nuts, avocados, and healthy fish work to promote healthy hearts, skin, and weight. We know that fats like omega 3 fatty acid have tremendous benefits for brain health; support your kids’ brain development during this crucial time with healthy fats.
Diet is the best way to get healthy fats into your kids’ diet, but supplemental omega 3 fatty acids are a good option, as well, to ensure they receive these nutrients.
Knowing what to feed your kids is one thing; actually making it happen is quite another. How do you ensure your kids eat in a way that promotes healthy development today and healthy lifestyle down the road?
It is largely a parent’s job to decide what foods their kids eat on a regular basis. Choose early on to only feed them nutritious, healthy foods, and shun many of the grain-heavy and processed foods parents regularly feed their kids.
While they are still young, introduce them to foods like vegetables, healthy fruits, nuts, and seeds. Smoothies are a great way of packing nutrition into a tasty and easy-to-eat package. Those habits they develop early on will stick later in life.
It is true, there is no way to prevent your kids from having or being offered foods like pizza, candy, or other sweets occasionally. But largely, those should not be regular options for them.
Make a plan for meals and snacks for you and your kids each week. Know what they’ll be eating for breakfast when they get up, what gets packed into their lunch and what is for dinner when they get home. Planning ahead can lessen the stress of making food during the week and will ensure that each meal is healthy and nourishing.
Sometimes, it isn’t possible to plan an entire week’s worth of meals, but planning for what is possible ensures that the majority of the time, your kids are getting exactly what they need.
Keep a Clean House
Eliminate the sugary and processed foods that are often marketed towards kids. Instead, keep an abundance of fresh fruit like green apples or blueberries accessible and in plain sight. Other snack ideas like, like sliced carrots or celery with almond butter, can be kept in the fridge for when kids get the munchies. When your kids are hungry, they are going to eat what is around.
Have kids that crave sweets? Check out our cookbooks in our bookstore for tips on how to make occasional treats that conform to the Kaufmann Diet.