Healthy eating for children: Tips to replace junk food with healthier options for your child!& |  Photo Credit: Getty Images
New Delhi: Being healthy and practising healthy habits since childhood makes way for healthy youth and healthy life. Parents are always concerned about their child’s nutrition and lay emphasis on healthy living by including physical activity in their routine, making healthy food for them, and refraining from bad habits that may adversely impact their health. However, the risk of diseases in children is on a rise, and parents are becoming worried.
According to recent research, consumption of junk food is leading to a decline in brain health. According to the study published in Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, about 30 per cent of the world’s adult population is either overweight or obese, and more than 10 per cent of all adults will suffer from type 2 diabetes by 2030. While adults still realise the health risks of junk food, children are blinded by the taste. Consumption of junk food in childhood can lead to obesity and increase the risk of brain health decline when the children are older. Parents must take measures to reduce the intake of junk food, and replace it with healthier meals.
Set an example
It holds true for almost anything, and food habits are one of them – that you set the tone for how your child behaves, their eating patterns, sleep patterns, etc. Children learn from what they see you do. If you yourself refrain from eating junk food and eat healthy, natural, home-cooked food, your child will follow suit. Teach your child the importance to eat healthy since the starting to ensure they stick to a healthy diet.
Make nutritious food interesting
You can always make nutritious food interesting for your child by putting in the slightly extra effort. You can replace unhealthy ingredients in dishes with healthy ones – like replacing refined flour with wheat. You can also present the food in creative ways, make faces on the dish and make them fancy so that your child is interested in eating it.
Disguise what he/she does not like
For vegetables or fruits that he/she does not like and you want to include them in his/her diet, disguise them in other dishes. For example, you can make shakes or smoothies from fruits he/she wouldn’t eat, or puree vegetables and make a soup out of them. If they cannot taste the vegetable or fruit that they do not like, they will eat the dish, and your purpose will be served.
Cook meals at home
Home-cooked meals contain much less salt, sodium and other harmful substances that are present in restaurant and takeaway foods. Cooking meals at home can ensure better health for your child. Make sure you try to make their meals at home, as often as possible and only take them out to eat occasionally. You should also involve your kids in grocery shopping and preparation of meals to help them understand the importance of healthy eating.
Keep healthy snacks handy
Whether you are headed out with the whole family or are just sitting casually, relaxing at home with your child, make sure you have some sort of healthy snack handy. Children can crave junk food when they are hungry, and if you make sure that snacks like nuts, fresh fruits, etc. are available, you can reduce the intake of junk food.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.