Young children do not yet have a full grasp of what’s healthy and what’s not. Their understanding of nutrients and good health practices is not yet properly established. Therefore, it is crucial for parents to lay down a good foundation for them. This is why serving as a good example for healthy practices and educating the little ones are absolute musts.
While you are the main influence on your child, start focusing on establishing a good diet for them. Studies reveal that children who were reared eating “natural” food are less likely to develop a sweet tooth and medical issues.
Likewise, they are also less inclined to snack continuously, which nutritionists say may be due to the lower intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Sugar and refined carbs are known to increase appetite for more sweet and unhealthy foods.
So, launch a healthy diet for your little one now and form the good habits that will benefit his or her wellbeing for the rest of his or her life. To make this task simpler, here are five ways to get you started:
1. Get the most use out of your child’s milk.
If your child drinks fortified milk, come up with new recipes for which it can be used. One of the clever ways some parents like to do is by turning milk into a fancy “café” style beverage. They add herbs and spices that are not only nutritious but delicious as well.
For the autumn season, pumpkin spice is definitely worth adding to warm milk or cocoa. Children enjoy the new taste as well as how it is associated with fun family moments.
In the summer, your children’s milk can be the base ingredient for chilled or cold desserts like popsicles and pudding with fresh fruit.
2. Bake potato or vegetable crisps instead of fry.
Opt to make your child’s snacks using fresh ingredients. You can actually make your own crisps or chips without too much oil, and baking is the way to go.
The crisp or chips will be nice and crispy the way little ones like them, and you can even create a spinach dip or a basic cheese dip as an accompaniment.
3. Encourage your children to drink more water.
Avoid introducing carbonated beverages to your kids and, instead, bring refreshing water with you everywhere. If your kids are getting tired of drinking flavourless water, infuse the water with everything — from mint to lemon or berries.
Lemon water is actually quite good for the health. It is alkaline and aids in the body’s elimination process. Plus, drinking it often can repel your children from eating a lot of sweets. The sour taste of the lemon conditions taste buds to find anything sugary excessively sweet.
4. Find other uses for vegetable puree.
Get the most out of the vegetable puree you use when introducing solid food to infants.
One of the best ways to do this is by turning it into a hearty soup. Add chopped potato, sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin or squash, and green peas combined into a soup which the entire family can enjoy.
You may also want to incorporate vegetable puree to frittatas and baked goods for flavour, colour, texture and additional nutrition.
5. Increase your children’s raw snacks.
Raw food is the most nutritious, and your children will learn to like it if that’s what you frequently consume at home. Carrots, cucumbers, celery, lettuce, and other greens are quite safe even for tots to eat. All kinds of fruits make great snacks as well.
If your kids find raw food a tad bland, introduce nut butters to them. These add a new dimension of flavour and can even improve the texture of raw food in the mouth. Almond butter and peanut butter are two of the most popular nut butters. Don’t limit your butter options to nuts, though. Apple butter is also quite yummy, and seed butter as well.
If you find these special butters rather expensive, you can create your own. The Internet is a treasure trove of recipes on how to make them.
However, before trying out nut butters, get a clearance from your children’s paediatrician first and make sure that your little ones are not allergic to nuts.
Introduce nutrition now
These are all simple practices for your entire family that can impact your children’s wellbeing, and which you can introduce to your kids at a young age.
You can implement them all and effectively prevent common health issues that occur during children’s early years.