10 Tips and Tricks for Healthy Eating in Children
Everyone has opinions about eating. These tips will keep it simple and help you pick your battles in the nutrition arena.
- Eat fresh! Buy most of your food from the store periphery. Most processed foods are in the middle of the store and they contain large amounts of salt, sugar, harmful fats, artificial products and preservatives.
- Offer your children water or milk. Juices, soda and sport drinks have lots of sugar and can make your child become overweight. If you don’t buy them, no one will drink them. Also, eat your calories. Do not drink them.
- Vegetables and fruits contain fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Choose different colors of produce as they contain different vitamins. Frozen vegetables and fruits are good for a quick and healthy meal or snack. Remember that delicious can also be nutritious!
- Small servings of lean protein like eggs, chicken, soy, fish and occasional red meat could be part of any healthy diet. If your family is vegetarian or vegan, make sure you are consuming all nutrients and vitamins. A multivitamin might be indicated for your family.
- The brain is mostly made of FAT. Offer your children healthy fats coming from nuts, seeds, avocado, olives and fish to maintain appropriate brain development.
- Eat whole grain products like whole wheat bread and pasta, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, whole grain rye and cornmeal.
- Try to avoid cereals with coloring, or labeled “frosted”, “honey” or “puffed”. They have lots of sugar. Treat them as dessert and consume at a minimum.
- Cow’s milk, soymilk, yogurt and cheese are good sources of protein and calcium. Yogurts marketed for children contain lots of added sugar. Get plain yogurt and mix a small amount of fruit yogurt or add fresh fruit.
- Organic is not necessarily better! While “organic” products are free of pesticides, antibiotics and are not genetically modified, they mostly have the same nutrients that non-organic products have. Stick to what is in your budget, as organic can sometimes mean expensive. Spend wisely and buy healthy!!!
- All calories are not the same. One hundred calories coming from almonds are good for you. Almonds have fiber, healthy fat and nutrients. One hundred calories from candy mostly comes from sugar without any nutritional value; these are empty calories. Eat real food!!!