A strong foundation in balanced nutrition can offer numerous health gains and benefits to your kids as they grow. Adequate nutrition consumed early in life can enable children to understand how to provide nourishment for their bodies throughout their life and minimize the chance of long-term medical issues over time. Furthermore, this could also elevate their energy level at school, improve their ability to participate in extracurricular programs, and increase their quality of sleep.
Adult Gastroenterology Associates recognizes that a healthy start can have a significant impact on kids during childhood and throughout their life. Given that September is recognized as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we have provided suggestions to help parents and caregivers understand more about nutrition for kids, healthy meals and snacks, and lunchbox ideas for school-aged children. Please take a minute to read the following tips and reach out to one of our digestive health specialists in Tulsa, Oklahoma for further guidance.
How can I reinforce healthy eating habits for kids?
Our team recommends several approaches to help ensure balanced nutrition for healthy kids. These include:
· Sit down to eat family meals together regularly
While eating dinner, keep the conversation positive so your child doesn’t negatively associate food with stress. Stress eating might lead to other concerns down the road.
· Involve your kids in the cooking and food preparation activities
You’ll have the chance to teach your little one about how to select healthy foods and nutrition information when buying and preparing food. Such a situation can let children have a fun time discovering healthy eating habits while also spending quality time with other members of the family. In addition, by fostering this involvement, you could be less likely to see an aversion to certain foods as your child has a chance to learn more about your food selections.
· Adhere to portion sizes on food labels and consider the list of ingredients
Educating your kid about nutrition labels and proper portions can enable your child to be informed of how these factors affect their health.
· Control a snack schedule and the kinds of food your child consumes
Taking time to snack is a central part of healthy eating. It’s a good idea to plan out a set time for snacking and designate the kinds of food your child eats. Try to discourage your child from snacking in front of the television, as doing so could foster overeating.
· Avoid using food as a punishment or reward
When you send your little one off to sleep without dinner to punish them or treat sugary foods as a prize for good behavior, it could impact your child’s relationship with food over the long term.
What healthy foods for children could be included in your child’s diet?
Our Tulsa gastrointestinal doctors suggest a healthy diet that includes vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy. If possible, it’s advisable to control portions of sugar and trans fat at meals and during snack time. By adhering to a diet that primarily includes these quality food choices, you can help your child be more energetic and healthier. For further planning tips, we have provided some of our favorite lunchbox ideas for kids. Please take a look at the recommendations below:
How can I locate more resources about healthy diets for kids?
Apart from the information provided here, our team members want to offer comprehensive resources for parents, which can allow them to obtain current facts concerning nutrition for kids. A number of the resources we recommend are:
At Adult Gastroenterology Associates, our professionals are passionate about helping families establish healthy habits throughout life. Our gastrointestinal specialists can guide parents on how to help develop a good foundation of nutrition for their kids. Please contact our Tulsa digestive experts to learn more about the positive effects of nutritious eating habits or choosing appropriate meals and snacks for your family members.