Healthy tips for your child’s eating habits
By Sam Witter on 11th July, 2016
Keeping your children fit and healthy is not only important to prevent illness but also to help them grow and develop physically and mentally. The brain stops developing in the early twenties and the body stops developing in males at the age of twenty and girls at the age of eighteen.
Research has shown that diet from a young age is very important and affects metabolism, physical development and health later in life. Research also shows that children who consume a wholesome diet and have a good appetite have lower body fat in later life.
Getting your children to eat regular, well-balanced meals is key for growth and health. The body thrives on natural wholesome foods packed full of protein, good fats, vitamins and minerals, all of which a growing child needs in abundance. Food controls every metabolic event in the body and has as strong an effect as medicine on the body’s hormones.
“Cave child” diet
You will have heard about the “cave man” diet but very little has been written about children’s need for protein in their diet.
The principles are similar; the human body thrives on a diet rich in protein, good fats, vegetables and fruits and children are no different. Protein in Greek means primary and essential. It is used for growth and repair in order to build a healthy immune system. Every cell in the body is made up of good fats and this makes them essential for growing children.
Getting children to eat well is hard and is made worse by all the marketing and advertisements that surround junk food. Try to introduce meats / vegetables and good fats from a young age.
Food has a huge emotional connection which stems from childhood. As adults, when we are stressed we sometimes reach for a bar of chocolate or glass of wine. This begins to act as a stimulus response; you associate happiness with chocolate and wine. As a child you are rewarded when well behaved with sweets and chocolate. Again this creates a stimulus response and you associate these foods with joy and happiness. So, this emotional programming starts from a very young age and is a huge determining factor in how you view food later in life.
What to do
- Try to introduce meats / good fats and vegetables into your child’s diet from a young age
- Reward your children with healthy food, not just junk food
- Introduce variety into your child’s diet
- Children need carbs but try to give them “good carbs” such as sweet potato, wild rice and brown bread
- Try to get children into the habit of drinking water rather than sweet drinks from a young age
- Limit treats and do not attach emotion to them, for example as a reward for good behaviour
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