Is your child always sick?
Does your child get sick every winter or catch the latest cold going around at school?
When your child catches a cold does it get passed from family member to family member?
When your child gets sick do you take them to the doctors and the doctor prescribes antibiotics?
If these statements are true your family may be victims of a poor diet and the cause of your child getting sick is a weakened immune system.
How can parents learn about good nutrition, encourage their children to eat foods that are healthy for them and help their children develop a healthy immune system?
Dr. David Katz shares in an article called Getting Kids to Love Food that Loves Them Back. In this article he shares that one of the most important factors is familiarity and familiarity breeds comfort. He goes on to tell how you can help your child become familiar with healthy food at any age and even while the child is still in the womb. He goes on to say that the only way to create a healthy environment is to reside in it, and eat well ourselves.
Here are some ways Dr. Katz recommends and others to help your child develop healthy eating habits at different ages
- All Ages: Reprogram your child’s taste buds. Jessica Seinfeld in her book DECEPTIVELY DELICIOUS: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food shares how you can make meals your kids love, mix fruits and vegetables in the recipe that will give them the nutrition they need and they won’t even know the difference.
- Ages 3- 5-year-olds. Exercise with your child with programs like Yummy Yoga: Playful Poses and Tasty Treats by Joy Bauer. This is a way you can teach your child the benefits of exercise and good food.
- Children in grades 3 and 4: Nutrition Detectives is a way to teach your children how to make healthy food choices, read nutrition labels and have fun doing so.
- Grow your own fruits and vegetables with a Tower Garden. Getting kids to help in the garden can improve their eating habits because gardening itself increases their interest in trying new fruits and vegetables.
- Teen Age: Get your teen involved in planning meals and also helping you cook the meals. You will not only have the opportunity to teach them how to cook, about good nutrition and you will be setting them up for success when they are on their own to eat more healthy. Simple Tips To Get Your Teen To Cook Dinner.
If you apply some or all of these tips you can help you and your family avoid the chronic conditions that plague many Americans today. An unhealthy diet contributes to approximately 678,000 deaths each year in the U.S., due to nutrition- and obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. In the last 30 years, obesity rates have doubled in adults, tripled in children, and quadrupled in adolescents.
If you have had some success in this area please leave a comment by telling us how it has impacted you and share the resources you use.