Healthy eating for children should be treated as top priority by all parents because as a parent we all have a responsibility to give our children the best possible start in life.
Feeding them a healthy diet when young helps them to grow into fit adults who suffer from fewer ailments and can look forward to longevity. Is there any parent who doesn’t wish this for their children?
The obvious question now is what constitutes and good diet for children? I will give a link to a very good website at the end of this article that will deal with all the technical aspects of a healthy diet. For now accept that the food pyramid that was instigated by the US Department of Agriculture is a very good starting point.
I know that everybody has a problem in persuading children to eat what is healthy rather than what is fun; the secret is to make healthy food fun too. For instance I recently watched a TV program that subjected an obese family to eight weeks under the control of a dietician. Initially the children claimed that they would only eat burgers – meaning fast food restaurant burgers.
The dietician made 50 lentil burgers for the cost of buying three Big Macs and presented 3 of the lentil burgers to the children for dinner, freezing the other 47. The only thing she told them was that she insisted that burger buns be replaced with whole grain rolls.
Result: The children ate the lentil burgers without comment. Not only did they eat them they asked for more. What they really wanted to eat was something that resembled a fast food hamburger, what it tasted like wasn’t that important.
When the dietician told the mother what she was about to do to encourage her children to eat healthy foods the mother’s response was. ‘You have no chance, my children will insist upon eating McDonalds.’ I think this is a case of a mother who thought she was being kind to her children by giving them what they wanted; so much so that she actually started believing it herself.
The family spent $149 each week on take home food and their grocery bill was $250 each week. When the healthy diet was started the weekly grocery bill dropped to $153 each week and zero on take-out food. A total weekly savings of $246, just by cutting out unhealthy convenience foods.
At the end of eight weeks the mother had lost 21 pounds, the father 18 pounds and each child 14 pounds. For the first time in their young lives the children were playing team sports at school. After school they played with friends and life started to be more fun than they ever imagined.
We are what we eat and healthy eating for children is the greatest gift you can give to them.
This article reflects the views of the author and is not meant to be medical advice. As with anything dealing with your health, you should see a medical professional for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of specific health problems.