Habits are hard to break. That’s why the sooner in life we build good, healthy habits, the easier it is to keep them and stay as healthy as possible. And when good healthy habits are in place, it’s easier to resist bad ones. Do you want your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables? Do you want to teach them healthy habits? Getting your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables starts by teaching them to love real food and the natural tastes and textures fruits and vegetables provide. You can do this by serving a variety of fruits and veggies in a variety of ways. We also want them to have a healthy relationship with food! We don’t focus, demonize, or exclude foods or food group at Super Healthy Kids. Instead we celebrate what healthy foods can do for us and how they can make us feel.
Serving fruits or vegetables in different forms, textures, and temperatures will actually help children develop a mature palate, which is more accepting to a wider variety of new foods. Training kids tastes and appetites will help them develop a love of real food. Don’t hesitate to offer fruits and veggies fresh, frozen, dried, canned, juiced, pureed, blended, etc!
We love the focus on fruits and veggies for our kids as a way to teach them healthy habits. Not only does it encourage a positive relationship with food by focusing on what they should be eating, without sending negative food messages that often is accompanied by guilt and shame
Important Healthy Habits for Kids
Don’t Skip Breakfast:
Getting your kid into a regular routine of breakfast-lunch-dinner will help him avoid unnecessary snacking right from the very beginning. This is probably the most crucial and important stages when it comes to helping your kid adopt healthy eating habits. A nutritious breakfast complete with all food groups will help your kid stay energetic and active throughout the day.
Read Every Day:
Dread the bedtime stories your little kid gets all excited about? Several studies have revealed how helping your child read, and reading out to him could help develop strong reading skills and may help your kid succeed in school and work.
It’s the age of iPads and Xboxes, and often, you may find your kid stuck to the television set or his brand new tablet. If that’s the case, encourage your kid to find happiness in outdoor activities. Get him a pet dog and ask him to take him for a walk, or do some hula hoop swirls out in the garden with your little naughty kid. If they feel bored, get them to perform some household activities such as walking the dog, car washing or clearing the yard. You can even ask their help in gardening everyday to make sure they stay active and fit.
Every once in a while, your kid may make a lot of fuss about getting into the bathroom and having a bath- it’s always best to have some cute bath bombs, soaps, shampoos and toys handy. The general idea is to make regular activities a fun time for your kid, until he grows older.
Family time is extremely important, especially for a growing baby. Dinner-time is often the best time where the entire family can sit down to eat and talk. This way, your kid will be less prone to snacking and grabbing the wrong foods, and will also enjoy time with his parents and connect to them better.
Ditch the Soda:
It is shocking how younger children today are falling prey to unhealthy eating habits, and several studies have found how soda consumption is on a rise in kids. Make sure your kid sticks to healthy drinks, and preferably water to keep himself hydrated.
Promote The Habit Of Brushing The Teeth Twice A Day:
Dental hygiene is vital. Make your kids realize the importance of brushing their teeth everyday right from their childhood. Kids tend to snack a lot, so they need to have their teeth clean to prevent the occurrence of cavities. Teach your kids to brush twice a day using a less-fluoride toothpaste to fight decay and cavities in their teeth. Also teach your kids not to eat foods after brushing their teeth at night.
Make Your Kids Get Good Amount Of Sleep:
Kids within the ages from 5 to 12 require at least 10 or 11 hours of sleep at night to maintain their health. Your children should go to sleep at the same time everyday; regular sleep pattern can help them to be more attentive in classes, stay in a better mood during the day and build immunity. For small kids, having a story time or a favorite doll near them would help to sleep peacefully.
Dab On The Sunscreen:
Planning an outing at the beach during the summer? Thirty minutes before you leave home, apply a branded and preferably paraben-free sunscreen lotion on your kids, as it will help their skin to stay free from all kinds of infections. Make your kids wear the lotion during the peak summer hours from 10 am to 4 pm or organize indoor activities to help them stay indoors and have fun.
Stay Updated With Your Kid’s Vaccination:
Make sure you maintain up to date records of your child’s vaccination. Check with your doctor to make sure that you offer your kids the right shot at the right date for prevention of diseases. Keep the immunization records handy to carry it during the next appointment with the doctor.
Eat less sugar!
The average child gets 16% of their total calories from added sugars, a whopping 10 teaspoons per day! Added sugar has been linked to childhood obesity, chronic diseases, behavior problems, and more! Keep this number between 0-5%!
Take Care Of Your Child’s Mental Health:
Though all parents strive to fulfill all the needs of their kids, most of them pay very less attention towards their mental health. If your kid has a medical condition or if you have troubling domestic issues, then it can affect your kid’s mental health. Stay in touch with your kid’s teacher and keep a track of your kid’s activities to detect any issues at an earlier stage.
Make half your meal fruits and vegetables!
Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables in all their forms and varieties have been linked to stronger immunity, lower incidences of cancer, lower weight and more! A balanced meal comes naturally when kids consume half their meal fruits and veggies! Kids who eat fruits and veggies at every meal are filling up on high fiber, high nutrient, low calorie foods, in the right portions.
Hand washing undoubtedly tops the list when it comes to getting your kid into healthy habit- explain the importance of washing hands to your little kid, and also focus on the correct techniques – 20 seconds is a must for children. Teach your kids to wash their hands with soap or hand wash liquid. Rinse well with water after using the bathroom and before eating food. The same must be followed after they come home from playing outdoors as it would help to prevent your kid from getting any kind of infection from other kids.
Have Regular Health Checkups:
Preventive care is essential to maintain your child’s health. Your kid’s health must be checked regularly every year and opt for annual dental check ups to prevent teeth issues and gum problems in kids or to minimize the risks associated with it. Select the right hospital for your family’s needs and stick with it to build a good history with your child’s doctor.
Eat a variety of proteins!
Protein is vital to children’s growing brains and bodies! Protein isn’t only obtained from chicken! Seafood, poultry, lean beef, eggs, dairy, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds are all good protein sources and should all be included in a child’s diet.
Include fish once per week.
Fish is high in omega 3 fats, like DHA, which is vital for brain development. In addition, omega 3’s are being linked to reduced inflammation in patients with asthma, arthritis, and eczema. Low consumption of Omega 3’s is common in kids and is a risk factor for disease and behavior problems.
Choose whole grains!
You can still eat whole grains! But don’t let this be a reason to exclusively feed your kids bread 7-11 times per day. Instead, there are delicious alternatives that are much better for them. Brown rice, millet, barley, wild rice, bulgur, etc.
Stick to 4 meals per day!
Kids who are allowed to graze on food all day, do not have the appetite or desire to try new foods. It’s OK for children to be hungry, and even encouraged! When mealtime comes, they will be less picky and healthy food will actually taste better.
Kids should eat less than 1500mg of sodium per day, a little more than 1/2 teaspoon. Too much sodium puts children at risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and even kidney disease. Being vigilant about checking labels and avoid adding salt where possible, in favor of herbs and spices is an easy way to stay below the recommendation.
Limit processed foods.
Processed foods are any foods you find that are pre-made, packaged, and often require chemicals, food dyes, preservatives, added fats, and added sugars just to be able to keep it on the store shelves without getting spoiled. Children who eat and have access to processed foods eat less fruits and vegetables and develop eating habits that lead to obesity and poor health. Making your food from scratch, planning your meals, shopping the perimeter of the store, and growing your own foods are easy ways to eliminate the need for processed foods.
Water is vital for children. The major source for added sugar for children is sugar sweetened beverages. Sugar sweetened beverages have been blamed for many of the health problems plaguing children today, including childhood obesity. These beverages also replace foods that have nutrients and fiber, which children need to grow.
Sleep well and play hard! When kids spend their day playing outside, rather than in front of a screen, they sleep better, they have less behavior problems, they are happier and even have better self image.
We believe that as you teach these healthy habits to your children, implement them into daily living, and let it be a part of your life, your kids will be healthier, happier, and they will learn the habits necessary for lifetime wellness!
Avoid Keeping Reptiles As Pets:
Some reptiles have harmful bacteria called salmonella residing in their body, which can be fatal for your kids as it can cause sickle cell illness. Do not allow your kids to have lizards, turtles or snakes as pets, even if they are of harmless breed.