Educating Our Kiddos About a Healthy Diet Starts at a Young Age
How your child eats today can have a serious impact on their health throughout adolescence and adulthood. Eating food rich in important nutrients helps them grow, and is essential for mental and physical development.
When we aren’t getting our daily vitamins and minerals through the eight full servings of fruit and vegetables packed into our chocolatey cookies, our Baked Smart Cookie team is taking a look into all of the science behind why it’s so important for your kids to start eating a healthy diet when they are young. You don’t want to miss this.
Why a Balanced Diet is Important
By giving your little one a healthy, balanced diet, you’re making sure that they’re getting all the essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need to grow up healthy. Many of the following nutrients are necessary for a plethora of reasons like:
- Calcium and Vitamin D for the normal growth and development of bones
- Iron to support their development in learning
- Vitamin D to help support their immune system
- Omega-3 DHA to support how their brain functions
What’s Considered a Balanced Diet
To get a balanced diet, you need to make sure your youngin is eating a wide variety of nutritious foods from all food groups. As a general guide, kids should eat:
- Lots of fruit and vegetables (more veggies than fruit)
- Wholegrains (brown rice, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta)
- Beans and lentils
- Lean meat and fish (especially oily fish)
- Nuts and seeds
Ways to encourage Your Child to Eat Healthy
The best way is to make food fun – it shouldn’t be something you’re forcing them to do or eat. Here are 5 tips you can use to make eating a balanced diet fun for your little one:
- Different colors of fruits and vegetables have different combinations of nutrients. Try to put as many different colors of food on your child’s plate to guarantee a large variety of nutrients. Think of foods with the colors green, white, yellow, orange, blue, purple, and red. Make this a game with your kiddo: can they think of a food that’s this color? How many different colors can we get on your plate?
- Be a role model. As a parent, it's always important to show by example. Eat all these healthy foods in front of them and around them. Show your child how enjoyable they can be.
- Get creative in the kitchen by making food fun. Cut food into funny shapes, make faces out of the food and enjoy the process of making the meal. Let the kids experiment with the different flavors and textures of food.
- Let them pick what they want to eat for their meal from a chosen group of foods. Children love to be involved in decision making, and rounding up a group of nutritious meals loaded with lean meats and veggies for them to pick can help encourage them to eat more healthy foods!
- You can also get them involved in the food shopping. Talk about where the fruits and vegetables came from on your next trip to the grocery store. Let your child make healthy food choices themselves once there.
What You Can Do If Your Kiddo Refuses to Eat the Foods They Need for Growth
Most children go through phases with their eating, but their habits also shift over time. Something they would never eat before will all of a sudden become a favorite!
Sometimes it may seem impossible to get children to eat food with important nutrients, but a good quality children’s multivitamin and mineral supplement can be helpful. A good quality children’s multivitamin and mineral supplement will include the necessary nutrients for your child’s health and can help support their diet.
Teach Kids to Recognize Hunger Signals
Many adults have the ability to figure out whether they’re full or hungry since they learned to listen to their physical cues for hunger and fullness as a child. Knowing about the importance of nutrients, it so happens that parents send the wrong message to their kids about how much they need to eat until they are full by punishing or bribing them to eat everything off their plate.
This way, parents teach their children the lifelong habit of overeating and to pay attention to outside cues. This risk can be reduced when children are allowed to listen to their own hunger cues.
Encourage Children to be Active
In today’s world, we spend far too much time behind the screens of our devices and less time being as active as we should be. This way of life also has a significant effect on children.
The results of several studies display that there’s a link between the hours spent sitting in front of devices and being overweight. Encouraging kids to go play outside with their friends or join an athletic team at school will help to lessen the likelihood of becoming overweight. Children who are physically active also develop better social skills, are more confident, and improve their emotional stability which can lead to strong self-esteem.
With COVID-19, however, we understand things may be easier said than done in this scenario. With that, we suggest setting some time during the week and on weekends to go outside and be active together, whether it’s a bike ride or a walk in the park.
Offer Sweets and Snacks in Moderation and Don’t Put Pressure on Children
It’s possible that kids will adopt a sense of negativity towards certain foods when they’re forced or pressured to eat them. It’s also not the greatest idea to totally eliminate salty snacks and sweets from their diet or to group foods into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories.
A better way for parents to approach this would be to take the plates away and introduce those foods again in the future. This will help to guarantee that they don’t feel guilty about the foods they don’t like.
Additionally, sweets can also be a part of a healthy diet as long as they are only included in moderation and are not used as rewards. Rather than using these ‘bad’ foods to reward good behavior or stop bad behavior, parents should find other solutions to respond to particular behavior.
But with Baked Smart Cookies, having fun eating a delicious treat and getting the nutrition included in eight different fruits and veggies comes hand in hand.
Baked Smart Cookie: A Sweet, Healthy Snack That’ll Support Your Kid’s Growth
If you think your child’s diet can be improved, our cookie can be a delicious and nutritious option that’ll still satisfy their sweet tooth.
We understand that you want your munchkin to grow up in the healthiest way possible, and that’s why we made this cookie tasty with natural sugars from fruits and veggies, and packed full of other wonderful nutrients!
Give your child a snack that will encourage them to eat healthy.