The last two years have been extremely challenging in terms of health for everyone, irrespective of their age. Almost all of us suffered the Covid-19 inflicted pain and consequent lockdowns, especially children who were forced to almost eighteen months of quarantine. During this period, excessive screen time, sedentariness, and altered eating and sleeping habits became a routine that badly affected their health.
However, the pandemic underlined the significance of good health, robust immunity and the efficacy of the right eating habits. As India celebrates National Nutrition Week (Sept 1- Sept 7), parents must give increased attention to child health while raising their awareness regarding healthy eating habits and how they could support them in their pursuit of career goals. So, as parents, how can you teach and encourage your child to adopt healthy eating habits?
Here Are Some Tips To Teach Kids Significance Of A Healthy Diet:
1. Set a family meal time
Setting a time means creating a routine. When you set a meal time, you teach your kids the importance of timely meals and inculcate a habit. At the same time, while having a meal together, you can teach your child how the digestive system works effectively if a meal routine is followed and its positive impact on health.
2. Healthy and daily breakfast
Children often skip their breakfast, either in hurry or due to their reluctance. Breakfast provides the necessary energy to start a day and meet the power demand of the body cells. Besides, it helps the body in overall development. You must teach your child how important it is to have breakfast. Breakfast is not an elaborate meal. You should focus on nutrition intake. You can develop a habit of eating whole-grain, fruits and other food items rich in nutritional value.
3. Teach about the bad effects of fast food and set a limit
Children find it quite tempting to have fast food which contains elements that affect health badly. You should make your child aware of the bad effects of regular consumption of such food items and set a limit on the intake. They contain extra calories which cause obesity and have many short-term and long-term impacts.
4. Organic foods and their benefits
Due to the health benefits they offer, organic foods are witnessing a continuous rise in demand. You should teach your child about organic foods and how they help in maintaining overall health. As they are grown naturally, they avoid the risk associated with pesticides, contain nutrients, and boost the immune system. Also, you can make them aware of the fact that how organic foods are safe for the environment.
5. Involve kids in food shopping and meal planning
It is one of the best ways to make them responsible when it comes to food planning and consumption. It will give you an opportunity to teach your child about the nutritional and calorie values of a particular item, how they can read it, and how to make a decision.
6. Be a role model
Parents are the real heroes of every child. They observe, learn and follow their habits. You should follow healthy eating habits to encourage your child for the same. Including vegetables and fruits in the diet will send a good message to children to give importance to nutrition.
About Author: Amrita Pandey is a nutritionist at Organic India.
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