Raising Healthy Kids is not easy with the ever increasing pressures from processed foods and Junk food being advertised by many brands and companies who essentially just want your money.
Early food experiences will have an impact on children’s eating patterns although habits can be changed depending on what is provided and if there is a willingness to do so.
All eating habits are learnt at home or by the environment children grow up in, so it’s important to be positive role models for your children from the start. Maintaining a secure base will also make a difference and to health of your children as our stomach is the key to wellbeing.
A healthy, balanced diet is especially important for children as their bodies grow and there is much research that is now tells us the importance of good protein sources and good food sources on children’s brain and gut development which is now being well documented and evidenced to show brain development in particular continues to grow until later in our adulthood lives until the age of 25 to be precise.
with this in mind it’s even more important to make sure all children are given a broad range of food to grow their gut health and the brain gut connection. In my work with children being looked after or with autism and other conduct disorders in particular have shown that eating good food that is rich in essential minerals and vitamins can help build their resilience to deal with life during stressful periods. I know many parents and professionals have seen the results ( myself included) of helping them cope on a daily level and work towards meeting their developmental aspirations.
Getting the right food with available nutrients is therefore key to health maintenance. Here are somethings that I do for my family at home:
Make sure there’s something on their plate for everyone at every meal to make them feel happy, heard and understood .
Always be clear about the food you want to give them and explain the reasons why it is on their plates or why it is good for them.
Be patient and consistence when giving your children each meal and agree the parameters for eating.
For children who have sensory processing difficulties – Provide food they like and present it the way they like it. Make small changes slowly and in consultation with them otherwise these minor changes can be a huge stress and have an impact on them and their happiness.
Give fussy eaters food that looks appealing- Showing children food before they try and offering if a few times without pushing it on them can help them to make a transition to trying it at some point.
Choose your battles carefully about food. Never force feed children. They come round their own time.
Try seasonal food and offer new choices
Here is a recent article I wrote that gives some insight and tools for helping you out. Raising Healthy Kids