Adjusting the family’s diet to incorporate healthy foods and eliminate unhealthy choices can have a significant impact on their health.
Studies done by the World Health Organization and UNICEF show that childhood obesity is on the rise, and this is linked to bad food choices and nutritional deficiencies. In 2023 in the US, almost 20 percent (19.3) of chidden aged 5 – 19 years of age are overweight or obese.
These children are at a higher risk for asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Moreover, children with obesity are more likely to experience bullying, social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.
Since children learn a lot about food choices from you, it’s vital that as a parent you learn as much as possible about good nutrition and how it affects your health.
How can you help your kids adjust what they eat so that they have a healthy diet?
Increase Intake of Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are essential sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They provide the body with essential nutrients that help to maintain good health.
A family should aim to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best choices as they are free from added preservatives and sugars. If fresh produce is not available, frozen, or canned options can be a good alternative.
Another option is to grow your own vegetables. It’s not hard to do, even if you live in an apartment or have a small backyard. This Beginner’s Guide to Growing Vegetables in Your Apartment is a helpful resource.
Limit Processed Foods and Sugars
Processed foods and sugars are known to contribute to chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. A family should aim to limit their intake of processed foods and sugars as much as possible. This can be achieved by replacing processed snacks with healthier options such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Reducing the consumption of sugary beverages such as soda and juice can also have a significant impact on the family’s health.
Incorporate Lean Proteins
Proteins are essential for the growth and repair of tissues in the body. Aim to incorporate lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and lean beef into our family’s diet.
It is possible to make quick meals that won’t break the bank that still give your children the right nutrition and a good amount of lean protein.
Check out this slide show of 15 healthy, protein-packed meals you can prepare.
Drinking enough water is essential for the proper functioning of the body. Aim to get your kids drinking at least eight glasses of water per day. And avoid sweet, surgery drinks.
Plan Meals Ahead of Time
Planning meals ahead of time can help your family make healthier choices. It can also save time and money.
If you plan your meals for the week ahead and make a grocery list based on the meal plan you will have all the necessary ingredients on hand and reduce the temptation to eat out or order takeout.
Your family’s health is very important, but it’s often taken for granted until it’s not there.
Protect your children’s health by helping them to learn about good nutrition and how to make healthy food choices.
A body is capable of healing itself, as long as it gets the exact nutrients it needs. The best gift you could give your children is to get them tested with Nutrition Response Testing®. This is a safe, non-invasive technique of discovering exactly what nutrients each individual needs.
Once you know what their nutritional needs are you can adjust their diet, improve their overall health, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.