10 Tips to Develop Healthy Eating Food Habits in Kids

healthy eating food

Do you find your little ones always munching or snacking something like chips or cookies? Are they really fond of junk foods that make you worried about their health? Do you have a hard time making your children eat nutritious foods like fruits and veggies? Most frequently, unhealthy eating or binge-eating patterns begin in childhood. If not addressed early, these patterns can persist and occasionally result in difficulties down the road and end up resulting in eating disorders like anorexia, binge eating or obesity in the future. Keep reading to find out how to help kids break bad eating habits and develop healthy eating food habits in kids.

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Why do kids go for Junk food?

According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, 92% of kids consume more saturated fat than is recommended, 86% eat too much sugar, 72% eat too much salt, and 96% don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables. Nowadays, Kids are considerably more aware of the options available on the market that suit their tastes than they were a few years ago. While playing games on their parent’s phones or watching TV, kids notice advertisements for new foods being offered at their favourite fast-food places. The benefits of their three healthy meals will be compromised if they snack on unhealthy foods, thus this habit needs to be broken as soon as possible.

Also, Check: Eating disorders in children 

tips to DEVELOP healthy eating FOOD routine

Here are some tips you can take to get your kid back on the right track if they indulge in more unhealthy food than is necessary.

1. Healthy Snacks option:

Start with opting for a healthy snack instead of junk food. Give your little one a bowl full of fruits topped with some honey and dry fruits. You can also add some whipped cream and strawberries to make it tastier and more colourful.

Also check, Gut healthy Foods

2. Follow the schedule for snacks too:

When meals and even snacks have a regular, time and plan, a healthy routine is established. If your kids eat whenever they feel like it, they can overeat since they won’t be hungry when it’s time for a meal.

3. Positive Environment:

Having family meals together creates a positive environment and allows kids to pick up healthy eating habits by observing others in the family.

Also check, Healthy eating for children

4. Be a role model:

By observing the people and environment around them, children can learn a lot. Therefore, if they observe you eating unhealthy meals, this will set a bad example. Maintain a healthy eating food diet as much as you can and set a better example for your children. Teach them of the advantages of a healthy diet. 

Also check, Brain development foods for children

5. Restrict screen time:

Children who watch television often consume more than they actually need, which raises the possibility that they may grow up to be obese and make poor eating choices.

Also check, Screen time and eye health concern

6. Stop using junk as a bribe:

Stop using junk food as a bribe, if you want your kid to do some chores. This will inculcate a mindset where the kid will think that he needs to act good to get what he wanted and will have a very unhealthy relationship with the food. Kids shouldn’t associate good behaviour with eating calorie-dense, unhealthy meals.

7. Keep your kids hydrated:

Your toddler may occasionally be motivated to get a snack solely out of boredom rather than actual hunger. Many times, giving them a glass of water during snack time will be sufficient to satisfy their appetite.

8. Go on shopping together:

Taking your children shopping and teaching them how to read labels and choose nutritious and healthy eating food helps to introduce healthy eating food habits in them at a young age. They will be able to discriminate between what is healthy and what is bad for their health, and these children will grow up to be mindful eaters.

Also check, Foods for healthy body and hair

9. Become creative:

Limiting or cutting down on junk can initially upset the kids. Therefore, to make up for it, be creative in how you give wholesome snacks and meals. Give them fruits and veggies cut in different shapes or make a cartoon out of it. Decorate it with some honey, dry fruits, cream or cheese to make it look more appetizing.

10. Start practising a healthy lifestyle

Just as much as they require a balanced diet, growing children also require the recommended amounts of sleep. Poor sleep directly influences food choices because it disrupts the rhythm of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which can decrease appetite. Similarly, sitting idle can cause them to develop food cravings. Therefore, instead of allowing your children to play video games, set out some time in your schedule to take them outside to play.

Also check, Food recipes for 1 year old

Healthy fOODS that Provide daily nutrition for KIDS

1.Bitter gourd:

Bitter gourd is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It contains iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamins like A and C. It contains twice the calcium of spinach and beta-carotene of broccoli. Various antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds are present in bitter gourd.

2.Sprouted black chana:

Sprouts are low in calories and rich in fiber, enzymes, protein and other micronutrients. Black Chana contains a wide range of phytochemicals including carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, flavonoids, iron, phosphate, chloride etc

3.Beetroot:

Beetroots are rich in B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium and also contain betalains (a class of antioxidants), that helps in reducing free radicals and inflammation in the body. It helps in proper digestion, boosts immunity and improves blood circulation.

4.Giloy:

It is a shrub and an essential herb in ayurvedic medicines. Giloy is used to treat a wide range of health conditions. It contains important plant compounds like terpenoids, alkaloids, lignans, and steroids. Research shows that these compounds have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antidiabetic properties which not only helps in boosting immunity, but Giloy stem can also help improve digestion, reduce constipation, acidity, gas and bloating. It works well for people with a weak digestive system.

5.Shallaki:

Shallaki is rich in carbohydrates and calcium, thus helping in bone growth and improves appetite. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties which help to fight against inflammatory disorders of the digestive tract. Shallaki has cooling, healing, rejuvenating properties and blood purifying properties.

6.Sendha namak:

Sendha namak is higher in minerals than table salt. Also known as rock salt, it is unrefined salt. The magnesium and potassium present in rock salt help balance the sodium levels to maintain the body’s natural mineral proportion. Rock salt also contains iodine naturally

7.Sprouted moth bean:

It has highly nutritional content.  Rich source of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, Iron, potassium, Magnesium and B vitamins; it should be a part of your daily diet plan. Soaked and sprouted increases its nutritional value and makes it more digestible.

8.Black pepper:

Black pepper is an outstanding source of vitamin K and manganese. Studies show that it is also rich in calcium, Iron, zinc, Copper, Chromium and dietary fiber. Apart from this it contains many health promoting components such as flavonoids, terpenes, tannins and alkaloids.

9.Rice protein:

Rice protein is protein that has been taken from rice. Provides the body with nutrients called amino acids. It helps in muscle strength and muscle soreness and is good for skin and hairs too.

10.Tapioca starch:

Tapioca is a delicious starch extract derived from the cassava plant. High in dietary fiber tapioca helps in digestion and constipation. Fiber bulks up the stool, which may help move it through the digestive tract, thereby eliminating constipation, bloating, and intestinal pain. It is also rich in protein, calcium iron and vitamin K, all of these supports the overall growth of kids.

11.FOS:

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are composed of short fructose chains. They are a type of carbohydrate called oligosaccharides. FOS occurs naturally in many plants. They are prebiotic fibers that support the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. FOS is a good source of soluble dietary fiber and has been shown to reduce, or eliminate constipation.


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Eating Disorders in children

eating disorders

Is your kid a picky eater who consumes only specific foods? Or, have you noticed that they are eating less portions of food every day? Then there is a chance that this problem could progress into a severe eating disorder. Many times, eating disorders go undiagnosed by parents because they believe that their child’s eating habits can be changed as they grow. However, they are unaware of the growing concern about eating disorders in children and teens, which can lead to both physical and mental illnesses. 

Therefore, it is crucial for parents who deal with young children to recognise the indicators of eating disorders because the prevalence of these diseases among young girls and boys under the age of 12 has been rising recently. Continue reading to know simple yet effective tips to overcome eating disorders in children.

WHATSAPP for concerns like Speech Delay, Low Weight, Frequent Illness, Hyperactivity, Low Concentration, Weak Eyesight, Improper Sleep, Pigmentation, Pores, Face Marks, Fine Lines , Lactation etc.

What is an Eating Disorder?

It is a condition caused due to unhealthy eating habits of children which gets manifested into a serious problem and affects the health, mind and body of the child. Eating disorders are more emotional and mental problems than physical ones. There are several types of eating disorder which includes Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge eating, AFRID (avoidant restrictive food intake disorder), pica etc.

Types of Eating disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa:

Children with this condition are more prone to malnutrition as they avoid intake of calorie-rich or nutritious food. They consume only a small quantity which won’t even be sufficient to meet the daily requirement. These kids mostly avoid food because of their consciousness about their body image and other weight-related problems.

Also, check Foods that provide Daily Nutrition for Kids

Bulimia Nervosa:

It is the condition wherein the children will consume a larger portion of food in one sitting or overeat and then purge through vomiting, laxatives or other means because of the fear of weight gain. This is mainly due to the negative perception of their bodies feeling guilty about eating more and gaining weight.

Also, check Foods for healthy weight gain in kids

Binge eating:

This condition is the opposite of anorexia where the children intake more calories than required or indulge in overeating. It occurs more commonly with kids who are more distracted while eating so that they don’t know how much or how fast they eat leading to binging or overeating food which can eventually lead to obesity and other ailments like heart problems, hypertension, diabetes etc when they grow up.

AFRID (avoidant restrictive food intake disorder):

As the name suggests, it is the condition wherein children have avoidant or restrictive behaviour towards eating. They will be pickier toward certain kinds of food based on their flavour, texture, taste or other sensory properties.

Pica:

It is a type of eating disorder where the children used to chew items that are not non- food or don’t have any nutritive value like chalk, hair, clay, soil etc. This habit then develops into a coping mechanism both emotionally and psychologically.

Also, check Iron Rich foods for kids

Eating Disorders: causes

Most eating disorders are concerned with body image, and emotional and psychological problems. Usually, pre-teens and teenagers have these conditions due to the influence of society, peer pressure, and media standards that make them think that being skinny is more attractive than being healthy. Children suffering from emotional and mental issues usually use these as a coping mechanism for their problems and to keep everything under control and perfect.

The other spectrum of the line shows that there is an increase in the obesity rate from 5 to 18 per cent among children and teenagers as per IOTF (International Obesity Taskforce). Both eating disorders and obesity go hand in hand as obesity can lead to various lifestyle disorders or metabolic disorders like hypertension, Cardiovascular disorder (CVD), diabetes etc.

This is due to unhealthy lifestyles:

Symptoms:

These children have both physical and mental conditions:

Physical Symptoms include:

  • Weight gain/ Weight Loss
  •  Hair loss
  •  Change in blood pressure
  •  Dropping of heart rate
  •  Heart-related ailments
  •  Loss of stamina
  •  Feeling tired and Fatigued
  • Extreme Dieting or Extreme Exercising
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Lack of oxygen leads to bluish discolouration
  • Dizziness and Insomnia
  • Delay in puberty
  • Irregular Menstrual cycle

Mental health symptoms include:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Mood Disorder/ mood Swings
  • Unable to cope with emotions / Perfectionism/ Wanting to have everything under their control
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depressions
  • Withdrawal from social situations
Certain tips to prevent eating disorders:
  • Encourage eating wholesome food and include all varieties of food in the diet.
  • Eating healthy and nutritious meals helps the children to have a sound mind and body.
  • Since most of the time eating disorder is related to emotional well-being, it is good to have an open discussion about the child’s feelings and emotions and the home is a better place to voice out their opinions. This prevents them from suppressing their emotions.
  • Have a body-positive attitude and avoid comparing kids with others in terms of their body, grades or anything and teach them to accept that every shape and every size is beautiful.
  • Create awareness among children and teens about the importance of a healthy and nutritious diet as this is the age where their physical and mental ability develops.
  •  Have a healthy lifestyle and avoid junk foods.
  • These eating disorders can hinder the puberty and menstruation cycle of girls. So, care should be taken in the food intake and nutrition of Pre-teen and teenage girls.
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5 Ways to detox festival binge eating

What is detoxification meaning and whY is DETOX AFTER FESTIVE SEASON IMPORTANT?

Festivals go hand-in-hand with sweets, fried and spicy foods in every culture. Round the year we often get excuses to indulge in delicacies in the celebration of festivals. The most exciting part of any festival is the scrumptious food, which varies across different festivals. Food is what makes every festival so memorable. During festive season, days often begins and ends with a sweet, delicately prepared at home with loads of patience and love. In addition, Food is what connects people of different regions and backgrounds. Even families unite after a long separation and build moments with taste-laden food and drinks. And it is a common culture across the world to invite and visit friends and family. Eventually, in the end, it all sums up to eating, laughing and more eating.

Soon, once the festival is over, we begin our search for detoxing our bodies of food-guilt, not love and laughter. People generally tend to (over) consume foods with high sugar content, spices and fat. More often than not, this leads to gastritis, indigestion, acidity and raised cholesterol levels, thereby creating a need to detox post festival. That is why detox after festive season is required.

Detoxification Meaning:

Detoxification means cleansing up your body while removing the impurities from blood. Toxins are the pollutants, synthetic chemicals, heavy metals which enter our body along with our regular food and affect our health negatively. 

After-effects of Festival Binge Eating:

Gas and constipation:

This is the common problem people complain off after every festival. And the reason behind this is the consumption of oily, deep fried spicy food. The excess use of oil, sugar, and refine flour that is used to make verity of dishes during festivals leads to acid reflux, constipation and heartburn.

Weight gain:

Even health conscious people can’t stop themselves from having those tasty festival dishes, which are full of calories. Further, it results in weight gain and can cause health issues.  As a result, it become important to detox post festival delicacies. (What food can help increase healthy weight in kids?)

Harmful for gut health:

When there is excess of oil, starch or sugar in the diet, your digestive system can’t process it properly (Why?). So the sugar starts to ferment and begins feeding pathogenic bacteria like yeast.  Later it harms the healthy bacteria that live in your gut. And this can lead to conditions like small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Moreover, a high fat and sugar combined diet may damage the gut micro biome by increasing unhealthy bacteria and decreasing number of healthy one. That is why a detox post festival becomes necessary in such scenarios.

Acne:

High saturated fat food may result in acne by increasing inflammation and altering hormone levels. (How to fix acne in kids?)

Increase risk of diabetes:

Consuming festive food, which not only includes high fat food but, also high sugar levels (sweets and drinks), leads to high-calorie intake and sudden rise in blood sugar levels. This can be a trigger point for people with pre-diabetes developing diabetes.

Increase in cholesterol level:

Excess use of saturated or trans fat (hydrogenated vegetable oil) for making different dishes during festival season may lead to high cholesterol levels in your blood, which is harmful for your heart health and liver function. Liver is the main organ that breakdown fat in the bod. Excess of fat intake can put pressure on liver. (How to keep Liver safe?)

To detox post festival binge eating becomes essential for a healthy body. Drinking enough water and having high-fiber diet helps to get rid of waste and toxins from the body. Some of the best way to detox your body after binge are exercising, consuming probiotics (what are some easy probiotics?), adding some antioxidants in your diet (what are antioxidants?) and consuming foods that are easy to digest. Some food sources can really help to detox post festival.

WAYS TO DETOX:

Aloe Vera and turmeric:

Aloe Vera plant is water- dense. It is the best way to detox your body. This plant keeps the body hydrated and provides a way to flush out impurities. It is a rich source of antioxidants, which helps fight free-radicals (what are they?) and lowers oxidative stress on your body. The aloe Vera is proven to clean toxins from the liver. It also decreases irritation in the stomach and intestine. Turmeric is an extraordinary spice in terms of health benefit. It has anti-inflammation and anti-oxidant properties that fight inflammation and can contribute to healthy digestion. Mix a spoon of Aloe Vera gel (freshly obtained from leaf is preferred) with quarter spoon of turmeric in warm water. Enjoy this drink to detox post festival binge eating.

Apple cider vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is fermented food which adds good bacteria to the gut. It is high in potassium, magnesium, calcium and other vitamins and minerals. It gives good dose of enzymes, supports healthy immune system, promotes pH (acidity) balance in the body, aids healthy digestion, helps in removing toxins from body. Add one table spoon of ACV to the warm water, for best results drink this in the morning empty stomach. (Easy way to make ACV jellies)

Chia seeds:

Chia seeds are high in fiber and essential fats (omega-3), which help to reduce inflammation and flush out toxins. It has high amount of fiber which reaches the large intestine and becomes food for the bacterias staying there, thereby promoting healthy intestinal flow, treating constipation, heartburn and other digestive disorders. Soak some chia seeds in a glass of water, drink this after an hour of soaking. (Some easy seeds rich in protein)

Lemon:

Lemon is the key ingredient in many detox drinks and one of the best ways to detox your body. It is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, which is beneficial for skin and fight free-radicals. It has an alkaline effect on the body which helps restore the body’s pH balance and flush out toxins to cleanse the system. Start your day with a glass of warm water with a slice of lemon in it. It also aids in maintaining a healthy weight.

Garlic:

Garlic contains organo- sulfur compounds (OSCs), which make it the perfect detoxification supplement.  It is not only anti-viral, anti-bacterial and antibiotic but it also contains a chemical called allicin which promotes the production of white blood cells and helps fight against toxins. Selenium, a mineral present in garlic can cleanse the liver of toxins too. (How does this help with boils on the body?)

Ginger:

Ginger water mixed with lemon juice is also used to detox the body. As per numerous studies, ginger has been credited to fight infection and inflammation. Ginger root contains powerful compounds, including gingerols and shogoals, that help to inhibit inflammation and protect against cellular damage. They also tend to liver against toxins. Taking a little bit of ginger in tea or meals everyday can support overall health including a good flow of blood in the body. (How does ginger solve cough in kids?)

ways to detox
detox after festive season

Recipe: Aloe Vera Turmeric Detox Drink

Mix a spoon of Aloe Vera gel (freshly obtained from leaf is preferred) with quarter spoon of turmeric in warm water. Enjoy this drink to detox post festival binge eating.

Add honey for kids to make it a tasty drink.

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