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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Disadvantages of Junk Food for Kids

Over the last two decades, so many fast food restaurant chains have emerged and are on a constant rise. Whether we are travelling, have guests, short on time, hanging around with friends or simply want to relax, pizza, burger and fries are an instant choice, both affordable and comfortable for parents and children. In reality, food with high sugar/ saturated fat/ salt (what does sugar do to kids?) and low nutrient value in terms of protein, fibre, vitamin and mineral is termed as Fast Food or junk food. Let’s learn more about disadvantages of junk food and some healthy alternatives.

what are the Disadvantages of junk Food?

Many of our children are fond of such ready-made food or junk foods. The disadvantages of junk food on kid’s health remain in the long run. Some of the concerning outcomes are obesity, stress, hormonal imbalance in kids. A single fast food meal could add 300-500 calories instantly without much added nutrition, terming it as empty calories (Why should kids eat a balanced diet?).

Kids love to enjoy meals with high sugar content. Sugar can be consumed in many forms like Bread which is extremely high in added sugar and one of the most staple foods in every household for kids. Other common sources of sugar are white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, cookies, candy, donut, cake, canned drinks, packed juices, bottled shakes and smoothies, granola bars, sauces, jams and many others. Such intake on a regular basis can deplete four of the best bone-friendly nutrients from your child’s body.

How Sugar affects the body?

During the early years, the bones of kids develop and grow while also being depleted at the same time. If the consumption of calcium, Vitamin D and other required minerals are sufficient, the health of bones will be positive. When sugar is consumed, there is acid that’s released in the body. In order to balance this acid, calcium is extracted from the bones resulting in Calcium deficient weaker bones. Vitamin D assists in absorption of Calcium by the bones. Consumption of sugar increases an enzyme that degrades vitamin D and thereby also results in reduced absorption of calcium by the bones. Double whammy!

Vitamin C helps to make collagen and also delays the decaying process of bones. Sugar intake restricts the absorption of this vitamin into our body cells resulting in weaker bones.

Magnesium works on keeping the bones strong. Sugar strips the body of magnesium too by releasing it out through urine.

BEST SNACKS FOR CHILDREN:

Many packaged snacks for kids are extremely unhealthy. They are often full of refined flour, added sugars, and artificial ingredients like colours and flavours. Snacks can act as a great opportunity to sneak some extra nutrients into your child’s diet. Instead of highly processed fast foods, fill your child’s tummy with healthy whole food snacks that will provide energy and complete nutrition. (Disadvantages of junk food and preservatives)

  • You may consider popcorn as junk food, but it’s really a nutritious whole grain healthy fast food for kids. As long as you don’t drown it in unhealthy fat like margarine, popcorn can be a snack for kids. It is also loved by them. Popcorn actually has 4 grams of fibre per 3-cup serving, which makes it a filling snack and good for digestion.

Amongst many minerals and vitamins that contribute towards Brain Health– Development and Function, a few are Manganese, Vitamin B6 and B9. Just a cup of Makhana is enough to meet 50% of Manganese requirements for the day.

It is those rare snacks which are loaded with a good balance of Vitamin Bs. Not just Brain, Makhana also supports strong bone development of a growing child.

  • You can make them healthy fast food for kids, when you use the right ingredients. Healthy cookies contain whole grain flour, which provide protein, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. It can be a favourite treat for kids and adults as well. Adding ground seeds like flax, chia or sunflower seeds to the cookie mix make them more nutritious. By swapping out the added sugar and using other alternatives like puree of dates or raisins or dried berries can make the cookie a healthier choice.
  • Bread is a staple food in many households. Healthy spreads for bread can be a good way to feed essential nutrition to children. It can not only calm down a kid’s hunger pangs but also give a dose of good fat, protein and vitamins. Peanut butter mixed with cocoa and dates or honey is a bread spread which is loved by adults and kids alike. It is enough to provide with essential nutrients as well as antioxidants. (Check Iyurved’s Daily Nutrition Chocolate spread)
  • Mixed nut balls or laddoo are the best snacks for children to settle their sweet cravings. Peanut butter (or any other nut butter) mixed with almond flour, dipped in melted dark chocolate is just the perfect snack for anytime during the day. Consuming Nuts and seeds is among the best food with protein to meet the daily requirement of the body and also among the best foods for children in their developing years.
Laddoo/ Sweet ball using Iyurved’s Daily Nutrition Chocolate Spread
  • Smoothies are a great way to pack fibre and vitamin rich fruits and vegetables, calcium, protein and good fats into a drinkable meal or snack. They are really easy and fast to make at home, and you can create lots of flavour combinations using what you have. An addition of kefir instead of yogurt adds the necessary bacterias to the drink.
  • Cake or cupcake is undoubtedly a favourite and healthy fast food for kids. Using whole wheat flour and mixing with seeds of Sunflower, Pumpkin and Melon together offer a great source of nourishment to the body. 1 tablespoon of this seed mix provides 5g of protein. A spread of this can easily blend with any dish and won’t even get noticed by kids.

Let’s try to make every food tasty and nutritious with herbs and nuts.

Check the Recipe made with Ayurvedic spread by Iyurved- DAILY NUTRITION spread.

CHECK MORE HEALTHY RECIPES LOVED BY KIDS.


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