With all the attention given to childhood obesity by the media these days, you may be thinking about how to get your kids to eat a healthier diet. While many children are picky eaters, there are many healthy food options they will probably eat. This article contains some ideas to incorporate healthy foods into their diets.
First of all, what child doesn’t like a sandwich? Substitute whole grain bread for the typical white bread and top with your child’s favorite sandwich toppings. Your child will probably never even notice the difference! Whole grain bread is healthier and many brands contain as low as forty calories per slice. It has been proven that by switching from white to whole grain bread, you may be lowering your risk for heart disease and diabetes, as well as improving your digestive health.
Whole grain pasta is another healthy change to your diet. Whole grain pastas have greatly improved in taste over the past several years and now taste similar to the refined pasta that most people are accustomed to. There are a wide variety of wheat pastas to choose from. You may find that those whole grain pastas containing durum wheat will taste the most similar to traditional processed pasta, and your children will probably be more likely to eat it without even noticing a difference in taste.
Small changes in ingredients in cooking meals will also have your children eating healthier. Make sure to choose lean meats in proper portions. Lean meat is low in fat and is an excellent source of protein. Some examples of healthy lean meat choices are chicken, turkey and fish. Ideally your meat should contain no more than two grams of fat per serving. For example, when cooking a recipe that calls for ground beef, you may substitute ground turkey as a healthier alternative without sacrificing great taste. You may also use meat substitutes as well, such as soy products.
Keep fresh fruits and fresh vegetables handy for after school snacks. Most children come home from school wanting a snack and reach for whatever food is handy to munch. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter or table so that they will reach for it first. It’s also a good idea to keep some fresh vegetables cut up in the refrigerator for easy access to hungry children. Other healthy snacks include low fat baked chips, whole grain crackers, and low fat cheeses. Do not keep high calorie, highly processed, unhealthy snacks in your house. If it’s not available, they will choose from healthy snacks and will soon incorporate better snack choices into their diets, without even thinking about it.
All children love dessert, as do adults. Eating healthy does not mean you have to give up dessert. Low sugar ice cream is a healthy alternative and will be a treat your child will love. Most brands offer low sugar versions of their best-selling varieties. It’s an easy way to limit your child’s sugar intake as well as cutting calories without sacrificing taste.
Overall, feeding your child healthy foods does not have to be difficult or taste bad. There are healthy choices available; it just takes a little advance preparation and reading nutrition labels. Incorporating healthy choices at a young age will help them develop healthy eating habits and will prevent obesity.