The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2009 to 2010 that nearly seventeen percent of children in the United States were obese. According to the CDC, obesity dramatically increases the likelihood of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and other health problems.
Helping kids form good dietary habits during early childhood can, along with an active lifestyle, make it easier for them to avoid obesity and the related health risks. However, most parents know that trying to convince a child to eat fruits and vegetables over the processed snacks that make up most kids’ diets is no mean feat. These ten tricks can help you get more healthy food into your child’s diet, assisting in the prevention of obesity.
“No Dessert Until…” – This old standby has been the go-to tactic for generations of parents, rewarding children for eating a healthy dinner with a reasonably portioned dessert. If you’re concerned about sugar or empty calories, dessert can always be fresh fruit based or a low fat frozen yogurt. Giving kids a nutritious yummy incentive to eat their veggies may make the process a bit more palatable for them, though.
Make Healthy Food Fun – Turning ordinary vegetables into fun shapes is an art that Japanese moms have mastered with their adorable, kid-approved bento boxes. Taking a cue from these cute-food aficionados can make vegetables irresistible to kids, and most shapes aren’t as complicate to create as you might think.
Get Kids Involved in Meal Preparations – Kids love to help in the kitchen, and they’re more likely to enjoy healthy fare if they helped to make it themselves. Getting your brood involved with food prep is a great way to inspire them to eat healthily, though it can make for a bit more clean-up if they’re particularly enthusiastic.
Institute a “One Bite” Rule – Oftentimes, kids decide that they don’t like vegetables on principle, or are suspicious of new foods in general. Rather than letting your little one rule the roost with demands of processed food, insist that they at least try…
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