With all of our lives becoming busier and busier each day, it's hard to keep up on the latest guidelines for infant nutrition and ways to keep our youngsters healthy. It is easy to grab the packaged goods off the shelves full of preservatives and sugars, but sooner or later that will catch up with your children! It is best to start healthy eating habits while your children are young. Below are simple tips on increasing the health of your child.
- When you first begin to feed your baby solid foods, start with mild-flavored vegetables. If you start with fruits your child will be less receptive to the vegetables after tasting the sweetness of fruits.
- Introduce new foods one at a time. Mixing up their pallets too early can turn them into the dreaded "Picky Eater" as a toddler. So wait at least 1 to 2 weeks before moving on to different types of foods. Doing so will save you dinner table battles in the future!
- Avoid feeding your baby foods that are high in sugar or salt...but don't be afraid to feed them fat! Their little brains eat up the fat, which stimulates development and growth. Feeding your baby whole milk rather than 1% or 2% increases his brain development because of the high amounts of fat in the milk. This should be done between ages 1 and 2. After the age of 2 they can gradually drink more low-fat milk.
- Make half your grains whole! Your child will probably not even taste the difference but his body sure can tell the difference! You can make wheat pancakes, waffles, or stick with normal wheat bread. Just make sure they get some in each day!
Kids love snacks....it's a fact of life! If you start giving them healthy snacks while they are young and keeping the sugar filled candies to a minimum, your child will be much better off. Here are some healthy snacks that are easy to prepare and yummy too!
Oranges- Peel the slices apart and share the goodness! This can be a light snack between breakfast and lunch. Oranges are packed full of Vitamin-C and help your child's body to absorb more iron.
Berries-Throw these colorful combinations onto some yogurt or cereal and you will have a snack made in heaven! They are heavy in anti-oxidants and other important nutrients that help regulate your child's digestive system.
Grapes- When your kids are craving a sweet treat fix them up with a hand full of grapes. This on the go fruit is low in calories and fun to eat!
Bananas- Peel a banana, dip it in some yogurt, roll in some crushed cereal, then freeze. Kids love this creative treat and will beg you for more of these healthy combinations.
Another important step to keeping your children healthy is to keep them active. Try and make time each day to get out and play with them. You can go to the park, walk the dog, roll in the leaves, or play catch. It doesn't matter what it is as long as your family is having fun together and getting some exercise in at the same time. A healthy family is a happy family!