Kindergarten eating habits will affect the healthy life of a future adult
The healthy food you feed your children will affect their health now and in the future. It also determines their energy levels, their physical performance, and their sporting success. Their brains are also hungry for energy. A nutrients so a healthy diet a healthy, varied diet will help them to grow up healthy, fit and full of energy.
Here are just a few of the benefits that your children will get from improving their diet.
- Have more energy and zest
- Do better in sport and games
- Feel brighter and more alert
- Concentrate more easily in lessons
- Sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed
- Have fewer illnesses
- Have clearer skin, brighter eyes and shiny hair
The truth is that children`s eating habits do not automatically improve as they get older: they nearly always get worse. Children continue eating only what they are accustomed to. A bad diet now means a bad diet in five or then years time. The sooner you start to teach children how to eat healthily, the better. By changing their diet now and helping them to become more active you will increase their chances of enjoying better health now and in the future.
Children need lots of nutrients to make sure they grow and develop properly. The biggest problem with junk food is that it displaces foods that provide important vitamins and minerals. A child who fills up on a chocolate bar has missed out on eating a piece of fresh fruit, or yoghurt or a sandwich – foods which supply a lot more nutrients than sweets.
What are children eating?
Snacking, graying and eating on the hoof are the norm for many children as they are moving away from regular mealtimes. According to one survey, a quarter of British children eat a breakfast of crisps and sweets before they arrive at school in the morning. One in five children aged between 11 and 16 miss breakfast altogether. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey of British Schoolchildren revealed that the most commonly eaten foods among 4-18 years olds, eaten by more than 80 % of the children, are white bread, crisps, biscuits, potatoes and chocolate bars! Less than half the children ate green leafy vegetables. This survey, the largest of its kind, looked at the diets of 1701 children over seven days and found that:
- Children are eating a mere two portions of fruit and vegetables per day (five portions daily are recommended)
- One in five children eat no fruit at all
- Over 90% of children are eating too much saturated fat
- Most children eat twice the maximum recommended amount of salt
- Half of all girls aged 11-18 years eat diets grossly deficient in iron and magnesium
- Children are eating more than the maximum recommended amount of sugar
It`s when these poor eating habits are coupled with inactivity – watching television, playing computer games and getting around by car all the time – that the trouble really begins. Too many calories and too little exercise will cause an unhealthy increase in their body fat.
Why should you change what children eat?
What children eat now influences their future eating habits. If they eat a healthy diet now, and participate in physical activity from an early age, they are more likely to remain healthy and active during adulthood. Children who are used to eating vegetables or walking to school every day (even when it rains) will continue to eat healthy food and see activity as an integral part of their life. Equally, those who graze on a diet of fast foods and salty snacks and spend hours glued to the television are setting themselves up for a lifetime of poor eating habits and inactivity. What`s certain is that unhealthy eating and activity habits are harder to undo in later life.
It`s also important to realise that the seeds of certain illnesses such as coronary heart disease and diabetes are sown during childhood. Overweight children as young as ten years old are showing signs of artery damage and suffering from high blood pressure. The good news is that changing children`s diets and encouraging them to be more active can prevent health problems in the future. Now is them time to teach children healthy eating and exercise habits.
So how can I influence children`s eating habits?… Follows…