November 6, 2011
Healthy Eating Habits for Children 0-5
Chips, cookies, candy, and ice cream are all unhealthy junk foods for children; but children love to eat them. If a survey was conducted asking children which junk foods they love, they would very likely mention those listed above. Establishing healthy eating habits early in life contributes to the lifelong wellbeing of children. “Between the ages of one and five, children grow and develop rapidly, so it’s really important that they get all the energy calories and other essential nutrients protein, vitamins and minerals that they need for healthy growth. Their appetite will vary too, so don’t force children to eat if they don’t want to” (“Health eating for children under 5,” 2009, para. 5-7). In today’s modern society children spend more time eating junk food and less time eating healthy foods and exercising (Commentaries, 2006). Parents have opted to use the easy way out, which usually means fast food dining rather than preparing home-cooked meals for their families. This has resulted in more children becoming obese each year. Parents can be excellent role models for their children, and set fine examples of healthy eating habits. In order for parents to be successful in aiding their children to develop healthy eating habits, there are many vitally important steps that they must follow.
In order for children to benefit, it is vitally important for families to eat more home-cooked meals together rather than resorting to eating fast food all the time. When parents cook more meals at home, the parents controls the amount of calories that their child takes in. This allows the parents to control the amount of salt they use in their food; because in restaurants you don’t know how much salt is going into the food. According to HelpGuide.org, families must have meals together daily. Regular meals together as a family teach children the importance of family; it provides them comfort and helps them to be more likely to eat their food. (Paul & Robinson, 2001-2011). Families are also able to discuss with one another the daily activity that happened at school or at work for that present day. Families which are regular in preparing meals and eating meals together can develop strong family ties and bonds with one another. Parents always want to set a fine example for their children concerning healthy eating for their children. One way is to teach their children by their own example; because parents are the perfect role model for their children. “Children learn from what they see others doing around them, so during the early years it’s really important to set a good example. If children see parents eating healthily and taking time to enjoy mealtimes together at least some of the time, they are more likely to grow up enjoying the same pleasures” (“Health eating for children under 5,” 2009, para. 5-7 ). Parents should involve their children in helping to cook and prepare meals, packing their lunch for school, going grocery shopping, and writing out meal plans together as a family. “Doing so will help parents to teach their children about the nutritional values of all types of different foods and how to read food labels” (Ward, 2006 1-4). If you are a parent with young children, and you want to teach your children how to eat healthy, the best time to do so is now while your children are young, so it will stick with the children all the way up until adulthood.
“1 out of 3 children and teens in the U.S. are overweight. A large number of families worldwide are affected by childhood obesity. Children that are packing extra pounds are at risks of developing many health problems such as: diabetes, heart disease and asthma. Child that are overweight during elementary school or as they enter into their teenage years, usually never outgrow the problem of childhood obesity. In fact, they raise...