Schools have begun and moms are busy trying to figure out what their kids will carry from home to eat at school. No mother likes their little ones to came back home with their lunch box untouched.
Usually children get two breaks and it’s a tough task for mums to come up with new healthy ideas. Some schools do provide some healthy options but unfortunately most don’t. Kids end up buying sugary juices, flavoured milk, same old pizza slices and chips. The focus is to make children eat healthy but tasty food. But in the quest to make them eat healthy, mums often end up making a few wrong choices.
MISTAKE MUMS MAKE
1. Don’t get into the trap of picking up snack bars and so-called healthy snack foods from supermarkets. They are labelled as healthy choices but contain large amounts of sugar, salt or fat and have minimal fibre. It is as good as eating two cookies with chocolate chips, high fructose corn syrups and marshmallows. Instead, why not make your own granola bars at home? They are not that difficult to make and freeze. Use natural ingredients like almond, peanut butter, raisins, coconut, whole grain cereal, honey and dried fruit and nuts.
2. In the morning if you are depending on cereal and milk for breakfast, think twice. Those magically coloured kids’ cereals are full of food colours and sugar. Some are filled or coated with milk chocolate or frostings. The claimed vitamins and minerals in them are really of no use to our bodies. So do you really want to give your kids this colour laden, processed sugary junk?
If at all you have to, go for brands that contain at least three grams of fiber per serving and less than 10 grams of sugar. The best morning cereal you can get your darling hooked on to, is whole grain oatmeal. It’s high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, and you can sprinkle some strawberries, mangoes, bananas, dates or raisins and mix it with yogurt, milk or a dab of honey.
3. Are you used to packing sandwiches for your little ones with luncheon meats? They love their ham and sausages, don’t they? These luncheon meats contain nitrates, a preservative used in food processing that drastically increases the risk of heart disease and cancer and reduces cognitive abilities.
4. How often do you hand her the very convenient juice box thinking it’s healthy? Not only are they packed with sugar, most commercial juices lack fiber and vitamins because they’re void of any real juice. Instead juice up yourself or make a smoothie with some fruits and yogurt or milk.
5. Never, I mean, never give them Colas and soda pops. Forget the calories and the weight they put on, it damages their teeth, growing bones, causes mineral deficiencies and affects cognitive abilities.
6. You really don’t have to push and force your kids to eat super fancy stuff like quinoa, kale, blueberries or coconut oil, just because these are superfoods. Yes it will be great if you can and if they take them to school, but don’t put the pressure on yourself and on them.
For many parents, getting kids to even eat anything at school is a huge task. That’s why they end up giving them donuts, cakes, cookies and crackers and juices. As long as the food is unprocessed, clean and fresh, you are doing a super job.
EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN
Making your child aware about eating healthy and what good nutrition is all about, will make a lifelong impact on their relationship with food. And trust me, the child learns about such facts at home first. If he sees his parents guzzling colas and munching on packed chips all day long, he will do so too. Occasionally, a takeaway pizza or a burger or a candy from fast food chains won’t harm him but make it a rare treat. And don’t make it sound like a reward because they will associate junk foods to happiness and that can have a psychological impact on the child’s developing brains, relating food with emotions.
Also, don’t underestimate the importance of having family meals together, Having a variety of foods, a proper balanced meal together in a relaxed atmosphere as a family, grocery shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables can all make the child aware of what healthy eating is.