5 Ways To Make Healthy Eating Fun

What are meal times like in your house? Are they fun, calm happy times or can they be stressful? How healthy are they? Are meal times happier, calmer and more fun the more unhealthy the meal? Typical!

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We all know that we should eat healthy but the reality can be a little bit more difficult. How often do you cook three different meals at the same time for your family? At YogaBugs we know that you and your family need the right fuel to have the energy to have fun. That’s why we are giving you our five top tips to make healthy eating fun.

  1. Dip it – Most kids don’t like eating vegetables and this can cause a lot of tension at meal times. You know they need vegetables so why not see what you can do to disguise them and improve the flavour. We suggest a mild salsa or yoghurt-based dressing.
  2. You are not a cafe – As the parent you are in charge of the evening meal, if you allow yourself to be treated like a restaurant don’t be surprised when your child places an order that is different to what you were intending to cook. Children will mimic adult behaviour. Get into the habit of cooking just the one meal. Take back control of the kitchen.
  3. Carefully introduce new foods – Allow your children to get used to new flavours. Don’t overload their plate, explain that their taste buds will need time to adapt. Also consider who their heroes are. Does their hero eat broccoli? We shall let you decide.
  4. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – Mornings might be chaotic but you need to make the most of them. Find a cereal that the kids want but that you agree with. Try and avoid chocolate but accept that there might be some sugar. A proper breakfast will decrease your child’s desire to snack. Get them into the habit from an early age. It will really make a big difference to their entire life.
  5. Get them involved – We all feel better when we have ownership of a situation. Take your children shopping with you. It can be a great place to have conversations about healthy eating and educate them to the right ways of eating. Then get them to help with the cooking. You will find their appetite grow for even the most mundane meal if they have been involved in it’s creation.

Happy Healthy Eating

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Kids eating healthy

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Fast food is a big part of modern life these days, making it incredibly hard to teach a child how they should eat healthy. The cheapest and easiest foods are those that are normally the least healthy for us.  If you give your child the choice between healthy food and junk food, you are more than likely not like the results.

Even though it isn’t possible to get a child to like all healthy foods, there are some ways to get your child/children to try and hopefully like at least a few of them. Allowing you can be as creative as you like, getting kids to eat healthy foods can be a little harder than people think.

Here are some great ideas to make eating healthy fun for your child/children.

  • Sneak the healthy food in.  Even though it would be great if your child to understood the importance of fruits and vegetables, this isn’t always the case. If you can’t get them to eat good food willingly, there are ways to sneak them in, such as making
    muffins out of bananas or apples, or pizza with spinach on it, or blending vegetables into mash potato.
  • Call fruits and vegetables by funny names.  You can refer to broccoli as “trees”, making them more fun to eat. There are many different names you can call fruits and vegetables, even making up your own if you prefer. Majority of children prefer to eat foods that sound fun.
  • Try to make the foods taste better. Ranch dressing is great for broccoli, while peanut butter is a great topping for celery. There are several combinations for vegetables that can make them taste much better for children. You can let your child pick a topping for a vegetable; even if it’s something you wouldn’t normally like yourself, they will think this is fun and will make them want to taste it as they have chosen what to out onto it.
  • Dress the vegetables and fruit up.  Just as much as calling them names help children eat healthy foods, making them look funny also helps. You can do this by making funny designs on the plate, or setting them up to look like people.

For example you could draw a funny face onto a banana skin and call the banana ‘Barry the banana’. Although some parents don’t like their children playing with their food, sometimes it helps to get them to eat healthier.

There are several ways to make your kids eat healthier, but in order for them to enjoy it also has to be fun as well, this means the parents interacting with them and making it fun.

Getting children to eat healthy isn’t always an easy task, because children usually don’t like foods that are good for them. It can however, be done with a bit of creativity and fun. Hopefully, doing this will help your child develop a love of healthy foods for the rest of their lives.

 

Is fast food having an impact on your child’s learning?

The news keeps highlighting the fact that more children are becoming obese and we in a country are in dire need to get children to exercise more in their daily life, weather it is in school hours or out. It has now come to the attention that fast foods could be a major contribute in to the lowering of children’s IQ. This gives us the best reason to make this a high priority to get children eating more healthy foods and to get them into fun activities.

Children who are given more fast food meals than children who are given more fresh fruit and vegetables and freshly cooked homemade meals, will grow up to have a much lower IQ than the children who eat more healthier according to a study. Childhood nutrition has long lasting effects on IQ, previous intelligence and wealth and social status are taken into account, it found. The study examined whether the type of main meal that children ate each day had an impact on their cognitive ability and growth.

It looked at 4,000 Scottish children aged three to five year’s old and compared fast food with freshly-cooked food meals. The study, undertaken by an academic at Goldsmiths, University of London, found that parents that gave their children meals prepared with fresh ingredients more often, which positively affected their IQ. Then those parents that gave their children fast food, which led to lower IQ. Dr Sophie von Stumm, from the department of psychology at Goldsmiths, said: ‘It’s common sense that the type of food we eat will affect brain development, but previous research has only looked at the effects of specific food groups on children’s IQ rather than at generic types of meals.

‘These children score lower on intelligence tests and often struggle in school.

‘Schools in less privileged areas must do even more to balance children’s diet, so that they can achieve their cognitive potential. ‘It shows that the freshness and quality of food matters more than just being full, in particular when children are young and developing.’

By the age of eight the ‘junk food’ children had IQs up to two points lower than their healthy counterparts, according to the researchers from the University of Adelaide.These children were tested five years later and had IQ scores that were as much as five points lower than their healthier-eating peers.

The researchers suspected that the negative effect of eating junk food so early in life may BEEF-BURGERnot be altered by future healthy habits because brain development is hindered.

Do you believe this? are we really making our children dumb?
What parents need now is good advice, ideas and tricks to help children to become better and healthier eaters.

Do you have any special tricks, ideas and thoughts please share.

 

Helpful Information about Nutrition for Children

As parents we want the best for their kids, but we know it can get confusing with the
foods we should make sure they are eating for a healthy diet. So, to help you we
have put together some useful information about nutrition for children.

 For a child’s body to function in a healthy manner it requires basic nutrients on a daily basis.

Carbohydrates: These are the major sources of energy for the body.
Carbohydrates are divided into two groups;

Complex Carbohydrates: These are naturally starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, bread, pasta and vegetables.

Simple Carbohydrates: These include sugary foods, e.g. Cakes, biscuits and chocolate as well as processed foods containing a lot of salt.

Fibre:

Is also found in carbohydrates e.g. fruit, vegetables, grains and is not used for energy but for a healthy bowel.

Proteins:

These play an important part in the structure and function of all cells in the body. Protein deficiency can  cause retardation in children.

Protein – rich food include animals sources (complete) e.g. meat, fish, milk and vegetable sources (incomplete) e.g. pulses, nuts and grains.

Fats:

Fat in its true sense provides energy, heat insulation, cushioning and buoyancy to the body.  Because of association of high fat diets with obesity and heart disease it is generally recommended that fat should contribute to less than 35% of the total calorific intake.

Fats are the source of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.  Animal sources
include butter, lard, fat, milk, fish oil and vegetable sources include vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.  Foods high in saturated fat include all dairy products such as cheese and butter.

Vitamins and Minerals:

These are required by the body in minute amounts and are required for good health and growth.  Each vitamin and mineral has a specific function and one cannot be substituted for another.  Many vitamins and minerals are needed to form a balanced diet as they play a vital role in a number of activities including regulating the heart rate, bone formation, digestion and nerve and muscle activity. Vitamins and minerals come
in a variety of sources and are found in all of the above food groups especially in fruit and vegetables.

Water:

The importance of fluid intake is of paramount importance in children as it is responsible for their temperature control, chemical reactions and therefore normal function. This is an essential nutrient, vital for the maintenance of life. General recommendations are to drink at least 8 cups of water per day.
Water can be found in fluid form in fruit and vegetables.