Teaching Kids the Right Dietary Habits
Fast food has often been blamed for the obesity epidemic among children in the U.S. While fast food certainly isn’t healthy – it contains excessive calories and contributes to heart problems – physicians often find that children who develop the right dietary habits are more likely to stay at a healthy weight, regardless of their fast food intake. If you’re concerned about your child’s eating habits, you might consider working with a physician at your local hospital to improve your entire family’s nutrition. Doing so may help your child avoid the need for stroke care or heart care later in life.
Consider Food Availability
If your pantry is stocked with unhealthy processed snacks, chances are your child will reach for those after school instead of having an apple. The availability of healthy food in the household is a key component of promoting the right dietary habits in your child. If your child is young, consider slicing fruit and vegetables in advance, and storing them in containers your child can easily reach. Instead of keeping a bottle of soda in the fridge, keep a jug of filtered water available.
Involve Kids in Meal Preparation
If your child is a picky eater, you may be able to encourage him or her to try healthy foods by asking for help with meal preparation. Give your child age-appropriate tasks to do, such as peeling carrots or stirring a healthy lentil soup. Some families even plant vegetable gardens to encourage children to eat homegrown veggies.
Create a Treasure Hunt at the Store
Make nutritional choices fun for your child by turning it into a game. When you bring your child to the grocery store, you can challenge him or her to find the healthiest version of a particular product. Examine the nutrition labels together and discuss why products with lower amounts of sugar, salt, and fat are healthier.
Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center is the largest acute care hospital in the Las Vegas community, offering both inpatient and outpatient services. You can connect with our heart hospital by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 233-5300. Ask us about our emergency room capabilities, stroke care, and physician referral services.