Whether you are an adult or a child, everyone likes snacks. And to have snacks that are healthy and nutritious is very important for adults and more so for the young ones. Every parent wishes to see their children happy and healthy. This is why we pay much attention to our child’s daily routine and our main concern is what they are eating. We like to make sure that our kids are getting a healthy and balanced diet especially during the growing ages.
Kids tend to have snacks when they are at school or when they get back home from school, on the weekends, after they have done playing, while they’re watching television or movies and during some kind of long trips or family outings. Every concerned parent knows the importance of healthy snacks but this concept is not much popular among the kids. Kids generally prefer junk food over healthy snacks. The two main dilemmas faced by parents nowadays are:
- To choose which snacks are healthy and good for their kids
- How to get the kids to eat them
It is quite a common thing for children to be leaning more towards junk food such as burgers, French fries, carbonated beverages, etc. as compared to nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. The reason for this preference lies in the comparison between junk food and healthy snacks. Most of the junk food is visually more appealing and generally tastes better than healthy foodstuffs. For kids, anything that tastes and looks good is more desirable then something that is relatively less delicious no matter how nutritious or good for them it may be.
As parents, our responsibility to make the right choice for the health and wellbeing of our children. We Have to ensure that the kids are getting all the essential nutrients that they require for proper growth and development, in the right amounts. Although there is usually not that much harm in allowing the kids to have a soda or burgers and fries every once in a while or only on weekends, because the temptation for junk food is undeniable and understandable. Everyone has some cravings from time to time. The rest of the time, the parents have to strict about their child’s diet and snacking habits. In short, a little unhealthy snacking is acceptable, but it must always be complemented with nutrition and the main focus should be on the healthier snacks.
Now to address the issues of how to get the children to eat healthy snacks and which snacks to choose. Parents should follow the guidelines mentioned below:
- Fruits and vegetables should always be available. keep them washed, cut up into slices, and refrigerated.
- Include salads more and more In meals at home and also encourage your children to order side salads when eating at restaurants.
- Try to substitute meat with vegetables in different dishes such as spaghetti and lasagna.
- Make sure that you include a snack containing every essential nutrient from the different food groups. For example, green vegetables for vitamin A and citrus fruits for Vitamin C.
- Kids see their parents as role models. So be a role model for them and eat more fruits and vegetables yourself.
- While shopping, keep away from the sections where they keep high-calorie foods such as chocolate candies, or cookies. Instead, start your shopping from where they keep fresh fruits and vegetables.
- According to a survey conducted by the Health Department, kids eat more vegetables and fruits than junk food when they are eating with their whole family. So, make sure that you eat as a family and eat healthily.