Photo By: David Saddler (Flickr)
It's no secret that childhood obesity has become a growing problem in today's society, so it's important to keep your children both healthy and active. By getting your children on a healthy diet, not only can you help to stabilize your child's energy, but you can also increase their moods in a more positive manner, and even sharpen their minds. You will face some of the same struggles that I did – combating your word against the flashy commercials on television that promote fast food and junk food. You've got this though – your efforts will help shape your child into a healthy, confident adult as they grow older.
It's important for your children to develop healthy eating habits, and while you will surely face the same troubles that I did, like trying to convince them that they should stick with an apple over potato chips, perseverance will certainly pay off. As a mother, I've learned quite a bit over the years when it comes to getting your children on a steady and smart diet. Here are some foods that are essential for your child's diet, all while staying active at the same time.
- Spinach – You may not have known this, but spinach is one of the most-effective foods when it comes to both eating healthy, and preventing cancer. It's also healthy to mix it into a smoothie, and you won't even taste it. My kids love it – try mixing 1 cup of spinach, 1 cup of grated carrots, 1 banana, and 1 cup of apple juice with ice. They'll love it!
- Avocados – Avocados can be fun for the kids. They're very rich in the healthy fats, and can help lower your child's cholesterol levels significantly. Avocados are great on salads – my children love them, and I'm sure yours will too.
- Lemons – Did you know that a single lemon has more than 100 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C? This will increase your child's "good" cholesterol levels, as well as strengthen their bones.
- Broccoli – Much like with lemons, broccoli can help strengthen your child's bones, and give them an intake of both vitamin C and vitamin K. Also, don't forget to microwave it! This way, you can preserve up to 90 percent of broccoli's vitamin C.
- Salmon – While not every child is going to prefer the taste of fish, it's an essential part of a healthy diet, especially salmon. Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, and by incorporating this into your child's diet, you can help to reduce their risk of depression as they head into their late years of adolescence.
- Dark Chocolate – There has to be something 'fun' on this list, right? My children love chocolate, and I'm sure yours do too. A little dark chocolate daily can help to reduce your child's blood pressure!
- Eggs – These are filled with protein, and are an essential part of your child's nutrition plan and diet. Not only that, but they're filled with vitamin B12 and vitamin A. One great idea for eggs is to make a sandwich with egg whites, tomatoes, olives, and olive oil. Try it!
- Sweet Potatoes – More potatoes! Not only are sweet potatoes tasty, but the vitamin A found in them is through the roof. In one single sweet potato, there is almost eight times the amount of vitamin A that you need daily, which is great, as vitamin A helps prevent cancer!
- Walnuts – My children love these, and that's great, as much like salmon, walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids. A few of these for dessert can also help regulate your child's sleep!
- Garlic – Children get sick, it happens! Including a little bit of garlic in their diets will help prevent that, as garlic can help fight disease, and stop the growth of bacteria. Not only that, but it can help to lower both your child's blood-pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Beans – It's best to feed your children legumes (like beans, peas, and lentils) a few times a week, as they can benefit your child's heart health. Beans make a great addition to almost any meal.
- Oranges – This is one of your primary sources for getting your children the vitamin C they need, and not only that, but oranges can help prevent colds, believe it or not. One dish that I've made, that the family has loved, is salmon with roasted orange slices. No one will be disappointed!
- Peanut & Almond Butters – What more can you ask for? They're rich in heart-healthy fats and filled with protein. Not only are either of these great on sandwiches, but they're even great when mixed with soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice wine vinegar, to dip with chicken. Plus, it's healthy too!
- Almonds – Much like is the case with a little dark chocolate, some almonds can be a much better and healthier snack alternative in comparison to junk food! They're filled with protein, can help lower your child's cholesterol levels, and can keep the blood vessels healthy.
- Blueberries – They're packed with fiber, and blueberries will give your child that extra boost of potassium, B vitamins, and calcium. Try serving them over vanilla yogurt – they'll love it.
Sometimes, it won't be easy. I've been there with my children, but it's important to understand how vital it is to keep your children active and healthy, in a time where childhood obesity has become a huge epidemic in today's society. Eating healthy and staying active is important! What healthy foods and snacks do you have your children eating on a regular basis?
Find more about the author: Kim Hart