Developing Healthy Eating Habits in Children

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), type 2 diabetes among Americans under 20 could surge by nearly 700% by 2060. Findings on obesity are equally alarming, with one in five kids being reported as obese in the US. The risks of unhealthy food consumption patterns of youngsters are too real to ignore. And as a parent, take note of this today.

Teaching healthy eating habits should start at a young age. Here are five steps you could take today to help your children lead a healthier life.

1) Create Meal Plans

Whipping up a home-cooked meal after a busy day at work is undoubtedly a challenge for any working parent. This is why many have turned to takeouts, frozen dinners, and fast food today. But these types of food are neither healthy nor inexpensive. Restaurant-prepared food, for instance, is typically all about taste and flavor and rarely involves nutrients and health. Consuming takeouts and pre-cooked meals over a prolonged period could rob your kids of critical nutrition essential for healthy physical and cognitive development.

This is where a meal plan could help you. By planning your family’s meals each week, you could introduce predictability and curb unhealthy eating habits. Come dinnertime, and you will no longer need to worry about what dishes to prepare for your kids. You also get to plan weekly groceries to reduce wastage and include plenty of healthy foods. Overall, you gain better control over what your children eat and how it is prepared.

So, what is the best way to create a meal plan? Allocate some time each Sunday to plan the dishes. They should be low in fat, sugar, and carbs and packed with proteins, healthy fats, and nutrients. For example, fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk, lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, whole-grain food, and nuts are excellent options for your kids. Also, use healthier cooking methods. Air-frying, baking, and broiling should replace deep-frying.

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