Kids & Dietary Fat
Dietary fat plays an important roll in overall health and is necessary to the diet. The problem is consuming an excess of fat.
Be sure and consult your Pediatrician about your child's daily fat requirement. Infants and children under two need high levels of fat for proper growth and development.
Cutting fat could result in problems in terms of maturity of body organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys and brain and could even stunt the growth of your child. Children get most of their fat intake from: red meat in the form of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, meat loaf, hot dogs, ham, luncheon meats, whole milk, ice cream, cheese, commercially baked goods, fried foods
The Parent Factors
As parents it's our responsibility to set an example to our children. Each of us are a vital 'pattern' in our child's life - and generally, younger children will imitate their parents. They want to be just like them when they grow up. Little girls want to marry a man just like their daddy and little boys, a girl - just like their mommy. And as they grow into teenagers, our gold and glittered armor often fades. Kids start to pull away as they search to find their personal identity. They lean towards fads - whether the fad involves food or fashion.
Therefore, it's important to make an impression on their diet while they are young.
We don't have to make a show - make a wild statement or drastically announce that we're going to switch to a healthier eating plan - that the kid's favorite snacks and goodies are going to go straight to the trash. Not unless one enjoys upsetting their child - and who likes to hear endless bawling? Kids should be happy! As should adults. But often times, the young parent is still maturing - thus makes infinite immature mistakes in rearing their children. They lack the patience that accompanies mature adulthood. Much of this is due to their own upbringing - but we can play the blame game until the cows head home OR we can man-or-woman-up and become more patient.
Introducing Healthier Foods Into Your Child's Daily Diet
If you are concerned about the amount of junk food in your child's daily diet, gradually introduce healthier foods at meal and snack time. These changes should be natural - they should flow smoothly. You may have to make these healthier foods kid-friendly. Boiled eggs can easily turn into penguins with a few add-ons. Pretzels are great for making all sorts of shapes that kids love.
As to old unhealthier favorites - like pizza, it's unnecessary to remove these foods from your child's diet. Simply switch to healthier ingredients and cooking methods. Take pizza - one slice of most restaurant-chain cheese pizzas contain less than 300 calories. Sauteing sliced mushrooms, green peppers and other vegetables and placing them on top - and then covering them with a bit of shredded skim-based mozzarella cheese [50 calories per slice or ounce] will produce a healthier slice. And because of all the healthy additives, the slice can often be trimmed a bit for younger kids.
Pizza, Tacos & Burgers Aren't as Unhealthy as One May Believe
With all of the 'health chat' going on these days - such as websites making topics sensational, they'd have us believe that these foods are the unhealthiest on the planet. Fact is, all three of these foods contain the five basic food groups and can be part of almost-any healthy eating plan.
It's not the entree that's fatty, rather the ingredients used in preparation. If we use fatty ground beef on our hamburger along with tons of Mayo and fatty cheese, sure - it's going to be a big old fat burger. But when we use x-lean ground beef, reduced-fat cheese, mustard or ketchup and lots of fresh vegetables and slices of tomato [a fruit group member] - we have a very healthy, well-rounded meal that a child OR an adult can feast upon without guilt.
The Activity Factor
Share activities with your child - and it doesn't have to be running, jumping and kicking about with a ball. We're talking about sharing special moments with them - bonding time.
For examples, try getting them involved in the kitchen where they can learn firsthand the basics of healthy cooking. I don't have any memories whatsoever of my mother baking cookies with me as a kid, and I missed that. She was highly involved in church work as she was a minister's wife and I feel that our family was greatly neglected at times due to church members who were oblivious to our family's privacy and our own needs to bond. Some absolutely rooted their way into every waking moment of our lives, even calling at three in the morning to weep about their own issues, all of which were petty and could have waited until morning. They were inconsiderate of our time. Not everyone, but it only takes a few rude apples to spoil the bushel.
So please, make some quiet time to spend with your child - whether it's putting a puzzle together, reading a story, going to the zoo or aquarium or museum, playing a board game, playing with super heroes or dolls, sewing outfits for 'dolly', or even making a treehouse together.
And of course, you'll want to make time to play active games with them, too.
However, take care not to overwhelm them in trying to be the best parent ever. Kids, like we-adults, crave their personal space. They also need interaction with their peers.
What's Your Child Eating Away From Home?
Find out what foods your child is eating away from home, such as during school so that you can better-understand why weight gain or weight loss occurred. What we eat today impacts tomorrow's health. A few years ago we researched school lunches and what we discovered was quite unsettling. Our research resulted in this Diet Bites article: School Lunches
Stress Impacts Eating Habits of Both Kids & Adults
If stress is influencing your child, then it's time to take them off the emotional roller coaster by extracting them from the World of Reality and into the World of Fantasy. Sometimes, a kid just needs to be a kid. Contentment will add to their level of health in a positive manner.
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