ugary donuts and cereal are far from being healthy food and can affect child’s ability to think, pay attention and even cause irritability. Millions and millions of dollars are spent for advertising unhealthy processed food and junk food. It changes our perception of “normal”, in terms of what we eat and what we feed our children.
The result is an overall lack of health and well-being in both adults and children, which prevents them from living their lives to their fullest.
Sadly, children do not achieve their physical and mental potential. In some cases, end up seeking medical treatment for maladies that could have been prevented with good nutrition. Good, wholesome and nutritious food is the key factor in your child’s health and well-being. So let’s start from the very beginning:
1. Breast feeding
Healthy child starts with exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months and continued breast-feeding for at least one or two years. Human milk is simply remarkable. It provides ideal nutrition for infants, contributes to their healthy growth and development.
It also reduces the instance and severity of infectious diseases. Breast-feeding also benefits women’s health by reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The longer it is continued, the more benefits the child gets.
2. Introducing solids
There is no scientifically proven evidence regarding the specific date of introducing solids to a child. Even at the age of six months, if your baby isn’t interested in eating solids, do not force him to do so. Go back to nursing exclusively for a few weeks before trying again. The most important thing is that you both enjoy meal times.
Another thing that is worth mentioning – “high allergen” foods such as eggs, wheat and foods containing peanuts, which are usually not introduced until the baby is at least one year old. In fact, a study reported in the January 2010 issue of Pediatrics found that late introduction of solid foods was associated with increased risk of later allergy.
3. Serve and cook your child real foods
The closer they are to its natural state the better. Think about what comprises the Standard American Diet – processed food, red meat, fried food, soft drinks, refined carbs, and food additives. Sugary donuts and cereal can affect child’s ability to think, pay attention and cause irritability.
4. Think nutritious food
Good examples of healthy food are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, chicken and fish. For example, choose baked potatoes instead of a bag of potato chips. Beware of so called “enriched” foods. Usually that means that something bad has happened to the food during processing. Then, in a clever marketing ploy, something of little value has been added to make up for the depleted nutrients.
5. Avoid packaged foods
At all costs try to avoid packaged snacks, cookies, and crackers. They are full of artificial fats, food additives, colors, flavors, and preservatives. Don’t rely on a daily gummy you give to your child in hope that it will make up for any diet deficiencies.
Keep in mind that real, whole food has been minimally processed and contains a virtual natural pharmacy of nutrients, phytochemicals, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and healthful fats that can help your child thrive. It is best to serve your family a variety of fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, and nuts avoiding the consumption of processed and prepared foods.
Your children’s’ health depends greatly on the balanced diet. So starting your kids early on good, healthy eating habits will go a long way toward overall health and happiness for your entire family.
“Children are more harmed by poor diet than by exposure to alcohol, drugs, and tobacco combined.” David Katz, M.D., Yale University Medical Centre