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Most parents will have seen the effects unhealthy food can have on their children.  Just think about the party they went to, where they ate sausage rolls, party pies, donuts, potato chips and cheap lollies, all swilled down with an endless supply of fizzy soft drink.  Did your child come home hyper-active, cranky and rude? or maybe dazed and half asleep?  Foods filled with preservatives, colorings, food enhancers and other nasty things can have that effect on children – and it’s frightening.

Develop Healthy Eating Habits from an Early Age

While raising great kids, developing healthy eating habits from an early age is crucial.  The most obvious benefit is health, but it’s more than that.  If healthy eating habits are established in childhood, there’s a good chance those habits will stay with them for life.  As they become adults themselves they will hopefully then pass on similar eating habits to their own children.

Behaviour at School

Out of control and bad behaviour at school can sometimes be linked to a child’s diet.  In Australia, school canteens now have strict guidelines about what they can and can’t sell.  I think similar rules exist in other countries.  If your child takes a packed lunch, make sure it’s filled with delicious healthy options – like their favourite fruit and tasty wholemeal sandwiches.  Avoid packets of potato chips, biscuits, fizzy drinks and lollies.  Homemade muffins can be much healthier than bought ones and make a tasty treat.

The Cost of Eating Healthy Food while Raising Great Kids

I’ve heard people say they can’t afford healthy eating habits, but the cost of raw ingredients can be relatively cheap when compared with ready made packaged food and take-aways.  There are many pasta, rice and noodle dishes that can be made at home quickly and cheaply.  What are your thoughts?

What if I Can’t Cook

There is a wealth of free information available on the web about cooking. Preparing a family meal doesn’t have to take hours or be complicated.  There are plenty of recipes where you can prepare Dinner in Ten Minutes.  Have a browse on line and see what you can find – and look for recipes that only have around 6 ingredients of less to start off with, to keep it simple.

Things That Have Helped Me

  • Always have a good selection of fresh fruit available in the house
  • On outings, take a tasty packed lunch
  • When driving long distance, pack delicious healthy foods to eat on the way
  • When time permits, bake your own cakes and biscuits
  • Fresh fruit juice, not fizzy drinks
  • Make healthy smoothies
  • Get in the habit of drinking water with meals
  • Make double quantities and freeze half for another day
  • Always start the day with a healthy breakfast
  • Eat meals at the dining table
  • Get your children involved and teach them how to cook and bake

Educate your Children from an Early Age

From an early age we talked with our boys about the benefits of eating good food – and the consequences of continually eating rubbish.  That’s not to say you can’t enjoy chocolate, ice-cream and take-away pizza now and again.  But everything in moderation.  My 18 year old boy continues to be a healthy eater of his own choice now – and I couldn’t be happier.

So What are Your Thoughts?

What has been your experience with healthy eating habits?

Thanks for reading another Raising Great Kids post.

You might also enjoy:

Raising Great Kids – Table Manners

Raising Great Kids – Listening

Jan Littlehales

10 Responses to “Raising Great Kids – Healthy Eating Habits”

  1. Tim says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Getting your kids to make healthy choices gives them such a head start for a great life
    .-= Tim´s last blog ..Learn to Type =-.

  2. Hi Jan. I find that half the battle with fruit is that you need to peel it. Kids love fruit if they can just eat it without having to ‘open it up’ first. It’s a good idea to buy a small resealable container, then cut up a range of fruits for your kid. Give them a fork and voila – accessible fruit.
    .-= David Moloney´s last blog ..Logo Specifications: Don’t Pay Up Until You Read This =-.

  3. Rita Pepper says:

    Hi Jan,
    I couldn’t agree more, when I was on my own bringing up my kids, there was always fruit and vegies to munch on we couldn’t afford chips and lollies, The apples and oranges I would cut into small wedges and they found it was easier even with the peel still on
    the only time they any chips or lollies was when their grandparents would give them some as a reward, being such great kids, or they went to parties.
    Rita
    .-= Rita Pepper´s last blog ..Victorian Style Beauty =-.

  4. Colin says:

    Hi Jan,
    With two young energetic boys we’re always conscious of what we feed them, especially as one of them is mildly autistic and gets easily affected by additives. We’ve managed to pinpoint certain foods and drinks that make them go crazy, so we avoid them like the plague. Luckily they’re big fruit and vegetable eaters which is quite unusual for kids of their age, so when they want a snack we break out the apples and tomatoes :)
    .-= Colin´s last blog ..Wealth and Success =-.

  5. Cade says:

    Hi Jan,
    You’re right, it is important to instill healthy eating habits to kids.
    I know as a youngster my mum would say I tended to graze, rather than eat 3 main meals, and was always looking for snacks.
    So having plenty of fruit and vegetables accessible, especially as they are on their way to rat though the pantry for a quick snack, helps give them a healthier choice.
    .-= Cade´s last blog ..Free Trading Plan Template =-.

  6. Hilary says:

    Hi Jan,
    Interesting read, and so very true. I do have to encourage my children to eat fruit. I try to preempt their hunger, by chopping up some fresh fruit, and having it readily available on the table.
    My mum always baked cakes from scratch, and really as you continue to demonstrate :) , it doesn’t take much time, and that way, you know exactly what they’re eating.
    Another trick of mine is smoothies, as I can add greens such as spinach, without much resistance! It might look green, but the children hardly notice the taste.

  7. Hi Hilary – yes, smoothies are fantastic – my boys have them regularly – I may add that to my post! Thanks :)

  8. Really like the advice about getting the kids to be part of the cooking process. They feel like it’s more of a choice when they contribute. Sometimes “hiding” things like veggies in a recipe gets kids used to the taste without realizing they are eating it.

  9. Thanks for comments Matt. Yes, getting kids to be part of the cooking process is great advice – a future post I think!

  10. i think that we should focus more on healthy eating to avoid diabetes and cardiovascular diseases,.:

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