Good Nutrition For Kids Starts Early
Tips for pregnancy prep
- If you haven’t already, develop a healthy exercise routine (ideally one year or more before pregnancy).
- Clean up your diet by eliminating poor habits such as soda’s and sugary drinks, high sugar snacks and foods.
- Balance your diet with lean meats, lots of vegetables, whole grains, and fruits sparingly.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Continue your healthy habits.
- Do not attempt to diet or lose weight during pregnancy, your growing infant requires proper nutrition in or to develop at his/her full potential.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations for exercise. Typically you can continue exercising with your regular routine until the later stages of your pregnancy. It is not recommended to begin a rigorous exercise routine after becoming pregnant.
- Nursing your infant is ideal, if you are unable to nurse research the best formula’s for your infant.
- Continue healthy eating habits especially if you are nursing. Ensure you are eating enough calories to maintain a healthy milk supply.
- When introducing solid foods consider pureeing you own foods. Choose lean meats, and a variety of vegetables. Choose a variety of fruits and serve sparingly.
- Introduce water to your infant.
The Early Years
The early years are vital to developing good nutrition for kids. It is during the toddler years that children often become finicky about their food choices.
- Continue to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Choose a preschool program that encourages healthy eating habits or at least allows you to pack a healthy lunch and snacks.
- At this age you are still in control of what your child eats.
- Encourage relatives to respect your healthy choices but do not panic if your child drinks or eats the occasional empty calorie.
- Discuss often with your child the reason for healthy choices.
- Continue to be a good example.
- Make food preparation fun and begin teaching them the cooking skills. Children love to help so cooking with mom or dad can become a treasured memory.
- Include your child or children in food selection. Allow them to choose their favorite healthy dinner and continue to teach them cooking preparation.
- At this age your child will have more outside influences and will have more opportunity to practice making healthy choices.
- Because your child has been eating healthy foods he will most likely continue to enjoy the foods he has been raised on.
- Making healthy fun snacks and bringing them to school will not only give other children the opportunity to enjoy fun healthy snacks it can show them that healthy can also mean delicious.
- Your life will be getting more mobile as your child gets involved in sports. Plan ahead for meals and snacks to avoid the drive-thru habit.
- Include your child in the shopping, budget, and meal planning. This can not only be educational but fun.
The Teen Years
The teen years are vital to maintaining healthy habits. With their rigorous schedule (homework, sports, work, and social activities) they need the proper rest and good nutrition in order to maintain their schedule.
- Although teens should be making their own decisions about foods they may still need the help up a parent to keep healthy snacks available and continue cooking meals and helping them plan their week and nutritional needs.
- Give your teen the space to make his/her own decisions but be available to support their healthy habits, and give them the tools necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Starting from the beginning is ideal but not the only way to learning a healthy lifestyle. Anyone at any age can make changes and improve nutrition for kids of all ages.