Eating habits in life start early. For that reason, you should try your best to serve up healthy foods to your kids. Sure, there’s no real harm in a cookie every so often, but make sure they are getting the nutrients and the building blocks they need for health now and healthy habits later.
Different foods support different functions of the body. Kids need a well-rounded diet free of additives, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, overly processed and overly salted food. It’s important to begin healthy habits, like eating meals together and offering a variety of healthy foods, at an early age. These habits are the ones that will stick with kids for adult health.
Foods for a Good Immunity System
- Vitamin C rich foods, like grapefruit and other citrus -Grapefruit is a good choice as it has additional bioflavonoids, which give an added immunity boost. Be creative and serve citrus in salads, as a side or snack, even a broiled grapefruit with a dusting of cinnamon and coconut sugar.
- Cinnamon – So easy to use, it has not only great immunity protection, but also antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. You can stir it in your oatmeal, onto fruit, in sauces and into any hot drink from hot chocolate to tea to coffee (keep the coffee for you, not your children, though). Enjoy its soothing scent at the same time.
- Yogurt – Whether it’s Greek yogurt or regular, yogurt is a great defendant of the immune system as it works through the digestive system keeping the body free from bacteria and other germs. Another versatile food, serve it straight up, with added fruit, or as a dessert. Plain yogurt is great for a sour cream substitute and a healthy ingredient to sauces. Make sure you are buying healthy yogurt for your kids free of too much sugar and artificial ingredients.
Caring for your Child’s Teeth
- Milk – milk is great for kids all around. The calcium is important to bones and teeth, and finishing up a sweet dessert with a glass of milk helps balance the sugars and cleanse the mouth.
- Crunchy food – No, not likes chips and rock candy, but think apples and carrots. The crunching is a cleansing mechanism and can remove plaque and help keep your child’s mouth clean. They are also getting the vitamins from the fruits and veggies, which can keep enamel healthy and strong.
It’s not so hard to figure out a healthy diet. Like Colleen Levine says in her interview on FoodyDirect, “food tastes best when it’s fresh, local and in season.” Model good eating behavior for your kids, have meals together and make your children a part of food choices.
Go to the produce section of the grocery store and have them pick out some veggies and fruits they love. Let them try new ones. Keep them on hand so they are as easy to grab as chips or cookies.
Stay out of the drive thru line and keep things on hand that you can prepare quickly or for on the go eating. Feeding your kids healthy is a lifelong gift you can give them.