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Healthy Diet For Kids – The Impossible Dream?

The trouble with a healthy diet for kids is that, unless you
are already eating healthy yourself, it’s more effort for you.
Because the same foods that make up a healthy diet for adults
can do the same for kids.

A little friend of my daughter recently had a dance recital we
attended. I was horrified to see how many overweight kids there
were. When I was in school (many years ago!), there were so few
children that were overweight. What’s happened?

Yes, in no small part, I do believe it’s due to a lack of a
healthy diet for kids. I know, I know, we all ate a lot of
sugar and food coloring, etc, when we were kids. But there’s a
lot more pollution in many different forms than there used to
be. Water, air, pesticides, herbicides, growth
hormones/antibiotics in meat, well, it all contributes to a
toxic sludge that is over what the body can easily flush out on
its own. And then you add the “new and improved” preservatives
in food (although I’m now being told by commercial “mind
control” that high fructose corn syrup is good for me! What am
I, an idiot?) Anyway, the FDA even is now on board with
recommendations for NINE servings of fruits and vegetables a
day. If you eat just three meals per day, can you do the math
on that? Your meals are mostly fruits and vegetables, the way
it should be. But, how many people do you know who are coming
anywhere close to that? Do you and your kids eat that way?

I’ll give you an example from my own life to demonstrate. Today
my daughter has (so far-we haven’t had dinner yet) apple slices
with peanut butter (natural, not the ones with added sugar),
pasta with tomato sauce, roast beef and fries (that was my
mother-in-laws meal, not mine!), grapes, and strawberries. I’ll
attempt to get two servings of veggies in at dinner. It’s
easier to get the kids to eat fruit than vegetables, but I’ll
take fruit over chips, pretzels and candy any day. If you count
spaghetti sauce (again not the one with added sugar or high
fructose corn syrup)as a serving of veggies, she’s at four.
Plus at least one more for dinner, so that’s pretty good and
that’s on a day I didn’t have full control of her menu.

Yes, it can be a little extra work, but I feel that so much of
my kids health, both now and in the future, is dependent on
developing healthy eating habits. And my husband and I try to
eat very healthy, too, for ourselves and to set an example, so
it’s really a family affair.

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I think, too, that kids just aren’t as active as they once
were. I’m certainly not lecturing you from MY perfect little
world, don’t get me wrong, ’cause I know it’s convenient to let
the TV “babysit”. And my daughter would be quite the couch
tater if it were up to her. So I try to keep tabs on the time
she spends watching TV. She’s still a little young to worry
about video games yet.

But this article is geared toward the healthy diet for kids, so
let’s get back to that. Kids learn by example, more than
anything else, so it’s vitally important for parents to lead.
It’s the best thing for the whole family. And I know some of
you may object with such complaints as “My kids won’t eat
fruits” or fill-in-the-blank with whatever healthy food. SO,
one tip for parents with very young kids is: Start early, Start
now! And if your kids are a little older, well, I may be a big
meanie, but when my girl asks for a snack, I give her a few
choices, like carrots or an apple, and she can pick from those.
Or, if she asks for something specifically crappy, like cheese
crackers, I often will negotiate by having her eat something
healthy first. If they don’t know any better than to eat
healthy, that’s the best scenario of all, but it’s awfully
challenging to shield them from all the junk food.

By the way, since I wrote the paragraph on my daughter’s menu
for the day, we’ve since had dinner. She had a bit of sweet
corn and zucchini with some steak and baked potato slices with
the skin on. Side note: Leaving the skin on your potatoes keeps
the acid/alkaline balance in proper proportion. So when I
pan-fry, bake, or make mashed potatoes, I don’t bother peeling.
It’s healthier and less work!

Just like anything else, it takes some practice and a little
time to incorporate a healthy diet for kids and you into your
everyday lifestyle. But it’s worth it.

Jennifer is a caring, real-world weight loss coach,
specializing in assisting busy women with quick and easy
weight loss. If you have tried every diet gimmick and
exercise program with little to no lasting success, check out
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