Kids Eat Right Month
It’s Kids Eat Right Month and as we look at sending the kids back to school we should be even more aware and proactive with feeding our kids well and optimizing their nutrition especially when we have control over what goes in their growing bodies.
I often teach a class called Childhood Nutrition and I try to get down to the basics needs of what kids need. We often instill our own food rules we were taught when we were kids and, to be honest, that’s not always the right thing to do.
Have you heard these things and now telling your kids the same?
“Clean your plate.”
“You took it. You eat it.”
“There are starving kids in (insert country here).”
“Don’t eat that. It’ll make you fat.”
“If you eat your veggies, you can have a treat.”
I’m sure there are many more versions of these food rules you’ve experienced. Again, pushing these ideas onto our kids isn’t the best way to instill healthy nutrition during their childhood. Habits and established rules given at a young age are really hard to change later on…this goes for both the negative and the positive messages that may come out of them.
The most important and simplest thing you can do for optimizing your kids’ childhood nutrition habits is to feed them primarily real, whole foods. Now, I said this was simple but it may not always be easy.
We are bombarded with the marketing of junk foods towards our kids and we fall for it! These foods are so junky they have to be fortified with vitamins and minerals to meet the basics government recommendations for nutrient intake. (I don’t really agree with those recommendations when talking about optimizing your health but it is a baseline).
Your body knows what to do with real, whole foods. Nature has provided us with products that can give us all the nutrients we need. We just have to learn how to use and incorporate them into our daily habits.
Here are some tips I give to those who participate in my Childhood Nutrition class. These are not only good for kids but adults could benefit from learning these habits as well.
- Focus on real, whole foods. Avoid packaged and processed foods as much as possible.
- Focus on each meal and snack containing protein, fat, and carbohydrates
- This helps to balance blood sugar, keep moods stable and increase satiety
- Try to get in 3 meals and 2 snacks OR according to satiety and individual needs
- Included in each of these meals should be at least 1 T of healthy fat to increase brain function and development, and for the immune system
- Low maintenance eating for when become school-aged – meaning, don’t cater to every little desire the kids want…the perfect temperature, the perfect shape, etc. This allows for easier school lunch packing. Believe me!
With that in mind, check out my Rock Bottom Recommends store for the food safe Bento boxes. Click here.
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