Introducing your children to a healthy diet early on is essential to promoting healthy eating across their lifetime. The earlier on kids develop positive relationships with healthy foods, the more likely they are to keep them in their diets long term. Getting kids to eat healthy isn’t always easy, but it is easier the earlier you start. Here are the top healthy foods you should introduce your kids to early on.
Grains often get a bad reputation in the food world because they are mostly carbohydrates. But there is nothing wrong with carbs, considering they are our body's main energy source. Consuming processed grains, like those found in white bread, is what can be bad for you. When you process grains, you strip them of the nutrients and fiber that make them healthy.
The earlier you can get your kids to love the taste of whole grain breads, the better you are setting them up to make smarter carbohydrate choices later in life. Prioritize whole grains for your child’s diet now and they will continue to reap the benefits.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce are amazing sources of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and are very low in calories. Eating leafy green vegetables is one of the best things to do for anyone’s diet, and in particular for children. The vitamins in leafy greens help protect both baby teeth and permanent teeth. But leafy greens aren’t always the most appetizing foods for young kids.
That’s why introducing them early is essential. Get your kids to enjoy salads with light dressings and they will be well ahead of the curve for enjoying a healthy diet as adults. Avoiding leafy greens can lead to vitamin deficiencies as well as a lack of fiber. Set the example for your children and eat leafy greens with them.
Most kids are exposed to all sorts of meats as protein sources, but fewer children are introduced to fish when they are young. Fish tend to be leaner than land animal meat sources, and yet still contain great healthy fats that are hard to get elsewhere in your diet. Not to mention that fish tend to have a lower carbon footprint than meat, making it a sustainable choice.
Children can be very picky eaters. But they don’t have to be—if you patiently introduce them to healthy foods early. By discovering healthy foods and delicious ways to prepare them early, your kids are starting off on the right foot when it comes to deciding their diet for life.
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