Healthy eating is important for children’s development, but do you know the impact that your example is having on your kids? Here are some tips to help your child (and you!) make healthy food choices…
Make it fun
Healthy food doesn’t have to be a bore. Rather than making the same meals every week, try mixing it up once in a while – for wholesome menu and lunchbox ideas go to our recipes tab. You can also let your child help you prepare the meal, or pick out which fruit and veggies they want to eat when you go shopping. If you have the space, another way to make mealtimes fun is by creating your own vegetable patch – not only will it help kids understand where their healthy food comes from, but it’ll also teach them responsibility, and they’ll be more likely to eat food that they’ve helped grow. Plus, you can brag to friends that you eat organic!
Healthy snacks on the go
Rather than reaching for the closest packet of chips, carry some healthy snacks with you for when hunger hits. Pre-cut carrot, celery and cucumber sticks or fruit the night before, so it’s easy to grab on the way out. Smoothies (made with yoghurt, not ice-cream) are a great way to make sure that you (and your child) get in five a day; just pop the yoghurt and fruit (or some sneaky vegetables) into a blender, and there you go! You can also add some nuts, muesli, or a protein mix for a more filling smoothie. To make an extra refreshing drink, use frozen berries or bananas. For a teatime treat, try crunchies like our gluten-free apple & oat crunchies recipe.
Cut out sugar
Many of us aren’t aware of how much sugar we consume – and the same goes for our kids. Sugar-laden beverages like fizzy drinks (and even fruit juice) are big culprits when it comes to daily sugar intake, as well as tomato sauce, which many kids can’t get enough of, and yoghurt. Kids – and adults – love sugar for a reason: it tastes good. So, rather than cutting out all the sugar in your child’s diet in one fell swoop, rather provide them with healthier options. For example, replace dried fruits with fresh fruit in your kid’s lunchbox.
Read the labels
A post-work grocery rush can mean we grab anything off the shelf – without looking at the label. But there are lots of ‘hidden’ ingredients in store-bought food (not to mention different types of additives, preservatives, and flavourants), which are not always obvious. A general rule of thumb is that whatever you buy, it should look (and taste) as close to the natural thing as possible.
Did you know? Because Nestlé understands that nutrition and learning go hand-in-hand, they’ve developed Nestlé NANKID OPTIPRO 4 especially for growing children. NANKID OPTIPRO 4 is a drink for children aged three to five that contains optimised protein, naturally active cultures, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.