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Four small changes to make your kid’s diet healthier

Teaching your child to eat a nutritious diet is extremely important. What they eat will affect how healthy they are as a child and their development.

Numerous studies have shown that the eating habits learnt as a child stick with you into adulthood, so learning healthy habits now can have lasting benefits.

Most parents know this and do their best to give their children a nutritious diet. However, sometimes it can be difficult to get it right. To help, here are a few simple changes that you can implement to change your child’s diet for the better:

Swap sweets for fruit

One of the simplest tips is giving your child fruit instead of sweets. Most children will quite happily sit down with a bowl of fruit to pick at while watching TV or playing games instead of a bag of sweets.

The trick is to start them as young as possible and to cut the fruit up for them. Making it fun also works well. Try threading fruit onto cocktail sticks to make healthy kebabs.

Regular meal times

Eating your meals at regular times is very good for your health. Doing so helps your body to regulate its metabolism. Maintaining meal times is not as hard as you might think, but many have got out of the habit of doing it.

The fact that you get up for work or school at the same time every day means that breakfast time is already fixed in most homes. School governs your child’s lunchtime, so all you need to do is to worry about timing the after school snack and dinner.

Sneak the vegetables in

Eating more vegetables is crucial to health. If you are lucky and your child already enjoys veg, just add in an extra portion or two each night. You can add a few spears of broccoli or a quarter of a cabbage to the same pot you cook the peas in without any additional effort.

If your children are not big fans of vegetables, you will have to be sneaky. Lightly cooked and pureed vegetables can be mixed into any pasta sauce or added to lasagne.

You can add a dollop as a toping to a burger or in the sauce you use to make pizza. It only takes 10 minutes to chop up, cook and puree the vegetables. The mixture can be frozen or stored in a jar that has been topped with olive oil and used as needed.

Give your child a packed lunch

Staying in control of what your child eats is important. Resist the temptation to let them have school dinners. Instead, send them to school with a healthy packed lunch.

You can make the sandwiches up in batches and freeze them. Not all fillings freeze, but all cooked meats and cheese sandwiches freeze really well.

If your kids like soup, make a huge batch and freeze it in portions. Let a portion defrost overnight, then heat it up in a jug in a microwave while you do the toast for breakfast. When the microwave pings, just pour it into the flask.

There are many ways to improve your child’s diet and a little creativity will help.

Posted by Jennifer
June 20, 2014
Feature

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