Sometimes it’s a battle, right? Feeding your kids food that they will eat, but that’s also healthy and nutrient rich. Teaching good eating habits is important to instill in the early years so that kids will grow into healthy teens and adults.
According to a study from Iowa State University, almost one in two children in the U.S. is either overweight or obese. That is about half of the kids in America! Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help your kids develop healthy eating habits:
When packing lunches for young kids, think contrast and variety. Using lots of colors, textures and shapes makes lunches more tempting for little ones.
How do you know if your elementary school aged child is getting proper nutrition? Should she be taking a multivitamin?
Multivitamins aren’t necessary for most healthy children who are growing normally, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Regular meals and snacks can provide all the nutrients most young children need.
While many children are picky eaters, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have nutritional deficiencies. Many foods, including breakfast cereal, milk, and orange juice, are fortified with important nutrients, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, calcium and iron. So your child may be getting more vitamins and minerals than you think.
Furthermore, multivitamins aren’t without some risks. Megadoses of vitamins and minerals can be toxic. In addition, some vitamins and minerals can interact with medications your child may take.
Talk with your child’s doctor if you’re concerned about whether your child is getting the recommended level of vitamins and minerals. A multivitamin might be helpful for your child if he or she:
If your child’s doctor recommends a multivitamin, choose one that is designed for your child’s age group and doesn’t provide more than 100 percent of the Daily Value of vitamins and minerals. Keep multivitamins out of your child’s reach and make it clear that they aren’t candy.
Sources: Iowa State University; University of California, Davis; American Academy of Pediatrics; Mayo Clinic