child development, child safety, health, healthy food, momblog

3 Food Myths that Parents with Toddlers Should Totally Avoid for Healthier Children

Hey parents, do you even know that the World Health Organization recorded over 41 million children under the age of 5 to be either overweight or obese in 2016? We are now in 2019, and the figures could have gone way beyond in a span of three years!

Surprising? Maybe not, maybe yes… No matter how knowledgeable you are of the seemingly global epidemic of obesity in children, it is worth asking, “Why are more and more kids getting overweight? Why do some toddlers tend to be categorized as obese despite their young age?”

The answer lies in our food beliefs that affect family eating habits.

To help everyone break the constantly rising record of children getting obese, let me bust some of the most common food myths that actually contribute to the unhealthy development of toddlers and children.

1. Juice is Fun & Good for the Body

element5-digital-CpBBsda2eRI-unsplashOh yes, oh yes, the colorful appearance and the refreshing taste of juice can surely make your kids’ faces beam with delight! But wait, what kind of juice are you giving your toddler? A strawberry yogurt drink in a carton? An orange juice in a can? Hmmm…

Sorry to disappoint, but not all fruit juices are actually healthy! Although most of these packaged juices are labeled to have high nutritional value, you still need to get into the little details. How many calories are in each pack? How much sugar are you letting your child gobble up in single drinking?

Although it would be less convenient, I still suggest that you let your blender’s sounds be heard in your kitchen space. Grab some apples, pineapples, kiwis, mangoes, or berries from your pantry and toss them into your blender or juicer. Making your own natural juice or blended fruit at home beverage at home is still the best way to make sure that your child gets all the nutrients and fibers without the unnecessary sugars.

2. Organic is the Ultimate Healthy Option

Yes, organic is definitely better than those with artificial preservatives and chemicals. However, not all organic food shall be freely taken by your child. Not because the potato chips that you got from the grocery shelves contain the natural and organic label does it mean that your toddler can already eat the entire contents of the package!

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Even if a certain food is labeled as organic, still make sure that you carefully examine other aspects of the food such as its sodium level, the presence of artificial sweeteners, its calories, and nutritional value. High sodium levels can raise blood sugar and contribute to heart diseases. Huge amounts of artificial sweeteners can cause type 2 diabetes among children. Remember to look at the food in its entirety before buying it and serving on the dining table.

3. Flavored Yogurt is Great After Meals

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Whenever we hear the word yogurt, we can easily think of it as a healthy source of yummy probiotics. Yup, that’s true! Most yogurt drinks are really great for maintaining good gut health. However, some frozen and flavored yogurt delights are not just packed with probiotics and essential nutrients but also with lots of sugar!

Do you want a better alternative to flavored yogurt? Plain yogurt with your choice of fruits! Not that difficult, right? By doing this, you still enjoy the benefits of probiotics for your children’s gut health.

On the same topic

Remember, parents play a big role in determining the present and future health status of children. Whatever food we serve them today can create an impact on how well they would develop physically and mentally.

P.S.

By the way, a few weeks back I posted worksheets for your use on a post from Education.com.  Well now, they are offering the opportunity to win money for college and donations to your library in their Limitless Learners Contest!  Visit  https://www.education.com/contests/ for additional details.”


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child development, health, healthy food, momblog

5 Proven Tips to Solve Your Picky Eater Problems

If you have a picky eater at home, do not be worried because picky eaters are normal members of millions of households across the globe!

But why do we even have picky eaters? Is being picky a sign of disobedience? Basically, children are considered to be neophobic. This means that kids could easily become fearful of whatever is new to them such as food tastes or appearance. Since the majority of our children have this tendency to become picky eaters, a lot of parents would simply give in to their demands just to let them eat and never starve. But doing this could compromise not just our children’s health but also their behavioral development.

Here are six proven tips to solve your picky eater problems:

1.Involve your children in kitchen stuff.

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Don’t we all agree that the kitchen is a dangerous place for kids? But that could only always be true if we never organize our kitchen stuff. Surely, you don’t cook your meals 24/7, right?

It is best for children to be involved during meal preparation so that they could also feel the excitement in whatever they have helped with. Maybe you could let them soak some veggies in a bowl of water? Or you could also let them drizzle some dressing over salad? You can actually involve them in almost everything except for the obviously dangerous activities such as when you are using the knife or when the fire is already turned on.

2. Show your creative side and experiment with fruits and vegetables

Did you ever hear them say yuck over carrots or apples? Then what has been your initial response? Most parents would choose to keep the “yucky” vegetables or fruits out of their children’s eyes to prevent them from showing disgust over what has been prepared on the table.

But if you really want to let your kids eat a particular “yucky” food, then you better start normalizing the experience of eating such. A subtle way of doing this is by making different forms of one particular food and letting them try these. For example, if your kids don’t like simple boiled carrots, why don’t you mash them with butter, process them with burger patties, or make differently shaped carrot fries? Let your creativity fly during meal preparation.

3. Never consider mealtimes as power struggle.

Mother's Hand Feeding Food to a Young Girl (13-14) Who Is Making a Face

One of the frequently forgotten facts in parenting is our children’s natural tendency for power struggles. The power struggle becomes evident once our children reach the toddler stage. It is during this time that you would often hear them say “no” to so many things including food.

Do not compete with your kids. The power struggle may seem real but you need to know that it is only part of their development as human beings. Never force a specific dish to your children because they could grow hating such meals. Instead, you can talk to them in a gentle and reassuring way about the beautiful things that they could get from eating what they may initially hate.

4. Model what you preach.

Cliché? Yes, but this cliché still remains relevant in daily parenting. If you want your children to eat vegetables, then eat the same thing as your kids on the table. A lot of parents force their children to eat something that they themselves don’t even want to eat. This can cause a lot of trouble and confusion to our kids because they don’t want strange stuff. They need familiarity, thus they need to see you eating the same thing that you ask them to taste.

5. Monitor your children’s eating habits, weight gain, and other body reactions.

Some picky eaters are unfortunately suffering from allergic reactions to certain foods while others are facing medical conditions. As parents, we all need to closely monitor our children’s body reaction to what we serve them. Do your kids suddenly feel itch after being exposed to peanuts or eggs? This may be a sign of food allergy.

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It is also very important to keep a record of your children’s weight and appetite condition. If your children are losing significant weight and are almost always lethargic, then you better consult your pediatrician immediately. Some picky eater problems can be caused by certain medical conditions. Be sure to communicate such eating problems with a professional who can help you and your children.


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The Best Ways to Promote Good Eating Habits for Toddlers

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Have you ever found yourself agreeing to the “Terrible Two” concept? Maybe, you are facing such a terrible phase in your parenting life where your toddler just keeps on running around, chatting until your energy drops, making a mess on the table during meal times, or refusing to eat what you offer her. The toddler stage is really one of the most trying times of your parenting journey because it is when your child would explore more of her surroundings.

Since your child would be extremely active during this stage, you will have to nourish her with the age-appropriate meals and snacks. However, you also have to start training her on the right eating habits that she must remember until she grows up.

Here are the best ways to promote good eating habits for your toddler:

  1. Let the greens and the colorful fruits be a constant.

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Do you know that you can actually train your child’s taste buds? Yup, that is exactly right! Why do you think Korean kids become easily trained to eat their local staple, kimchi? That’s particularly because the culinary tradition of a family affects the taste preference of the child.

If you want your child to be healthy, then you will have to keep the greens and the colorful fruits as a constant part of your dining table. Even when they seem to be refusing the vegetables and fruits at first, do you think that they would still be able to reject them when they’re already hungry? I don’t think so.

  1. Practice your creative culinary skills.

If you want your meals to be more exciting, there are cool ways to incorporate veggies and fruits in kiddie meals without being noticeable. You can add mashed carrots in a spaghetti sauce or a mashed broccoli in chicken nuggets. Expand your culinary creativity to make meal time for kids as health and as exciting as possible.

  1. Set a mealtime routine.

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Your child has to understand that meal times are not done randomly. You may definitely explain it to her verbally, but it would be more effective and practical to simply follow a mealtime routine. It is ideal if you could set all meal times together as a family. But if your schedules do not permit, then you could at least set breakfast and dinner together.

  1. Understand and respond to your child’s hunger cues.

You surely do not want your child to be hungry just because she has to wait for the exact mealtime. Learn to know your child’s hunger cues. Observe her facial expressions, body actions, and verbal phrases before and after she eats. This way, you can start to gain understanding of her hunger cues.

It is also important not to force your child to finish eating her meals when her tummy is already full. The practice of forcibly letting your child to eat can be traumatic to your toddler. Your child has to be excited about food and never fearful of mealtimes.

  1. Give your toddler her own set of utensils.

18097_1_1200pxGiving your child her own set of utensils can make her become aware of the importance of utensils in eating. At first, she will be messy and clumsy, but you will need to be patient in teaching her how to use the spoon and fork. She may be wanting to eat with her hands, but gradually train her with the use of utensils.

  1. Check her milk intake.

Milk is definitely important for your toddler’s growth. However, you have to know that your child has to get most of her nutrients from real food. If your child drinks milk for more than three times a day and you notice that she barely wants to eat during mealtimes, then there could be something wrong with that practice. Limit her milk intake so that she could start appreciating what’s on your dining table.


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