During childhood, children adapt their food intake to match their physical growth patterns. Children food requirements normally depend on their growth and level of their physical activity. Similar to energy requirements for a child; need for proteins, vitamins and minerals increases with their age.
In today’s fast life, healthy and nutritious foods have been replaced by junk foods. Junk food comprises of anything that is quick, tasty, convenient and fashionable. Wafers, colas, pizzas and burgers are the most liked food for children. Most of the children return from school and sit in-front of the television accompanied by a bowl of wafers and a can of cola. Junk food can be alluring for a variety of reasons; comprises of convenience, taste and price. Children never understand the health issues raised out of unhealthy eating habits, for them junk food may appear to be appetizing.
Most of the restaurants use variety of marketing techniques to attract the customers. You must have observed the earnest appeal of your kids to stop by the fast food restaurant for a food item, because of the display toys in front of them. It is one of the strongest marketing techniques these restaurants use to attract children. Children put their long-term health at risk by being attracted towards foods that is low in nutrition. Fast food restaurants invest about billion dollars per year to attract children to eat at their outlets. Most of the restaurants use Toys, well-known characters, on-site playgrounds, on-site televisions showing popular shows and movies to attract children. Allow children to spend minimum time watching television commercials, so that she/he is not exposed to fast food restaurant advertising.
Junk food is calorie-dense and nutrient poor. In recent decade’s junk food, fast food and convenience food consumption increased dramatically with rising epidemics of numerous chronic diseases. Children who eat much unhealthy food are at higher risk of health conditions. Regular consumption of fattening junk food can be addictive for children and lead to complications like obesity, diabetes, depression, nutrient deficiencies, weight gain, tooth decay, gastrointestinal problems affecting their performance in school and extracurricular activities. With all the advertisements for junk food on television and the prevalence of these foods, it is hard to make your child choose only healthy food.
Food recommendations for children:
- These days’ children gain inappropriate weight with their growth. Make sure to limit energy-dense and nutrient-poor snack foods to them. Increase their physical activity. Keep them away from watching televisions and playing video games.
- Ensure children have enough fluids, especially water. Limit the intake of fruit juices and completely avoid drinking soft drinks.
- Fast foods need to be balanced with nutrient-dense foods like whole grain breads, cereals, fruits, nuts, vegetables, fish and lean meats.
- Beware of foods that may causes allergic reactions, including peanuts, shellfish and cow’s –milk and consider if there is a family history of food allergy.
- By brushing regularly and visiting to dentist can be prevent tooth decay. Keep them away from sugary foods and drinks, especially if they are sticky or acidic.
- Low fat milk, yogurt and cheese should be included in the daily food intake to boost calcium intake. This is especially important for growing bones. Cheese should preferably be a lower salt variety.
Children’s being aware about healthy eating habits is very important so they will have a good knowledge about nutritious food. Freshly homemade food is usually the best and healthy food for children as it provides them with all the balanced nutrition supplements required for the body.