Tag Archives: food

The Importance of a Healthy Diet on Children’s Development

As parents we all want to take care of our children. We want them to grow, to develop and to learn, and the best way to do this is to nurture them. One of the most important things that you can do for your children is to ensure that they eat a healthy diet.

But why is this? What importance does a healthy diet have on children’s development?

It ensures that they grow as they should

Children grow. Not only do they grow at a rather impressive rate up to the age of one, but they also have spurts of growth throughout the lives too. One of the most important things that a child can do is to eat properly, as a good diet is going to give them the nutrients and energy that they need to enable them to grow. It is also key that they have plenty of calcium in their diet as this will ensure that their bones grow healthily and set them up for their adult life.

It helps their brain to develop

Not only does a child’s body grows, but their brain does too. A poor diet can have an impact on how their brain develops and this can lead to a lower IQ and even learning disorders as they grow. It is also thought that some attention and focus problems that are common in children can be caused by their diet. This is because the children do not have the right energy, and nutrients that they need to keep their brain functioning and alert.

It reduces the risk of obesity

Whilst you may know that obesity is an issue for older people, what you might not realise is that it is also a problem for children too. Not only does diet affect development, but a poor diet can lead to obesity, and this is happening in as many as one in three children. This can lead to a child developing chronic conditions later on in life, which could have an impact on their lifelong health.

It helps them to make healthy choices

The choices that children make when it comes to their diet comes from their parents. So, it makes sense that in order to ensure that they eat well throughout their lives, you need to encourage this from an early age. You can teach your child to make healthy choices, not only in their food, but also in their activity too, and this is something that will stay with them. Not only helping them to develop as a child. But also to lead them into being a healthy and happy adult too!

Nutrition is Key: Are You Limiting Your Kids’ Potential?

Childhood nutrition, and nutrition in general, is an all too often overlooked aspect of raising kids. I’m no expert on the topic, but it shouldn’t take one to know how important the food you put in a child’s body affects not just their current health, but their health way into the future.

Take the type of water you give a plant as an example. Tap water from the city is typically treated with an abundance of chemicals and minerals. While plants can and do grow with just tap water, it’s not the optimal choice for them to thrive. Same goes for softened water which is hard water treated with sodium carbonate to make is soft. Excess sodium is unhealthy for plant growth and may even kill surrounding grass.

Rain and spring water, on the other hand, comes directly from nature, untouched by additives. Natural water sources like these provide the best “ingredients” to allow for optimal plant health and growth. Yes, I’m aware that the surrounding environment plays a big part here and smog from factories, along with a host of other factors, will affect natural water sources, but hopefully you see my point.

Packaged, processed food is similar to tap/treated water in that it is altered from its natural state to last longer, taste better, and travel well. Give this type of food to a kid (or anyone), and sure, they’ll grow, but most likely their growth will be limited in some or many ways. But natural, wholesome foods in their unaltered state is more bioavailable to the body and way more nutrient dense than that box of Cheerios.

Consider everything going on inside a child’s body; they are constantly growing, creating new brain cells, and developing their bones and muscles, as well as their entire endocrine system plus so much more. In order to grow and develop their entire body, it’s clear the quality of food (i.e. building materials) is VITAL! For infants, breastmilk is the best choice to feeding them the most nutrient dense food that can’t be replicated. I do, however, realize breastmilk is not always an option, but thankfully companies like The Honest Co. provide organic formula that’s modeled after breastmilk and created to support a healthy, growing baby.

When you feed a kid fast food, their hunger might be satisfied, but their entire body is being short-changed important nutrients it needs to build a strong, healthy body. It might seem like “just one meal”, but how many times do you say that? “Just one” usually turns out to be one hundred over the course of a year. That’s a lot of meals where whole food would’ve been able to provide more than just fulfilling a child’s hunger.

This topic gets under my skin more than anything else, and even more so now that we have Avery. I want to give her the best so that she has a bright and healthy future. I have zero tolerance for fast or over-processed food and refuse to allow it in our house or in our bodies. Yes, I buy packaged food, but not before scrutinizing the ingredients and where it comes from to ensure there’s nothing limiting to my wife, myself, or Avery.

When I hear people laugh it off saying things like “I know this is bad, but….” or “You wouldn’t want to see what I’m having.” a fire ignites inside of me. Same goes for those that consider it to be weird if you’re the healthy one. No wonder our population is obese when the weird one is the person who refuses to partake on those sugar-laden fried dough circles someone brings into the office, or when someone turns down going to any fast food restaurant where the food serve is borderline “real”.

C’mon! I choose to eat something that didn’t turn out of a factory’s manufacturing line and instead have fresh veggies with organic pasture-raised eggs and that’s weird? Dumb.

Please, to all parents and EVERYONE, think more about the food you feed your little ones and yourself. Our kids need optimum fuel for optimum growth. When it comes what we feed our children as well as ourselves, keep it real.

Keep It Real

I’d go on forever about this topic as I am obviously highly passionate about it’s importance. But, I’ll leave you with these paragraphs from the Children’s Heart Center website about the importance of nutrition for children.

Nutrition is very important for everyone, but it is especially important for children because it is directly linked to all aspects of their growth and development; factors which will have direct ties to their level of health as adults. For example, a child with the right balance of omega fatty acids in their daily diet has a much better chance at creating a more solid foundation for their brain activity and capabilities later on. Likewise, a child who practices a low fat and cholesterol diet on a daily basis significantly improves their chances of preventing a heart attack; even if heart disease tends to be hereditary within your family.

You will also help promote a better quality of life if you instill proper nutrition trends in your children. It will allow them to partake in more activities and with greater enjoyment. People with high levels of health also consistently report that they enjoy elevated feelings of wellness and wellbeing. As part of this, children are also able to fight off colds with improved efficiency with the support of proper nutrition. And this brings up a vital point in communication with your children: You should always be on the lookout for different ways to make solid connections for your children. You can picture it in your mind like a web diagram, connecting major points with a line for your children to better understand issues. If you actually explain to your child that they won’t have to suffer through those nasty colds nearly as much if they maintain healthy diet.

Another huge reason why nutrition is so important for children is because they simply don’t know enough on their own to naturally choose to eat well. Unfortunately, the foods and snacks that taste the best are usually the worst for our bodies, and a child left to their on whim will almost always choose junk food over fruits and vegetables. Provide them with the right nutrition now and they will learn at an early age what’s necessary for good health. This will also help to set them up for a life of proper eating and nutrition, almost certainly helping them to live longer. Countless studies show that what someone learns as a child is then perpetuated throughout their life. Teach them healthy eating habits now and you’ll perpetuate a healthy lifestyle for them and put them on autopilot on their way to lasting wellness.

It’s easy to make a million excuses as to why we can’t feed our kids or ourselves a healthy diet, but maybe stop finding reasons and start making real changes. If you make health top priority, you’ll find other aspects of life that just fit in and flow better.

Do you feel like you give your kids the best source of food to enable optimal growth?

What would you like to change about your current diet?

Throwing a Kid Friendly Halloween Party

While plenty of adults love Halloween, let’s face it—this holiday is a kids’ dream. Between the bottomless candy, dressing up as their favorite superheroes, and trick or treating, kids go nuts for this fun fall fete. Whether your child has a birthday around this time of year and you want to go with a spooky theme or you simply want to throw a kid-friendly Halloween party, we’ve got ideas for you.

Cosplay All Day!       

Costumes are key when it comes to Halloween, so make sure you make it a costume party! Of course, you’ll have to expect the party poopers but many people will enjoy coming as their alter ego. You could even consider giving it a more specific theme, like a super hero party or “come as your favorite movie/TV character.” Consider adding an incentive by offering up a prize for best costume. Remember those party poopers we talked about? They might not come in costume but hopefully they’ll at least be in keeping with the holiday by wearing some super cute Halloween leggings.

Deck the Halls (and Other Rooms) With Decorations

Halloween decorations are the best, and so easy! From spooky hanging spiders and fake spider webs to skeletons and faux graveyards, the sky is the limit when it comes to decorating for Halloween. Spooktacular decorations abound in most stores, but there are plenty of DIY options, too. When it comes to this, Pinterest is your friend. And, whether you go with something as simple as homemade hanging ghosts or as elaborate as these glowing spooky friends to put on your lawn, decorations go a long way in creating the mysterious mood.

Of course, the simplest and likely least expensive way to decorate is to add a bunch of carved pumpkins. If the party is at night, tea lights within them will illuminate the designs and set the tone. Better yet, have your guests carve them (with kid-friendly carving tools, of course!), and offer a prize for the best design. And, if you know anything about kids, there had better be a piñata; buy a Halloween-themed piñata from Pinatas.com. Consider mixing in some toys as prizes, as we all know kids will be getting plenty of sugar elsewhere!

If you’re sending them on their journey home with party favors, creative ideas abound. Fill bags with candy corn, nail polish in fun Halloween colors, and maybe some individual floss packets—have to protect those teeth from all that sugar intake.

Fire up the Festive Food  

Although the main dish at kids’ parties—Halloween or not—should be fairly simple due to their many picky palates, there are plenty of ways to get creative with appetizers and desserts. From spider cupcakes and non-alcoholic witches’ brew to mini hot dog mummies and the uber creepy dead man’s finger sandwiches, there are so many fun Halloween food options for kids. Of course, if you’re concerned about the healthiness of the food, consider banana ghosts and tangerine pumpkins!

 Ghoulish Games Shall Abound

No proper party for a kid should go on without games. While the usual suspects like Musical Chairs and Duck-Duck-Goose are great, there are plenty of ways to take traditional kids games and turn them into Halloween fun. Need some inspiration? Take a page from the playbook of the party queen, herself—Martha Stewart. A bit of “Pop Goes the Pumpkin,” “Ghost Story Prank”, and “Dead Man’s Guts” will surely elicit many squeals of delight. Of course, bobbing for apples is simply a rite of passage for childhood and specifically perfect for this time of year. Don’t forget the Squash Bowling and Pin the Tail on the Bat! Getting their creative juices flowing is a great way to get their seemingly endless energy to burn.

Parties are a blast but Halloween parties are beyond the pale (one might even say “ghostly”). Turn up the fun by following these tantalizing tips for throwing a kid-friendly Halloween party.