As parents, it seems like we’re constantly juggling our kid’s responsibilities. From good saving habits to making sure they’re active, it can be a tough task making sure they are doing everything they should. However, before we can even begin on this stuff, we first have to make sure they have the fuel they need to accelerate.
Managing our kid’s diets can be hard, as their needs can be drastically different than other members of your family. For example, while you might need to work out more, your kid could have a gluten allergy, which makes balancing those out hard. Furthermore, we need to instill habits they’re going to carry on when they’re on their own, which is the core of what we’re going to talk about today. Check it out below:
It Helps With Emotional Development
As the old cliche goes,”you are what you eat,” which there’s actually some science behind. According to Dr. Eva Selhub of Harvard University, there’s a huge correlation between our neurological development and the foods that we eat. This is even true for adults, as Dr. Selhub notes:
“Since about 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract, and your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest food, but also guides your emotions.” And for our children, nothing could be more important than helping guide their development in this manner.
Our kids need to know what “normal” feels like in order to evaluate if anything is different. By not moderating foods high in caffeine, or sugar, or even salt, we’re essentially making the anxious feeling of being hyped up on this stuff routine for them, which is going to potentially stunt their emotional growth. Overall, eating healthy not only makes healthier children but guides them into developing a healthier lifestyle.
It Creates Better Habits
An important aspect of eating healthy is creating a healthy routine based on your habits. As noted in a study by the Penn State University’s Nutritional Health Department, a big part of keeping children on a healthy diet is a combination of what’s available in school as well as what they’re eating at home. The responsibility falls greatly on the parents, which is tough considering a lot these folks have busy work schedules, as well as other obligations going on. However, that’s not to say you can’t eat healthy while still balancing a busy life.
The important thing to remember about eating healthy is having enough time to do so. For example, while you might not have the resources to cook a full breakfast. However, there are some quick fixes such as Greek yogurt and granola or even cereal. Start looking for alternatives you can serve your kids quickly that still provide them with all the nutrients they need, as these will help control a well-balanced diet that’s also teaching them how to do it for themselves. Believe it or not, the moment that they start preparing food on their own comes much quicker than you think, so it’s important to start embedding these habits now.
It’s Worth The Cost
A common complaint some folks make about eating healthy is that it’s just too expensive to do so. However, according to a study by Harvard University's School of Public Health, the average cost of a healthier diet was an extra $1.50 per day. While to some that might seem inaccurate, when you break it down, the processed foods we eat are designed to produce maximum yield sold at the highest cost. This robs the food of its nutrients and leaves you with a product that when equated to the nutritional value you're getting out the food, could actually be considered more expensive in the long run. For example, what you’re going to get out of $5 worth of vegetables is going to fill you up with energy much more than what you’d get out of $5 worth of fried chicken.
Another aspect to consider in food cost is preparation. Quite simply, a lot of people don’t know or don’t want to cook, which is leaving them to go out to eat. And for the cost of what you’re paying to have someone else make your food, the value of the food you’re eating is going down significantly.
As you’re looking for healthier options for your child, remember the importance of how all of these elements blend together. While it’s not easy, it’s going to instill them with good principles that will last them a lifetime. And after all, if we’re all after our children being the best they can, shouldn’t we start with what they eat?