As a parent it can be extremely challenging trying to get your child to eat healthy, fruit and vegetables contain lots of nutrients which are vital for a child’s growth, and of course you want the best for your children.
The number of children who are obese in England is growing rapidly, and has more than tripled over the past 25 years. If the current trends continue, the number of overweight or obese children will increase to 70 million by 2025 worldwide. Obesity in children is a growing concern, but we can prevent this by getting our kids to eat healthy from an early age.
So what can we do to get our kids enjoying vegetables?
- Set an example- Kids will refuse to eat fruit and veg if you aren’t, so we need to set an example by eating them ourselves. Start to love your veg and they will too!
- Don’t force your kids- Getting your kids to enjoy healthy food should not be a struggle! Don’t force-feed, bribe or beg, the more you do, the less they will listen, I have found leaving them to decide for themselves has worked out in my favour!
- Get kids involved in the shopping and cooking- If you allow them to help with the shopping and cooking, they will want to eat the food that they have spent so much time preparing- getting kids involved from the beginning really helps.
- Get creative!- Make a smoothie out of your favourite fruits, or make a face out of the vegetables you’re cooking, this is sure to have your child smiling.
- Keep it going- Your child might refuse to eat vegetables and this can require effort and patience, but remember the habits they acquire at a young age will stay with them as adults, so keep at it, your persistence will pay off eventually.
There are a number of healthy meals you can prepare for your children that they will love!
It’s not just eating healthy that plays a big role in your child’s health, but also ensuring exercise is done on a regular basis. Kids nowadays prefer to stay in watching movies, playing on play-stations and tablets, mention the words ‘play outside’ and they will assume you have come from outer space!
Children and Technology
Communications regulator Ofcom said UK adults spend an average of eight hours and 41 minutes a day on media devices, compared with the average night’s sleep of eight hours and 21 minutes. Almost four hours a day are spent watching TV, according to Ofcom’s survey of 2,800 UK adults and children.
However, exercise is vital, take the NHS statistics on exercise for example, they indicate young people of all ages should try to minimise the time they spend sitting down. Children under five who can walk unaided should be physically active everyday for at least 180 minutes spread throughout the day, indoors or out. Children and young people aged 5 to 18 should do at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity every day. This should include a mix of:
- Moderate-intensity activities: this means your child is working hard enough to raise their heart rate and break a sweat
- Vigorous-intensity activities: this means they’re breathing hard and fast, and their heart rate has gone up quite a bit
As part of your child’s 60 or more minutes, they should also do activities that strengthen their muscles and bones.
Getting a personal trainer to help your child get fit is a perfect way to do this, as they can provide your child with a regular workout programme, and having someone with your child whilst exercising encourages them to push themselves. Why not take a look at becoming a personal trainer yourselves? This will save a lot of money in future, not to mention being able to help your child exercise in the comfort of your own home? Your child will look up to you, keep healthy and active, and maybe think about going into this field of work themselves in future. This also allows you to enjoy quality time with your child whilst developing a routine, enabling you to see positive results rapidly.