Maintain Healthy Eating Habits
We are all well aware that the new school year is right around the corner. No matter what age they are, it’s a great time to start thinking about building some new healthy eating habits. Perhaps it goes without saying that they younger they are, the easier it will be to build those habits!
According to the USDA, most toddlers get enough fruit. But, by the time they’re 4 years old, they’re not eating near enough. And, the problem gets worse, as they become young adults.
Making sure that fruit is available for lunches, in between classes and after-school snacking can help teach healthy eating habits they’ll use for life. It also helps deliver the vitamins and minerals healthy kids need to grow, play and mature. Finally, getting enough of the right kinds of fruit can promote good, proper digestion, help kids feel full, and maintain a healthy weight and will provide adequate dietary fiber.
What can we do to help teach our kids to choose the right snacks? Keep, on hand and offer:
- Fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and freeze-dried fruits. These are all great choices.
Introduce your kids to a variety of fruits and let them decide which unique flavors are their favorites.
- Limit fruit juice.
Kids probably shouldn’t have more than 1/2-cup (4 oz.) serving of 100% juice, once per day. While 100% fruit juice can be a part of the healthy diet, it doesn’t have the dietary fiber that other forms of fruit does.
- Power up with potassium.
Fruits like bananas, peaches, strawberries, apples, pears, grapefruit, watermelon, lemons, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, nectarines and raspberries are all great sources of potassium. Getting enough potassium helps kids maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Not all fruit is created equal
There are tons of fruit and fruit flavored snacks on grocery store shelves. But it’s buyer-beware! Many of these snacks have a lot of added sugars, flavors, colors, and preservatives in them!
It’s easy for all of us to get too many added sugars from foods and beverages that we are around every day. The extra calories from these added sugars can make us feel full before we’ve had the chance to get the nutrients we need from other foods. These extra calories make it tough for us to maintain a healthy weight. Some of the fruit snacks that really load up on the extra sugars are the chewy or “gummy” fruit snacks and “fruit-flavored” drinks.
Fruits are naturally sweet, so it can be easy to get kids to eat them without adding sweeteners like sugar, corn syrup, and honey.
- Serve fresh fruit
- Canned fruit should be packed in water or 100% fruit juice instead of syrup
- Try unsweetened applesauce with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top
- Use frozen fruit that doesn’t contain added sugars
- Choose 100% fruit juice instead of fruit-flavored drinks or soda
- Stay away from “gummy” or chewy fruit snacks, strips, fruit drops, candy, or sweets
- Stock up on freeze dried fruit, it’s 100% all natural with no preservatives and conveniently packaged for on-the-go snacking
Practice what you preach! Remember – your kids learn from watching you! So, grab some fruit and show them how healthy eating is done! Visit: brothersallnatural.com
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