Common Bad Eating Habits in Kids
Patents, pediatricians and dietitians are often concerned about children’s nutrition, and the best way to ensure that they stay healthy is to break any bad eating habits that can last a lifetime, leading to obesity and chronic disease.
Kristi King, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics say that many kids are allowed to eat snack that are thought to be healthy, such as granola bars and energy drinks. However, she says that most of these snacks are loaded with added sugar which translates into added calories. Instead of these, King recommends offering them water or low-fat milk and whole foods like apples and low-fat cheese.
Another bad habit that starts early in life is skipping breakfast which usually leads to making poor food choices later in the day, according to Angela Lemond, a registered dietitian and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To keep children less irritable, mentally alert and active during the day, she recommends giving them foods that contain protein, fiber and healthy fats such as eggs and low-fat cheese for breakfast.
According to the National Institutes of Health, many children ages 9 to 13 do not get adequate calcium daily. Experts recommend encouraging kids to eat low-fat dairy such as yogurt and cheese, leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, and calcium-fortified cereals. They should also be taking 600 IUs of vitamin D to enhance the absorption of calcium. Kids must also be allowed to do weight-bearing activities such as walking, running, and basketball to help build bones.
Finally, experts warn against children who start dieting early, which may continue into adulthood, according to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. King recommends setting a good example for kids and involving them in meal preparation.
SanSone, A. 12 Unhealthy Kids’ Health Habits and How to Fix Them. iVillage.