Why Healthy Eating Is Important for School-Age Kids

Healthy eating is important for everyone, particularly school-age children, to ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need to grow into healthy adults. Helping your child to make healthy food choices is important at this stage in their life, because food habits, likes and dislikes are formed during this time. Eating healthy food is essential to your child’s physical development, behavior and ability to learn and succeed at school.

Healthy Eating Habits

When children develop taste preferences for certain foods, parents are faced with the difficult task of making healthy food choices more appealing. Despite numerous attempts, it is always going to be a challenge trying to persuade your six-year-old that eating a plum is as sweet of a treat as a chocolate chip cookie, but establishing a balance between wholesome foods and treats will help create a positive
attitude towards eating.

Physical Development

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy eating among school-age children is important for proper growth and development and can help prevent health issues such as obesity and diabetes. A healthy eating plan that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products are necessary for healthy physical development.

Behavior

If you think your child behaves differently, for better or worse, after eating certain foods you are correct. Ingredients in the food your child eats can fuel many of the factors that affect her behavior, according to the researchers at MayoClinic.com. The Prevention Institute reports, that eating healthy not only influences your child’s physical development it also affects their cognitive development as well. Children who consume unhealthy foods, such as doughnuts, chips, candy, soda, and sugary fruit drinks, can have trouble concentrating, become easily fatigued, listless, or irritable, and are likely to face difficulties in learning, which can lead to behavioral and social problems explains the Prevention Institute. Also, if your child does not eat regularly, get enough complex carbohydrates, get enough Omega-3s fatty acids or iron she may experience mood swings causing her to become cranky, tired and depressed, thus influencing her behavior, states US News Health.

 

References

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Nutrition Facts

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/nutrition/facts.htm

2. U.S. Department of Agriculture: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/

3.MayoClinic: ADHD diet: Do Food Additives Cause Hyperactivity?

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/adhd/AN01721

4.US News Health: Food and Mood: 6 Ways Your Diet Affects How You Feel

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/diet/articles/2011/08/31/food-and-mood-6-ways-your-diet-affects-how-you-feel

5.Prevention Institute: Growing The Next Generation: Strategies to Improve Nutrition and Child Development in Los Angeles County

http://home.preventioninstitute.org/growing.html

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