Nutrition For Kids
I can honestly say my greatest accomplishment has been the birth of my three precious children, Luca, Matteo and Capri. They truly are the light of our world, and I feel so blessed and honored to be their mom. My kids are my passion in life, and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for them. They are surrounded with love, health, and goodness, and my goal is to raise them to be confident, loving, healthy and positive children.
As a mom and nutritionist, I invest a lot of time in energy teaching them how to eat, nurture, and respect their bodies so they will enjoy a lifetime of health. We are the drivers, the teachers, and the role models for our children when it comes to healthful eating. They will learn and follow what we do. Therefore, we must start nurturing them with the best nutrition possible, even before we conceive. The healthier we are during pregnancy, the healthier our children will be. This post and Sea-licious is dedicated to Luca, Matteo and Capri and the incredible love I have for them and the respect I hold for mothers everywhere.
Incorporate These Mom-Proofed Tips
- The earlier you start the better. This begins right from the introduction of solid food. Start with vegetables before fruit to allow their taste buds to learn the blander, less sweet taste. Even though current recommendations say it doesn’t matter, I think it does. It is more challenging to enjoy green peas after a banana, especially if you don’t understand the nutritional benefit of the peas.
- We are their best role models. And by this I mean what we eat, they are sure to follow. For us, it starts with the grocery shopping. I know that if we buy packaged “treats,” they will get eaten, which is why I try to keep them to a minimum. Instead, I always try to have on hand string cheese, yogurt (Greek yogurt is a favorite), fresh fruit, cut-up vegetables (which are a bit more difficult for kids under two years of age), whole-grain crackers, natural nut butters, and healthful whole-grain cereals. Kids seem to like to graze, eating all day. If they have healthful food to graze on, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
- No juice. And I mean none. It just isn’t necessary. If they don’t get used to drinking juice, they won’t know what they are missing. In my opinion, juice provides mostly sugar, and although it does have vitamins and minerals, it is better to cut up an orange and give it to your kids as a whole food. Milk (or a dairy alternative) and water should be the main sources of hydration.
- If you give them something new once and they don’t like it, try it again. It could take up to ten times of introducing a food before they like it.
- Enhance the flavor of food. When I steam broccoli, I always toss in a clove of garlic and a pinch of sea salt, and then when it’s cooked, I drizzle the broccoli with camelina oil. My boys love it. I wouldn’t want to eat bland-tasting broccoli either, but there are many ways to make it taste yummy.
- Introduce fish as early as you can. I started my boys on white fish when they were around eight months of age. It is their most preferred protein source. Lightly sautéed with camelina oil, salt, lemon, and garlic, they would choose this for dinner over anything else.
- Minimize packaged food. Again, if you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it. Leave packaged food for emergency situations. We need to get back to cooking as a family. Your kids will love the activity of buying groceries and preparing food. I know it can be a bit stressful, and certainly not quick, yet I promise it will be worth your effort. And if you aren’t able to do this every night, then try it at least two times per week. This will help to instill healthful nutrition as you will be able to explain why we need to eat certain foods.
- Start fish oil supplementation at a young age (around one year). Fish oils have come a long way in taste and palatability. Sea-licious is completely kid-approved and is the most delicious tasting fish oil on the market. Your kids will love it and ask for more!