Being parents, we always want to give our children the best we can. And when it comes to their health, we consider every option to provide them with the right nutrition and diet. During this process, we often end up developing myths.
Here are 5 common diet myths that can hamper your child’s health:
1. Children know what they want to eat
Children have taste preferences but no specific choices in food. They like whatever their taste buds like. So, it is easy to develop healthy eating habits in them over time.
To achieve this, set an example by eating with them and offer them a variety of healthy eating options. Involve them in picking out the groceries with you, this may develop their interest in trying those as well. Most importantly, don’t push them, gradually introduce them to new flavours.
2. Frequent eating will make them healthy
This is a misconception that if children eat frequently, it will advance their growth and development. The fact is healthy eating habits like fixed time of having meals, eating according to the appetite, healthy snacking and a balanced diet are the growth determinants. Frequent snacking and overeating can result in health issues like obesity, diabetes etc. later in life. Therefore, three well-rounded meals and a healthy snack per day are sufficient for children.
3. Include fruit juice in their diet
Fruit juice is indeed a health boosting option. But it is not as healthy as serving a whole fruit. Fibre is equally important like any other nutrient and vitamin for our body. When you give your child fruit juice its fibre value becomes negligible which is in fact unhealthy. So, inculcate the fruit-eating habit in her and offer juices occasionally.
4. Make them eat healthy ingredients without their knowledge
Many parents secretly put veggies and other healthy ingredients in their child’s meal. But aren’t you depriving her of the knowledge that vegetables are actually beneficial for health? Make her understand the concept of healthy eating and its significance in the development. Also, present food in a manner that entice her to eat.
5. More sugar means high energy levels
Consuming too much sugar is in fact bad for health. It can lead to ‘sugar addiction’ which can harm children both physically and psychologically. This addiction can generate irritability, mood swings, changes in activity levels etc. Hence, you should monitor their sugar intake levels regularly.
Meenal Arora is Founder Director at Shemford & Shemrock Group of Schools