This is an emphatic YES! If you haven’t taken notice, as the adult obesity rate rises in the US, childhood obesity is also creeping up. This is quite concerning on many levels. Our youth is who will one day run this great nation and if we aren’t taking care of their health and leading by example, who will and what type of future will they have?
You don’t see many commercials for “healthy” food these days. What image does this create in our mind? One where it’s ok and “fun” to consume food and beverages that can contribute to the decline in our health. That sugar-filled foods and simple carbohydrates are the only “cool” thing to eat.
Lead by Example
So, without a doubt nutrition matters for growing kids – and it starts and ends with us. As a parent and mentor, we need to help teach kids about healthy nutrition and food options. Processed foods, sugar-filled snacks, and high calories beverages need to be broken down into a form that children can understand and comprehend as to why such choices are not healthy.
You also want to make eating healthy foods fun – this means you need to lead by example and actually consume nutrient-dense foods yourself (which you should already be doing). Depending on the age of your child, allow them to help cook meals. Maybe they can separate ingredients, do some mixing, or even cut up fruits or vegetables? Allow them to be a part of the process and make it enjoyable.
Explain to them what certain foods can help with. Protein can help build muscle. Healthy carbohydrates give your body fuel. Healthy fats help hormone levels and fuel the brain. The more exciting you make it sound, the more intrigued and willing they are going to be to eat it.
Ensure your child is getting an assortment of foods. Healthy sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Protein will help your child put on quality muscle mass to improve strength. Carbohydrates will help replenish glycogen levels and fuel your child’s body. Fats in the diet will help produce healthy hormones which are vital to the overall development of your child’s body and brain.
Stay away from food sources that contain artificial ingredients such as flavors and colors whenever possible. Research has shown these to be extremely bad for developing children and can create some serious health issues.
The Teenage Years
Once your child becomes a teenager, he or she might already be active in athletics. However, at this age is when true competition sets in and teams compete not only for fun and entertainment, but also to win and showcase their skill, ability, and preparation/strategy.
At this level, it’s incredibly important to fuel and refuel the body. When competing, athletes can easily become depleted of vital nutrients that need to be replenished post-workout or post-event. Additionally, proper hydration is of the utmost importance. Athletes need to constantly be rehydrating and replenishing lost water and electrolytes.
If you are looking for a way to introduce your child to healthy nutrients in a fun and delicious way, consider trying a bag of Clean Meal. Clean Meal was specifically designed to provide all of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs, regardless of age, sex, and activity level. The macronutrient profile in the meal replacement powder was created fuel the body as well as provide clean energy as well as recovery properties to help maintain proper health and wellness. The formula found in Clean Meal can safely be used by children, yet as with any other supplement on the market, it should be cleared through your child’s doctor prior to use.