Make Eating Healthy a Family Thing Part I

Most of the time at the Coffee Club we discuss how we, as older folk, can eat better and exercise more. But today Uncle Bud has a new subject for us.  As most of you already know we are all about him doing the reading and sharing with us what he learns.

He got the information he is giving us today by reading “Superfoods for Picky Eaters”, written by Michelle Dorsey Graf, MSN, CFNP.  It is not really new to us that children tend to be picky about what they eat. However, we sometimes fail to admit that as adults we cause a lot of our children’s poor eating habits by the example we set. It is just so easy to stock up on “easy foods” such as processed meats, (chicken nuggets, hot dogs, etc.) and sugary snacks and juices. These foods provide very little nutrition to our bodies.

If we train our children to eat a well-balanced diet while they are young maybe they will not reach our age and be working on the lifestyle changes most of us are trying to make. ( As usual he reminds us that WeightoWellness is the go to place for the help we need with these lifestyle changes.)

Then he tells us, according to Michelle Graf,Michelle Graf, MSN, CFNP, author of the article, “Superfoods for Picky Eaters”, says a well-balanced diet supports healthy child development and reduces the rate of diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and certain cancers, but many parents struggle to incorporate fruits and vegetables into the meals of picky toddlers and school-aged children. Right away we begin asking how we can encourage this in our families.

Most of the members in our Coffee Club no longer have young children but we do have grandchildren so we are interested in information we can share with their parents and Uncle Bud is ready to give us that information. We knew he would be as he always does his (our) homework.

So many parents do not know this but a preference for flavors starts in the very beginning. Amniotic fluid is flavored by the foods the mother eats, so babies learn to like the same foods as their moms before they are born. Once the baby is born if mom is breastfeeding she should eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in order to expose their baby to a wide range of flavors.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing solid foods at about six months. A child who is ready for solids is able to sit and keep his head steady, and opens his mouth when food is approaching. The timing is important. Giving a baby solids before he is ready increases the likelihood he will be overweight or develop food allergies. If you wait too long to introduce solids, your child may resist more flavors and textures as he grows.

As you begin feeding your baby solids, make sure you expose him to a variety of different foods, flavors and textures. You can give him store-bought foods — or even better — you can make your own baby food by pureeing vegetables or fruits. Let your baby play in his food and make a mess, and allow him to feed himself. Feeling the food lets him explore his senses and accept different textures.

Babies take time to adjust to new foods. Be sure you introduce a new food at least 10 to 15 times before determining your baby doesn’t like it. Try to introduce as many foods as you can between 6 and 12 months, but avoid honey and cow’s milk until after your child’s first birthday (full-fat yogurt and cheese are fine before then).

Wow, we are wishing we had know this back when. It is time to go so Uncle Bud promises to continue on the same subject next week.

As we leave Andy tells everyone he is headed to WeightoWellness. He has seen the good results several of us have had under their guidance. We assure him the healthcare professionals there will be happy to have him on board. Yep, it is the place to go for everything you need to lose your excess pounds and make the lifestyle changes you need for a healthier you. We are sure they can give us even more ideas about making healthy eating a family thing.

Give them a call today.  205-994-2393


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