As a parent, you go above and beyond for your kids. You sleep with one eye open, ready to comfort them when the monster emerges from under their bed. You teach them to swim and tell them stories. You celebrate birthdays and cook their favourite food and every extra second of effort is worth it when you see their faces shining with health and joy.
But if there’s one thing you can do for your kids that will help them for the rest of their lives, it’s showing them the importance of proper nutrition and food choices.
The importance of developing healthy eating habits early on cannot be understated. Nutrition affects a child’s brain development throughout their entire childhood, but it’s most pronounced during the first two years of their life. This is when the nerves in the brain are growing and connecting, determining how a child will learn, remember, plan and behave. A diet with the right vitamins, proteins and other nutrients will ensure the right connections are formed, giving your child the best start.
While years zero to two are important for development, they’re also essential for habit forming. By the time children are two they have already developed tastes, habits, and preferences that can stay with them for the rest of their lives. And a large part of their preferences are formed by modeling their parents’ behaviour.
As anyone who as spent time with a kid knows, they’re observant little creatures. Just when you think you’ve found a moment of privacy in your bathroom, their inquisitive eyes are suddenly peeking around the corner. But they’re not just watching you on the toilet. They’re also noticing what you do—and don’t—eat at the dinner table.
This means that as a parent if your kid sees you eating healthy, they’ll be more inclined to do so as well. They’ll also learn how to enjoy foods that they initially threw on the floor in disgust. Experts say that it can take up to 12 tries for a child to develop a taste for certain foods, and suggest that parents should encourage their kids to eat a single bite of a food they’re resisting, and then to try it again a week later. Eventually a taste should develop and you’ll have a lifelong broccoli eater on your hands!
Setting your kids up for a successful, happy, healthy future can be stressful, but it can also be fun. There’s lots of room to get creative and discover your own ways to eat healthy as a family. In the journey to better nutrition it’s important to remember the core guidelines: eating lots of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and proteins and avoiding added sugar and highly processed foods.
It’s also important to personalize your food choices to your kids’ specific needs. Every body is a little bit different, and finding a specialized balance can be difficult. That’s why BeDoWell.Life offers gutChek for Kids: a food sensitivity test that can identify which foods are a good fit, or a bad one, for your child. Those who have used our test for themselves, their children, their pets and even their horses, report that they were able to identify which foods were causing bloating, inflammation and digestive issues, allowing them to formulate (with the help of our nutritionists) a plan to eat foods better suited for their unique DNA.
To find out more about gutChek, or to speak to one of our experts about your personal weight-loss or lifestyle goals, feel free to contact us at BeDoWell.Life anytime.
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