7 Popular Myths About Kids' Food Debunked
Experts weigh in to clarify what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to kids' food! Learn more here!
Everyone's got to eat, right? It's as simple as that. Your kids, obviously, have to eat just like everyone else, but sometimes it's not that easy. Kids can be pretty picky eaters. Not to mention there are about a million different news outlets that purport a new story about how this is bad for your kids, or this is good for your kids; it's a bit much to keep up with at times.
Along with those newly established ideas about your kids' food are some more long-standing ideas. However, most of these concepts are nothing more than myths. Today, we'll be looking at some of those myths and debunking them using the wise words of medical and nutritional experts!
Check out the list of these popular myths about kids' food:
1. Your kids shouldn't be eating soy
"Soy is healthy, a complete vegetarian protein source, and widely consumed by all ages in some traditional diets," says Maggie Moon, RD, a dietitian in Los Angeles. In fact, as long as they eat things like tofu, edamame, and soy milk in moderation it can actually be rather beneficial. In girls, soy may even reduce risk of breast cancer.
2. You should cater to your picky eaters
Regan Jones, RD, co-founder of the food-blog photo-sharing site Healthy Aperture says that fostering your kid's picky eating habits can do more harm than good. A better strategy is to mix it up a bit and introduce new meals and dishes as frequently as possible. your kids will eventually find something new that they'll like if you're offering new and exciting dishes. Don't let them fall into the habit of eating the same thing over and over. It's a mentality that puts credence into this myth!
3. Hide their veggies in their meal
Let's be honest: hiding veggies and healthier foods in your kid's meal is deceitful, albeit, for good reasons. Though, it's practically lying and tricking your children. In fact, it's doing more than that because you;re depriving them of the knowledge that vegetables are beneficial and important. It'll take more time to nurture their craving for veggies, but it;s well worth the effort. Don't cheat your kids of a healthy habit. Let them know that veggies are important. Also, try to prepare the veggies in a way that will entice them to eat them.
4. Your child's food needs to be "kid-friendly"
Despite the fact that there are countless food options that are labeled as "kid-friendly", there's really no difference. Sure, it's fun for them to eat certain foods that are more kid oriented from time to time, but not every meal has to be shaped like dinosaurs or the alphabet. "Suggesting that 'kid-friendly' recipes have to be things like cookies and mac 'n' cheese perpetuates picky eating and ultimately limits kids' palates," says Diana Rice, RD, staff dietitian with the non-profit public health campaign The Kids Cook Monday. Alternatively, you should prepare meals that the whole family can eat and enjoy together.
5. Your baby should be eating bland foods
"An emerging area of research is showing that infancy is the time that children are most open to accepting new flavors," says Rice. "Exposing them to the bold flavors we find in so many healthy foods—such as bitter green vegetables, garlic, and fish—can help them develop preferences for these foods later in life."
Obviously, babies nutrition should primarily come from breastfeeding. But, if your baby doesn't have any food allergies or health issues, experimenting with tasty foods is never a bad idea!
6. Your kids should be snacking frequently
Everyone needs a snack every now and then, but do kids really need to be frequent snackers? "For kids snacking, it goes back to developing healthy habits that will benefit them later in life," says Rice. "Do adults need snacks in between every single meal? No, and that habit likely contributes to excess caloric intake. Kids will do fine on three round meals and maybe one healthy snack per day."
A snack every now and then is perfectly fine, but don't start the habit of constant snacking and developing improper eating habits in your kids at an early age.
7. Your kids should drink juice every day
Not quite. Juice is actually not as healthy as you'd think. The better strategy is to just serve the whole fruit. Check this out: per 95 calories, a medium apple contains 4.4 g of fibre and 19 g of sugar, while a cup of juice has 114 calories, 0.5 g of fibre, and 24 g of sugar. In other words, if you serve the fruit instead of the juice, your kids will be getting more healthy fibres and less calories, too!
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