Welcome to Tidewater Family’s annual children’s health issue. In our pages this month, you’ll find articles devoted to eating well and being active. To me these are the two cornerstones of raising healthy children.
Let’s start with food. I’m sure you’ve heard the famous saying by Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” He was right, you know. Eating healthy food—not processed, fatty, or sweet—is the easiest path to a healthy life for you and your kids. I’m not saying you can’t have a pizza night or indulge in fried chicken on occasion. But dinners like these should be the exception, not the rule.
Kids love sweets, too. For that matter, so do grown-ups. But too much candy or too many sweetened beverages mean your child is ingesting empty calories. When empty calories replace nutrient-dense food, it means your child is likely not getting the vitamins and minerals he or she needs from real food.
But what if you goofed and let your child develop some bad eating habits. Maybe you have a few yourself. How do you change bad habits? Just as the author of the “Clean Eating for Kids” article says, you have to take it slowly. Add healthy food in small amounts, disguising it if you need to. For example, you can add grated carrots to spaghetti sauce and no one will even notice.
There are tons of kid-friendly recipes out there. Bring home cookbooks from the library and look over the recipes with your family. Together you can choose recipes for a tasty meal you all will enjoy. You can also look online for recipes. Or click here for a few dinner ideas that are packed with flavor and nutrients. Eating healthy should be fun, so grab the aprons and get cooking.
You’ll also find great ideas for outdoor family fun in this month’s issue. Whether it’s camping out under the stars, heading to a pumpkin patch, or simply taking a hike in the woods, October is a fabulous month for families.
And make sure when you’re outdoors spending time with your kids in nature, you’re not connected to your phone. Leave it at home. Sure, you might miss a few photo ops, but the feeling of being disconnected is worth way more. It’s a challenge to live in the moment these days. Teach your kids how.
Take the time to get away from the manmade world and connect with the earth on a visceral level. See. Hear. Feel. Smell. Taste the world we live in. Keeping our kids tuned in to the real world is another way to keep them healthy. Take a breath, turn off your phone, grab your favorite little person, pack some tasty sandwiches, and spend the day exploring nature.
It will be the best day ever. See you in the woods!