Food is a basic human need that must be used by everyone because it is essential for growth and development. Human growth is an extensive process that takes a long time. Biologically, human beings transit from infancy, childhood, adulthood, and elderly stages. Each of these stages is important and should be properly handled. The purpose of this paper is to present a critical analysis of role of healthy food to the children and the strategies that can be applied by the parents to effectively maintain a nutritious, healthy and safe environment for the children.
The privilege of child-bearing comes with lots of responsibilities that should be properly executed. Apart from providing providing the children with shelter, clothing, and education, the parents should be ready to provide the children with a safe environment to live. A safe environment is a place where the children’s health is guaranteed. To achieve this, the children should be given a healthy diet. Provision of a healthy diet implies that the children are given means that contains a right amount of proteins, carbohydrates, mineral salts, and vitamins (Freeland-Graves & Nitzke, 2013). A healthy diet is important because it can benefit the children in many ways.
The first benefit of a healthy diet is that it can provide the children with the energy required for their growth and development. A healthy diet can provide the children with the adequate energy that they require because it contains carbohydrates and starch. Children, just like adults should be given energy-rich diet consisting of foods like rice and maize meal. When the children are given right proportions of carbohydrates, they get all the energy that is required to support life. When children have energy, they can be empowered to perform a wide range of activities in their day-to-day lives. It is this energy that can be used by the children to move around and engage in other physical activities that can also improve the quality of their lives.
The other benefit of a healthy diet is that it can provide the children with protection. Since a balanced diet contains vitamins, it is right to argue that the children who use it will benefit from all the protections that it offers. There are so many diseases that are related to nutrition. These include marasmus, scabies, kwashiorkor, and many more (Just & Price, 2013). These diseases which are of course linked to poor eating habits can be prevented if the children are provided with a food rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. each of these diseases is dangerous because it can negatively impair the life of a child. However, the most effective remedial measure to apply when dealing with these illnesses is to provide the children with a nutritious diet which contains all the required vitamins. The eradication of such illnesses can provide the children with an opportunity to grow up well and healthily.
Last, but not least, a healthy diet can enable the children to have a stable cognitive, physical and mental health. Apart from addressing the cases of nutritious diseases, a healthy diet can help the children to keep lifestyle diseases like obesity at bay. Childhood obesity is a condition that is caused by poor eating habits. However, the god news is that the condition can be prevented and managed if proper eating habits are adopted particularly if the parents refrain from feeding the children with sugar-rich fast and junk foods (Freeland-Graves & Nitzke, 2013). Better still; a healthy diet can help in enhancing the cognitive development of children. Research has proven that healthy eating can enable the children to improve their intelligence and academic performance. Therefore, the parents should not hesitate to provide the children with healthy diets. It means well for the general well-being of the children.
Parenting is not a simple task. It is a complex activity that requires a lot of preparations. The parents who are entrusted with the upbringing of children should therefore be provided with adequate education on how to provide their children with a healthy diet. The parents should be provided with training during antenatal and post natal care. At the same time, health promotional campaigns should be launched to sensitize the parents on how to care for the children. During such initiatives, the parents should be educated to adopt certain strategies.
Firstly, the parents should be informed that they should introduce and maintain a healthy eating habit in their children by only providing healthy foods to the children. The parents should not feed the children with fast foods because it can lead to lifestyle diseases. Instead, the parents should provide a balanced diet that is made up of the right proportions of fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
Secondly, the parents should not only introduce such healthy foods, but strive to encourage the children to use it as they grow up. Children should be taught, at an earlier age, that only fresh foods from the groceries and farmer’s stores should be used because it is good for their health (Just & Price, 2013). At the same time, the parents should actively involve children in the choice, preparation, and usage of healthy foods. When eating, the parents visit the shopping malls; they should introduce healthy foods to the children and teach them that it is the only food to use. If this is done, the children will grow up believing that it is only the fresh and healthy foods that should be eaten.
Apart from encouraging a healthy eating habit on the children, the parents should promote the physical fitness of the kids. A leaf should be borrowed from the Munch and Move program which advocates for children’s physical health. In the program, children are motivated to eat healthily and engage in physical activities. Therefore, the parents should do all these and come up with stringent guidelines to prevent their children from spending too much time watching the television (Freeland-Graves & Nitzke, 2013). This can enable the children to lead a healthy life.
Food is a very significant resource for everyone. Children should be introduced to healthy foods because it is good for their health. During childhood, children should be properly cared for. The parents should provide the children with essential needs such as food, shelter, clothing, education, and healthcare services. These are fundamental needs that can enable the children to grow well. For example, when it comes to food, the children should be provided with healthy food to enable them to lead a healthy life. To achieve this, the parents should use appropriate strategies that can enable the children to learn and get used to healthy eating habits.
Freeland-Graves, J.H. & Nitzke, S. (2013). Position of the academy of nutrition and dietetics:
total diet approach to healthy eating. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,
Just, D.R., & Price, J. (2013). Using incentives to encourage healthy eating in children. Journal
of Human resources, 48(4), 855-872.
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