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Human Development - Initiating Healthy Eating for Life

Essay by review  •  December 18, 2010  •  Essay  •  826 Words (4 Pages)  •  568 Views

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Human Development

Initiating Healthy Eating For Life

Parents always want what is best for their children. They strive to provide for them, teach them, and to watch them grow into healthy, loving individuals. Despite this many parents continue to foster a habit that may prevent the goal of good health, unhealthy eating. Americans today consume too much fat, sugar, and food in general and its shows; rates of obesity and weight/diet related diseases such as diabetes are extremely high. In order to slow and eventually put a stop to this trend parents need to not only be aware and informed, but also need to take action and institute healthy eating habits from the very beginning.

Americans eat entirely too much. And the foods we are consuming are not at all healthy, they contain excessive amounts of salt, sugar, saturated fat, carbohydrates, etc. This over eating is not only a severe problem in the adult population but also in America's children as well. Results from a study performed by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that 1 to 2 year olds get 30 percent more of the 950 calories they require a day. It has also been found that another contributing factor to most children's bad eating habits is the fact that they either rarely or never consume vegetables and fruit. Besides the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables children are consuming large amounts of sugar. Wether it be in candy or desserts, soda or sugary fruit juices children are beginning to consume these at very early ages. Results from another study performed by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that infants are drinking soda out of baby bottles as early as 7 months of age. In response to these disturbing facts Parents magazine published the preceding article. It outlines 10 steps that can be taken to

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initiate healthy eating into your child's habits from the very beginning.

A child's eating habits begin with the mother. Taste researcher Julie Mennella, PhD states "We're finding that foods eaten during pregnancy and lactation can influence a baby's willingness to accept those foods later." A mothers influence on eating does not end with lactation, she should continue to model healthy eating. Mothers should make it a point to not allow their children to consume soda or overly sugary fruit drinks, instead offer water and more importantly milk. Milk provides young children with the essential vitamins and minerals they need in order to grow and maintain strong healthy bones.

Food influence begins early and at about 6 months of age most infants are ready to try solid foods. At this time children should be exposed to a wide variety of foods, this will make them more likely to accept and enjoy them later on. Along with supplying many different kinds of foods parents should also make it a point to discuss foods, both healthy and unhealthy. Educating children early will help them make smart food choices on their own.

When it comes to actual meals parents are encouraged

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