Why Is Healthy Eating Important for Children?

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A healthy lifestyle begins with a proper diet. Healthy eating is important for the proper formation of bones, teeth, muscle and a healthy heart. Diet can affect growth and development in small children as well as teens. Childhood obesity is on the rise, and by promoting a healthy diet, children can maintain a healthy weight and stay healthy as they grow into young adults.

Calcium

  • A study done by the Children's Nutrition Research Center suggests that a lack of calcium can result in low bone strength. Weak bone strength and low levels of calcium can lead to osteoporosis in later years (see Resources).

Iron

  • A lack of iron can have serious effects on a child's body. Iron deficiency can lead to being constantly tired or weak, irritable, lack an appetite and more.

Breakfast

  • Breakfast is a great way to start the day for a child. Most cereals are bolstered with extra vitamins and minerals for a well-balanced meal. Kids who eat breakfast have more energy and do better in school.

Misconceptions

  • Certain foods believed to be bad for you are actually good. The potato is rich in fiber, high in vitamin C and only has about 110 calories (see Resources).

Vegetables

  • Vegetables contain important nutrients known as antioxidants. Dr. C.Y. Lee of Cornell University did a study of red cabbage and found that cabbages were very high in antioxidants. This can reduce the risk of cancer (see Resources).

Fun Facts

  • Healthy foods can be fun foods, too. Flavored milks are just as healthy as white milk, and contain calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and potassium.
    Homemade pizza can include veggies, cheese, and healthy meat like chicken or turkey. Flavored yogurts make great dipping sauces.

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