The good news: Kids are eating healthier these days.
According to a large study published last year in JAMA, the proportion of kids eating a poor quality diet plummeted from 76.8% to 56.1%. Meantime, the proportion eating an intermediate quality diet jumped up from 23.2% to 43.7%.
And the proportion eating an ideal quality diet? That went up, too…which brings us to the not-so-good news. It rose from 0.07% to 0.25%.
Yes, less than 1% of American children regularly eat in a nutritionally sound way. But with so many adults eating less-than-ideal diets, as well – with bad food habits having increased through the pandemic – should we really be surprised? Children follow the models we give them.
Of course, considering that you’re reading this blog, chances are that you’re one of the exceptions to the rule – or try to be, and try to help your family eat healthfully, as well. Folks invested in holistic, natural health understand that eating right is the foundation for all other aspects of health, oral and systemic.
But kids also have ideas of their own. They can be picky, especially when it comes to food. They may gravitate toward “fun” but not exactly nutritious foods. They compare their meals with others and may think theirs are weird or wrong if they veer too far from what their friends eat.
That’s not to say you should give up hope.
Recently, we ran across a great video by a mom who does paleo eating herself but whose 19 tips can be extremely helpful for anyone wanting to encourage their kids to eat well, nudging them toward a diverse palate that doesn’t depend on hyper-processed products to satisfy. Check it out:
What are your best tips for helping kids’ learn to eat healthfully? Share your ideas and experience in the comments!