Can Feeding Your Child Too Much Healthy Food Be Dangerous?
What We Think is Healthy
Additional fiber, less calories, and half the fat are phrases we see on almost every food label. When we see this on food labels we automatically think it is healthier and buy it over other products, which may be in fact healthier. Many adults have gone full vegetarian or use low carbohydrate guidelines which make them follow a diet that cuts out several food groups. Many adults try to eat healthy by restricting themselves from many food types or cut them out completely. Most of these food groups are the ones that are beneficial to a child's growth and development. So is subjecting your child to these so called "healthy" foods and diets really dangerous to their health?
What Our Children's Diet Needs
Your child's body needs specific nutrients in their diet so they can develop properly. Each nutrient serves a purpose in a child's physical and mental development. The fat in food is used for nerve development. Muscle and bone growth requires protein. Children need carbohydrates to fuel their brain and give their body energy.
So What is So Dangerous??
There are many reasons why restricting your child's diet is dangerous. The more obvious reason is hindering their physical development. If not carefully thought out and planned, a vegetarian diet or low carbohydrate diet may not provide several nutrients such as protein, calcium, iron and B-vitamins.
Another reason why this dangerous is because it can cause your child to have mental and emotional problems towards food. By teaching your child that certain foods are so-called "bad", they may look at people around them as "bad" for eating these foods. There are several food disorders, for example, orthorexia nervosa. A person with orthorexia takes eating healthy to an extreme and usually tries to push it onto others, such as their kids. A parent will pass this disorder onto their child when constantly obsessing over their diet and making their children do the same.
Also, a child may become rebellious. They may start to sneak food that they see other people around them eat and enjoy because it is not allowed at home. This later can lead a child to have weight issues or even resentment towards their parents.
An Overall "Healthy" Answer
Teaching your child about all types can lead them to an overall healthier way of eating. Let them know that there is not bad food, just good food and good food that can help them grow. Parents should not take away the delicious snacks that most kids love but just know how to give them in moderation. Kids love sugar naturally and cutting it out of a child's diet completely is not necessary. All foods can be enjoyed when using a little logic and reasoning. So giving your child the proper nutrition they need using all the major food groups along side a chocolate chip cookie is fine.
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