Kelsey Redman: Healthy eating as a child can build lifelong habit

By Kelsey Redman

Ferris State University early education major

Eating a healthy diet has its benefits in life. Starting a healthy lifestyle during childhood can have long-term advantages (American Psychological Association, 2017), but first we need to define what healthy eating means. Healthy eating is defined as incorporating different food groups into each meal. Take the “MyPlate” for example. This was an initiative by former First Lady Michelle Obama, which sought to simplify healthy eating by presenting a dinner plate divided into four different pieces with fruits and vegetables comprising half of the plate and grains and proteins comprising the other half (KidsHealth, 2017). This is a great tool to help educate families on how to eat healthy.

Eating healthy has its advantages. Eating foods that contain vitamins, minerals and protein will provide the nutrients necessary for growth and development and ultimately provide children with a strong healthy body. Eating healthy is also linked to children’s brain development.

According to Marc Goodman-Bryan with The Urban Child Institute, “Children who eat a healthy diet also receive direct brain developmental benefits” (Livestrong, 2017).

Children who are not receiving their adequate intake of iodine and iron are more likely to experience both cognitive delays as well as motor development delays so it is crucial to make sure children are getting a well-balanced diet in their life.

Children who eat healthier can also reduce future health problems. Healthy foods can help reduce the number of cavities children are getting, and can stop chronic health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and cancer. Starting life out eating healthy in early childhood is a huge advantage and in the end, will lead to a healthy outcome in adulthood.

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