Getting your kids the proper nutrition to live a happy, healthy life may seem like a never-ending uphill battle. Despite your best efforts, kids pick and choose what they like to eat and more often than not, it’s what tastes good, not what is good for them. This can be incredibly frustrating and downright worrisome, especially in toddlerhood when it seems like the few bites your kids take won’t nourish a mouse! Join us as we explore some fun ways to encourage good nutrition to support eye health in your kids and teens.
Try a homemade trail mix.
The classic trail mix includes raisins, nuts, and chocolate, but a good homemade mix can include whatever you want and whatever your kids like. To support eye health, toss in some almonds, pistachios, or walnuts that are chock full of vitamin E and add some dried pineapple, mango, or papaya to the mix for some much-needed vitamin C — just be sure to avoid the ones with added sugar! Then, you can top the mix off with chocolate or yogurt covered raisins if the fruit and nut mix isn’t “treat” enough. For kids, skipping the salted nuts and sugary snacks is always a good idea.
Offer a fun veggie tray.
Vegetables help maintain ocular structural integrity and promote healthy eye function. Vegetables aren’t always the easiest to get kids to eat. But, offering snap peas, carrots, broccoli, and other hearty vegetables as snacks and at meals in a variety of ways helps support eye and overall health. Make a cool dill dip, hummus, or make fun vegetable creatures with toothpicks and a mix of veggies to encourage your kids to eat them. Try them raw or steamed until you find a way that is fun for your kids. And, just remember, that what your kids like or don’t like today will change tomorrow, so keep at it!
Make more eggs than waffles for breakfast.
Eggs are rich in vitamin-A and healthy protein that are essential to eye health and the growth and development of kids, especially teens. To encourage your kids to ditch the sugary goodness of pancakes and syrup, try a variety of egg recipes, including scrambled cheesy eggs (a classic) or breakfast casseroles. Or, for stubborn kids, opt for some high-protein pancakes by using eggs and milk in the mix, rather than water. Top with some delicious fresh berries for an eye-healthy breakfast your kids will devour.
Offer more water.
Proper hydration is essential to eye health and optimal vision. Dehydration can cause dry eyes and increase squinting and straining, leading to eye fatigue. Keep your kids hydrated with plenty of water instead of colas or sugary drinks. For kids or teens who refuse plain water, try flavoring the water or adding a little bit of 100% juice — added bonus if it’s citrus juice packed with vitamin C!
If you thought these ideas are a great way to improve your kids’ and teens’ nutrition, join us in part two of this two-part series when we tackle the tougher nutrients, including beef, fish, and leafy greens. For more eye health tips for kids, check out our online resources, and try our Blue Light Defender™ Kids vitamin chews today.