Prayer To Have Healthy Children
Heartfelt Prayers for Women Who Want to Get Pregnant ⋆ She Blossoms
Are you searching for a miracle prayer for getting pregnant? This prayer for women who want to have a baby will soothe your soul, heart and spirit. Praying to get pregnant can be emotional because you want to a baby so much and your body just isn’t cooperating.
You may also be searching for help on how to pray for healing in your body, or even help with your marriage. So much in your heart, so many prayers for pregnancy and healing! And so few words.
These thoughts and prayers for pregnancy will help you stay focused on God’s love, light, and will for your life.
You will find a new sense of faith and – more importantly – connection with Jesus Christ.
In the Bible, Hannah’s prayer for pregnancy was answered in 1 Samuel 1. It’s important to know why her prayer for a baby was granted by God.
I’ll share the passage of Scripture here and explain what I recently learned about Hannah’s prayer for getting pregnant and having a baby.
You’ll find the help and hope you’re looking for – especially if you’ve been trying to conceive a baby for a long time.You may want to get pregnant more than you’ve ever wanted anything in your life. If you’re desperate to have a baby, your prayers may be more about your own wants and needs than accepting God’s will for your life.
This can be a dangerous place to be because you’ll be devastated if you don’t get pregnant quickly.
And what happens if you pray to get pregnant but you don’t have a baby? This is why it’s important to put God’s loving will for your life ahead of your own yearning to get pregnant.
Prayers for Women Who Want to Get Pregnant
Below is Hannah’s prayer for pregnancy and a healthy baby boy in 1 Samuel 1. I’ll explain what I learned about praying for a baby from a recent Tim Keller sermon podcast. Then, I’ll share a Centering Prayer for Pregnancy, which I originally posted eight years ago when I was praying for a baby.
Remember that prayer isn’t about getting what you want. Praying – even to get pregnant and have a baby – is about changing your heart and mind to align with God’s will for your life. No matter important it is to have a baby, you’ll have a more joyful and peaceful life if all you want is God’s best for you.
Prayer is about spending time with God so you get to know Him better. Praying for a baby isn’t just about getting pregnant; it’s about taking your relationship with Jesus to a deeper, more personal and healthy level. Praying is about learning how to be stable, secure, and peaceful no matter what happens in your life.
Hannah’s Prayer for a Pregnancy
On one occasion, Hannah got up after they ate and drank at Shiloh. The priest Eli was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s temple. Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears.
Making a vow, she pleaded, “Lord of Armies, if you will take notice of your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut.”
While she continued praying in the Lord’s presence, Eli watched her mouth. Hannah was praying silently, and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to be drunk? Get rid of your wine!”
“No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”Eli responded, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request you’ve made of him.” “May your servant find favor with you,” she replied. Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.
From 1 Samuel 1 – The Christian Standard Bible.
Why God granted Hannah’s prayer to get pregnant
Look at the parts that I bolded: Hannah didn’t just “give” her baby to God – she vowed to completely and totally set her son apart for a holy life. Then, Hannah became radiant, and she worshipped God — even before her prayers to get pregnant were answered!
Hannah didn’t worship God radiantly and fervently after she got pregnant. She was a woman after God’s own heart before she conceived her baby. She released her grip, she loosened her grasp, she let go of her desperate yearning to get pregnant. She prayed for a baby, but she didn’t make it the center of her life, her heart, and her worship.
Hannah loved God for who He is, not what He could give her.
It wasn’t that Hannah said the right things when she was praying for a baby, or that she recited a centering prayer for pregnancy that convinced God to open her womb! It was that she released her desperate grip to get pregnant. She let go of the neediness, the yearning, the clawing frenetic desire to have a baby.
Worship God for who He is when you pray for a baby
Praying to Get Pregnant
Praying for a baby can be a beautiful act of worship – if it comes from a heart that is completely submitted to God’s will for your life. When your spirit is open and accepting to whatever God has in store for you, you become free from the desperation that many women feel when they’re depressed because they can’t get pregnant.
It’s good to pray for a baby – God wants us to ask Him for the desires of our hearts! But, if you set your heart, mind and soul on having a baby, then you’re not open to God’s holy and perfect will for your life. Basing your happiness on a child is a mistake. God may still grant your prayer for a pregnancy, but your happiness will always be tied up with your kid. And that, my friend, will eventually break your heart.
“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” ~ Søren Kierkegaard.
Allow God to change your heart as you keep praying for a baby. Trust Him. Learn what it means to really, truly be open to whatever He has planned for your life and family. Learn how to worship God for who He is — even if you’re not pregnant. Even if you’ve been saying prayers for a pregnancy for years.
Below is the “centering prayer for pregnancy” that I originally shared eight years ago, when I was praying for a baby. Remember that it’s one way to pray for a baby, but it’s not a miracle prayer that guarantees you’ll get pregnant.
It’s important to trust God to prepare your body for pregnancy, and it’s also important to take care of your health! God gave us doctors, research studies, and brains to help us get and stay healthy. If you’re not taking good care of your body – or if your husband isn’t taking care of his fertility and sperm health – then you are delaying your chances of getting pregnant.
If you’re praying for a baby because you’re coping with fertility issues, you might also add a prayer for healing for your and your husband’s body. Always remember that prayer isn’t about getting the pregnancy you want…it’s about finding the strength, hope, and peace to live with what God allows into your life.
You’ll find Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: Natural Ways to Improve Your Fertility Now and into Your 40s helpful if you’re worried about your ability to conceive a baby or if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a long time.
Health and fertility expert Aimee Raupp has helped hundreds of women optimize their fertility and get pregnant, even after age 40.In this book she shares her complete program for improving your chances of conceiving and overcoming infertility, including the most effective complementary and lifestyle approaches and the latest nutritional advice.
Her remedies help you how to get in tune with your body, eat the best fertility-enhancing foods, and avoid environmental toxins to achieve a healthy and stress-free pregnancy.
Centering Prayer for Pregnancy
Centering prayer is an ancient meditative art that involves silencing your heart and mind. Take a deep breath, and allow God’s peace, love, joy and freedom to fill your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to descend upon you, to give you the peace that passes all understanding.
Centering prayer is a way to calm your mind and still your spirit, to instill your body with a sense of peace and health, and to create a heart of acceptance towards what God wills in your life.
These four steps will guide you through a centering prayer for pregnancy. Remember that your goal isn’t just to get pregnant. It’s to get closer to God, and to align your will with His will for you and your family.
1. Choose a sacred word or phrase that symbolizes your prayer for pregnancy
The focus of centering prayer is to consent to God’s presence and action within.
Choose a word or phrase that helps you remember that you are consenting to God’s work and power in your life – whether that means getting pregnant or not getting pregnant.
For instance, your sacred word could be “Trust” or “Hope” or “God’s will be done” or “Acceptance.” Note that it’s not necessarily “praying for a baby” or “increased fertility” or “conception”! The idea is to be open to what God has in store.
2. Find a comfortable position and quiet space when you pray for a baby
Where can you pray comfortably for 20 minutes? Try not to pray in a place where you’ll fall asleep or be distracted. Close your eyes and let go of everything happening within you – all your hopes and yearnings and wishes to be pregnant. Your prayer to get pregnant is meant to soothe your mind, heart, and spirit.
When you’re praying for a baby, be prepared for distractions, such as images, feelings, reflections, physical sensations, and unexpected thoughts…and use your sacred word to ease those distractions.
3. Use your sacred word in your pregnancy prayer
Whatever disruptive thoughts or emotions come to you, lay your sacred word over them. For example if you start to feel scared you’ll never get pregnant, repeat “Trust” or “Acceptance” until you feel calm and focused on God. If you keep frantically thinking about getting pregnant or what will happen if you don’t get pregnant, savor your sacred word: “Faith” or “God’s will be done.”
Practice saying these words and phrases at different times during the day. Worshipping God for who He is – not what He gives you – goes far beyond a set time of centering prayer for a pregnancy.
4. Rest in silence after you pray for a baby
Taking two or three minutes to transition from centering prayer to back to your everyday life. This helps set and cement your intimacy with God in your heart, mind, and soul. A huge and exciting benefit of learning how to pray for a baby is that it helps you feel peaceful, hopeful, faithful, and able to accept of whatever God allows into your life.
No prayer to get pregnant will guarantee you’ll conceive a baby, but prayer can may you spiritually, physically, and emotionally stronger to deal with whatever happens.
The purpose of pregnancy prayer is to give you peace, hope, and acceptance – whether or not you get pregnant. Knowing how to pray for a baby is important – and so is knowing when it’s time to get medical advice from fertility specialists.
Is it taking longer than a year to get pregnant? Read Find Out Why You Can’t Get Pregnant – 4 Fertility Checklists.
Help With Pregnancy Prayers
In Praying Through Your Pregnancy A Week-by-Week Guide, Jennifer Polimino Carolyn Warren share fresh spiritual insight for pregnancy.
Every chapter reveals what is happening with the baby’s development that week, starting with the very first moment of conception, when God begins the creation of either a boy or a girl.
You’ll learn how the confidence you place in God affects the healthy development of your precious growing baby, and how to reduce your own stress and anxiety by looking to the Lord. Jennifer shares excerpts from her pregnancy journal to encourage women to write their own thoughts and feelings about getting pregnant. Each chapter ends with a Mother’s Prayer and Scriptures for Meditation.
Say your prayers for a baby. Keep learning how to pray to get pregnant. Read books on healthy pregnancies, happy births, and smooth transitions to motherhood.
But stay focused on God, who created you and only wants the best for you.
No matter how long it takes to get pregnant and have a baby, be grateful for all the blessings God has already poured into your life through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
If you’re not good at saying your prayers, read 5 Ways to Talk to God When You Can’t Pray.
Prayer at birth
A believing woman knows well that without God's help she can not cope. Prayer does not leave her neither in the days of preparation for conception, nor during pregnancy, nor during childbirth.
Many may be challenged: but how to pray at birth for a woman giving birth? After all, you need to think about fights, attempts & hellip; Holy fathers teach that a person should pray every free minute. This applies to the woman in labor during labor.
Reading prayer calms, and its power invisibly helps at the most difficult moment.
You have to prepare for birth not only physically and mentally, but also spiritually.
What does it mean? A pregnant woman must visit the temple before the birth, be in the service, confess and receive the Holy Mysteries.
Regardless of how you “wear” your baby, childbirth can be unpredictable. And not always doctors can influence the outcome of delivery. God is merciful and all-powerful only.A few centuries ago, the mother was unable to rely on anyone except God. The midwife midwives did not start the pregnant woman without praying. In the corner before the icons burned a lamp, and all loved ones sincerely prayed.
Today, people rely heavily on doctors, and only in extreme cases they recall prayer. Few people now believe in miracles. But they happen. According to our faith, it will be for us.
There are many cases when prayer during childbirth performed miracles: severe labor pains subsided, who could not be relieved of the burden, were allowed, and even bleeding in childbirth stopped.
Whom to pray to?
For a long time, from generation to generation, a tradition is handed over at birth to pray before the icons of the Mother of God “In the Births of the Assistant”, “Infant Infant,” “Theodore”, “Healer”, “Skoroposlushnitsa” & hellip; And this is not a complete list, because there are many miraculous icons in the Orthodox Church. But the main thing is not before which icon to bow in prayer, the main thing is sincere prayer. Pray for a woman in childbirth should be close people. It is good for these days to order a prayer service in the church, read the akathists of the Mother of God and other saints.
First of all in all afflictions we turn to the Theotokos. She hears us and helps. By its purity and holiness, the Blessed Virgin bore the Son of God painlessly. After experiencing human difficulties, she understands each of us.
When giving birth, they also pray to Saint-Great Martyr Catherine, Xenia of Petersburg, Anastasia Usozrasreshitelnitsa.
With difficult births, pray to the righteous Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Zechariah and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Forerunner.
Both married couples were barren until they were old, but they did not lose faith and incessantly prayed until the Lord gave them a child.
Prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ
Lord Jesus Christ, our God, from the Ancestral Father, born to the Son before the age, and in the last days, by favor and cooperation Holy Spirit, I am born the Holy Virgin as a baby, and I will put it into the manger.
The Lord Himself, in the beginning, creating a man and wife conjug him, Give the command to them: Grow up, and multiply, and fill the earth; Have mercy on Thy great mercy Thy servant (name), preparing to give birth according to Thy commandment.Forgive her free and unwilling sins, grant her the power to safely be removed from her burden, keep this and the baby in health and prosperity, protect my angels and keep from the hostile actions of evil spirits, and from every evil thing.
Yako the Good and the Lover of mankind, and to You we send glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever and ever. Amen
Prayer for the Icon of the Mother of God “In the Birth of the Helper”
Prayer, Madonna of the Mother of God, tearful prayers of Your servants coming to you. We see in the holy icon in the womb that bears our Son and our God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you have painlessly given birth to Him, both of the sorrow of the weight of the weight and the infirmities of the sons and daughters of human beings.
It is warmer to the warmth of your purposeful image, and this love is tenderly tender, we pray to Thee, the all-merciful Lady: we are guilty of sinners condemned in the diseases of the motherland and feed our children in mercy, mercifully spare and compassionately intercede, but our babies, as well as their babies, and deliver bitter sorrow. Give them health and well-being, and power will grow by force because of the increase, and their nourishing ones will be filled with joy and consolation, for as the present and your present from the mouth of the baby and the sucking, the Lord will perform His praise. O Mother of the Son of God! Have mercy on the mothers of the sons of men, and on your feeble people: the diseases that have befallen us soon healed, the sorrows afflicted us and sorrowed, and do not despise the tears and sighs of your servants. Hear us in the day of trouble before the icon of your fellows, and on the day of joy and deliverance, accept the grateful praises of our hearts. Lift our supplications to the throne of your Son and our God, and be merciful to sin and our infirmity, and grant His mercy to His leading Name, as we, and our children, glorify Thee, the merciful Intercessor and faithful Hope of our race, for ever and ever .
Oh, Most Blessed Lady Lady of the Theotokos, leaving us in the earthly life! To whom I will raise my prayers, to whom I will bring tears and sighs, not to You, to all the faithful Consolation! With fear, faith, love, Mother of Belly, I pray: May the Lord instruct the people of the Orthodox for salvation, may He give us a child for You and Your Son for the sake of goodness, let us keep in purity of humility, in the hope of Christ of salvation, in the covers of thy grace, earthly consolation. Keep us under the mercy of Thy mercy, the Most Pure, praying for the birth of help, the libel of the wicked free, the grievous troubles, the misfortunes and deaths turn away. Give gracious insight, a spirit of contrition for sin, let us see all the height and purity of the doctrine given to us; keep us from perishing alienation. Yes vsi, gratefully glorifying your majesty, will be granted to the heavenly peace and with your beloved, with all the saints we will glorify in the Trinity of the One God: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer to the MostHoly Mother of God before Her Icon “Theodore”
Troparion, Tone 4: The Coming of Your Honor Icon, Bogotrokovice, happy day, God-protected city of Kostroma, ancient Israel to the covenant of the covenant , flows into the image of Your face and Your God, incarnate from You, and Your Mother to him, intercedently pardon to all under the shadow of Your shelter, the peace-loving people and the great mercy.
Kontakion 1: The rebellious Voevoda, the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Our Intercessor and the Christian Representation of the ungodly, the phenomenon of the marvelous Icon of Our joy to the Earth-giving Russia and all the faithful children of the Church enlightened, thanks to Zeus, the Theotokos, and pridepayusche your image of the Thorn, with a touch of the verb. Save, Mistress, and have mercy on Your servants, calling: Rejoice, Mother of God, Our Intercessor and Intercessor is our zealous.
Prayer: To whom I call, the Lady, to whom I will resort in my sorrow; to whom I will bring tears and sighs, if not to You, Queen of Heaven and earth: who will pluck me from the sins of sin and lawlessness, if not Thou, O Mother of Belly, Intercessor and refuge of the human race.Hear my groaning, comfort me and have mercy on my bitterness, protect me in troubles and misfortunes, save me from bitterness and sorrows, and all kinds of diseases and diseases, from the enemy visible and invisible, dying the hostility of those who are clinging to me, and I will be delivered from the calumny and malice of the human ; so from my own flesh of vile customs let me go. Take shelter of me under the mercy of Your mercy, may I restore peace and joy and purification from sins. Your Maternal intercession myself I entrust; wake me Mati and hope, cover, and help, and intercession, joy and consolation, and an ambulance in all the Helper. Oh, wonderful Mistress! Everyone flows to You, without Your help, He does not withdraw all the help; For this cause, and I unwillingly seek refuge with You, so I will be delivered from the sudden and fierce death, gnashing of dental and eternal torment. But in the Kingdom of Heaven, I will be pleased and to You in the emotion of the heart of the river: Rejoice, Mother of God, the Intercessor and Intercessor, our zealous, for ever and ever. Amen.
Oh, Glorious Mother of God, have mercy on me, Your servant, and come to my aid during my illnesses and dangers with which all the poor daughters of Eve are born. . Remember, O Blessed One in wives, with what joy and love You went hurriedly to a mountainous country to visit your Elisabeth akin during her pregnancy and what a marvelous visit was made by a blessed visit to Your mother and baby.
And from thy inexhaustible mercy grant me also, more afflicted than Thy servant, to be free from burdens; grant me this grace, that the child, now resting under my heart, came to life with a joyful vigilance, the holy baby John, worshiped the Divine Lord Savior, who, love for us, sinners, did not abhor himself and become an infant himself.
The unheeded joy with which the virgin Your heart was filled in the sight of the newborn Son and Lord, may please the tribulation that lies ahead of me among the diseases of birth. The life of the world, my Savior, born of you, may save me from death, which cuts off the life of many mothers at the time of resolution, and the fruit of my womb be counted among the elect of God.
Hear, O Most Holy Queen of Heaven, my humble entreaty, and look at me, poor sinner, with the eye of Thy grace; Do not be ashamed of my trust in Your great mercy and fall me.
Assistant of Christians, Healer of diseases, yes I will be comforted and I will experience on myself that You are the Mother of Mercy, and may I glorify thy grace, which has never rejected the prayers of the poor, and relieves all who call upon Thee in times of trouble and sickness. Amen.
It is not necessary to pray these prayers, standing in front of a certain icon. Pray “Our Father & hellip; “, Say Jesus' prayer, pray in your own words, asking for help in childbirth.
Remember, the salvation of a woman, according to God's providence, is in childbirth. Believe me, God will not leave us on the road to salvation!
Healthy Food for Kids – HelpGuide.org
Peer pressure and TV commercials for junk food can make getting your kids to eat well an uphill struggle. Factor in your own hectic schedule and it’s no wonder so many kids’ diets are built around convenience and takeout food.
But switching to a healthy diet can have a profound effect on children’s health, helping to stabilize their energy, sharpen their minds, and even out their moods. And it can be simpler and less time-consuming than you imagine.
With these tips, you can instill healthy eating habits without turning mealtimes into a battle zone and give your kids the best opportunity to grow into healthy, confident adults.
How does healthy food benefit kids?
Healthy eating can help children maintain a healthy weight, avoid certain health problems, stabilize their energy, and sharpen their minds.
A healthy diet can also have a profound effect on a child’s sense of mental and emotional wellbeing, helping to prevent conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and ADHD.
Eating well can support a child’s healthy growth and development into adulthood and may even play a role in lowering the risk of suicide in young people. If your child has already been diagnosed with a mental health problem, a healthy diet can help your child to manage the symptoms and regain control of their health.
It’s important to remember that your kids aren’t born with a craving for French fries and pizza and an aversion to broccoli and carrots. This conditioning happens over time as kids are exposed to more and more unhealthy food choices.However, it is possible to reprogram your children’s food cravings so that they crave healthier foods instead.
The sooner you introduce wholesome, nutritious choices into your kids’ diets, the easier they’ll be able to develop a healthy relationship with food that can last them a lifetime.
Encourage healthy eating habits
Whether they’re toddlers or in their teens, children develop a natural preference for the foods they enjoy the most. To encourage healthy eating habits, the challenge is to make nutritious choices appealing.
Focus on overall diet rather than specific foods. Kids should be eating more whole, minimally processed food—food that is as close to its natural form as possible—and less packaged and processed food.
Be a role model. The childhood impulse to imitate is strong so don’t ask your child to eat vegetables while you gorge on potato chips.
Disguise the taste of healthier foods. Add vegetables to a beef stew, for example, or mash carrots up with mashed potato, or add a sweet dip to slices of apple.
Cook more meals at home. Restaurant and takeout meals have more added sugar and unhealthy fat so cooking at home can have a huge impact on your kids’ health. If you make large batches, cooking just a few times can be enough to feed your family for the whole week.
Get kids involved in shopping for groceries and preparing meals. You can teach them about different foods and how to read food labels.
Make healthy snacks available. Keep plenty of fruit, vegetables, and healthy beverages (water, milk, pure fruit juice) on hand so kids avoid unhealthy snacks soda, chips, and cookies.
Limit portion sizes. Don’t insist your child cleans the plate, and never use food as a reward or bribe.
Make mealtimes about more than just healthy food
Making time to sit down as a family to eat a home-cooked meal not only sets a great example for kids about the importance of healthy food, it can bring a family together—even moody teenagers love to eat tasty, home-cooked meals!
Regular family meals provide comfort. Knowing the whole family will sit down to eat dinner (or breakfast) together at approximately the same time every day can be very comforting for kids and enhance appetite.
Family meals offer opportunity to catch up on your kids’ daily lives. Gathering the family around a table for a meal is an ideal opportunity to talk and listen to your kids without the distraction of TV, phones, or computers.
Social interaction is vital for your child. The simple act of talking to a parent over the dinner table about how they feel can play a big role in relieving stress and boosting your child’s mood and self-esteem. And it gives you chance to identify problems in your child’s life and deal with them early.
Mealtimes enable you to “teach by example.” Eating together lets your kids see you eating healthy food while keeping your portions in check and limiting junk food. Refrain from obsessive calorie counting or commenting on your own weight, though, so that your kids don’t adopt negative associations with food.
Mealtimes let you monitor your kids’ eating habits. This can be important for older kids and teens who spend a lot of time eating at school or friends’ houses.
If your teen’s choices are less than ideal, the best way to make changes is to emphasize short-term consequences of a poor diet, such as physical appearance or athletic ability. These are more important to teens than long-term health.
For example, “Calcium will help you grow taller.” “Iron will help you do better on tests.”
Limit sugar and refined carbs in your child’s diet
Simple or refined carbohydrates are sugars and refined grains that have been stripped of all bran, fiber, and nutrients—such as white bread, pizza dough, pasta, pastries, white flour, white rice, and many breakfast cereals.
They cause dangerous spikes in blood sugar and fluctuations in mood and energy. Complex carbs, on the other hand, are usually high in nutrients and fiber and are digested slowly, providing longer-lasting energy.
They include whole wheat or multigrain bread, high-fiber cereals, brown rice, beans, nuts, fruit, and non-starchy vegetables.
A child’s body gets all the sugar it needs from that naturally occurring in food. Added sugar just means a lot of empty calories that contribute to hyperactivity, mood disorders, and increase the risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even suicidal behaviors in teenagers.
How to cut down on sugar
The American Heart Association recommends that sugar intake for children is limited to 3 teaspoons (12 grams) a day.
A 12-ounce soda contains up to 10 teaspoons or 40g of added sugar, shakes and sweetened coffee drinks even more.
Large amounts of added sugar can also be hidden in foods such as bread, canned soups and vegetables, frozen dinners, and fast food. In fact, about 75% of packaged food in the U.S. contains added sugar.
Don’t ban sweets entirely. Having a no sweets rule is an invitation for cravings and overindulging when given the chance.
Give recipes a makeover. Many recipes taste just as good with less sugar.
Avoid sugary drinks. Instead, try adding a splash of fruit juice to sparkling water or blending whole milk with a banana or berries for a delicious smoothie.
Create your own popsicles and frozen treats. Freeze 100% fruit juice in an ice-cube tray with plastic spoons as popsicle handles. Or make frozen fruit kabobs using pineapple chunks, bananas, grapes, and berries.
Find healthier junk food alternatives
Fast food is typically high in sugar, unhealthy fat, and calories and low in nutrients. Still, junk food is tempting for kids, so instead of eliminating it entirely, try to cut back on the times your kids eat fast food and, on the times that they do, make the healthiest choices possible.
|Kid-friendly junk food alternatives|
|French fries||“Baked fries” grilled in the oven and salted lightly|
|Ice cream||Yogurt; sorbet; fresh fruit smoothies|
|Fried chicken||Baked or grilled chicken|
|Doughnuts or pastries||Bagels; English muffins; home baked goods with less sugar|
|Chocolate-chip cookies||Graham crackers, fig bars, vanilla wafers, fruit and caramel dip|
|Potato chips||Baked vegetable chips or, for older children, nuts|
Eating out with kids
Skip the fries. Instead, take along a bag of mini carrots, grapes, or other fruits and vegetables.
Watch portion size. Stick to the children’s menu or go for the smallest size. Order pizza by the slice—it will satisfy your child’s craving without tempting overindulgence.
Order the kid’s meal with substitutions. Children often love the kid’s meal more for the toys than the food. Ask to substitute healthier choices for the soda and fries.
Opt for chicken and vegetables in a sit-down restaurant, rather than a big plate of macaroni and cheese.
Be wise about sides. Sides that can quickly send calories soaring include fries, chips, rice, noodles, onion rings, and biscuits. Better bets are grilled vegetables, side salads, baked potato, corn on the cob, or apple slices.
Be smart about fat
Kids need healthy fats—and plenty of them—in their diet. Healthy fat helps kids fill up (and stay full), concentrate better, and improves their mood.
Monounsaturated fats, from olive oil, avocados, nuts ( almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans), and seeds (such as pumpkin, sesame).
Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines, or in flaxseed and walnuts.
Trans fats, are found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, and other processed foods made with “partially hydrogenated” vegetable oils (even if they claim to be trans-fat-free). No amount of trans fat is safe.
Encourage picky eaters to enjoy a wider variety of foods
Picky eaters are going through a normal developmental stage. Just as it takes numerous repetitions for advertising to convince an adult consumer to buy, it takes most children 8-10 presentations of a new food before they will openly accept it.
Instead of simply insisting your child eat a new food:
- Offer a new food only when your child is hungry; limit snacks throughout the day.
- Present only one new food at a time.
- Make it fun: cut the food into unusual shapes or create a food collage (broccoli florets for trees, cauliflower for clouds, yellow squash for a sun).
- Serve new foods with favorite foods to increase acceptance. Add vegetables to their favorite soup, for example.
- Have your child help prepare meals—they’ll be more willing to eat something they helped to make.
- Limit beverages and snacks, to avoid filling up between mealtimes.
Make fruit and vegetables more appealing
Whether picky eaters or not, kids don’t always want what’s healthy for them—especially fruit and vegetables. But there are ways to make them more enticing.
The first step is to limit access to unhealthy sweets and salty snacks. It’s much easier to convince your child that an apple with peanut butter is a treat if there are no cookies available. Here are some more tips for adding more fruits and veggies to your child’s diet:
Let your kids pick the produce. It can be fun for kids to see all the different kinds of fruits and veggies available, and to pick our new ones or old favorites to try.
Sneak vegetables into other foods. Add grated or shredded veggies to stews and sauces to make them blend in. Make cauliflower “mac” and cheese. Or bake some zucchini bread or carrot muffins.
Keep lots of fresh fruit and veggie snacks on hand. Make sure they’re already washed, cut up, and ready to go. Add yogurt, nut butter, or hummus for extra protein.
GMOS and pesticides: Keeping your kids safe
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are mainly engineered to make food crops resistant to pesticides. Since children’s brains and bodies are still developing, they are more sensitive to these toxins. Eating organic produce has been shown to reduce pesticide levels in kids, but tends to be more expensive. So how can you keep your kids safe if you’re on a budget?
- Feed your kids plenty of fruits and vegetables, whether they’re organic or conventionally grown—the benefits far outweigh the risks.
- When possible, go organic for fruits and vegetables that you don’t peel before eating, such as berries, lettuce, tomatoes and apples. Choose conventional produce for thick-skinned fruit and veggies oranges, bananas, and avocados.
- Explore local farmers’ markets for less expensive organic produce.
- Scrub conventionally grown produce with a brush. Washing won’t remove pesticides taken up by the roots and stem, but will remove pesticide residue.
- When buying meat, choose organic, grass-fed whenever possible–cheaper cuts of organic meat may be safer than prime cuts of industrially raised meat.
Don’t ignore weight problems
Children who are substantially overweight are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, poor self-esteem, and long-term health problems in adulthood.
Addressing weight problems in children requires a coordinated plan of physical activity and healthy nutrition.
The goal is to slow or halt weight gain (unless directed by your child’s doctor), thereby allowing your child to grow into their ideal weight.
Don’t fall into the low-fat trap. Because fat is so dense in calories, a little can go a long way in making kids feel full and keeping them feeling fuller for longer.
Eating a breakfast high in quality protein—from enriched cereal, yoghurt, milk, cheese, eggs, meat, or fish—can help overweight teenagers eat fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.
The benefits of lifelong exercise are abundant and regular exercise can even help motivate your kids to make healthy food choices.
- Play with your kids. Throw around a football; go cycling, skating, or swimming; take family walks and hikes.
- Help your kids find activities they enjoy by showing them different possibilities.
Authors: Jeanne Segal Ph.D., and Lawrence Robinson. Last updated: June 2019.