Find Out What Healthy Eating In Children Requires
Every parent has had to learn that healthy eating in children can be tricky. Children’s nutrition is super important due to their bodies growing so quickly and more importantly for proper brain development.
Families decide which healthy food and snacks to introduce to their children when weaning begins. It is important for children’s nutrition that their diet is rich in these essential components to promote strong growth.
It is important to start this healthy eating plan early as you want your children to get accustomed to good nutritios food. Giving your children a well balanced meal should be a top priority for every parent.
Having you children eat different foods from all different food groups give enormous benefits to your children’s overall nutrition, growth and well being. Hence, you should get creative with different foods to encourage healthy eating habits in your children.
It is also important to note that encouraging healthy eating in children can prevent numerous illnesses such as heart disease, bipolar disorder, diabetes and obesity. We know from lots of research that child eating patterns can affect lifelong eating pattterns.
Parents should limit their children’s intake of junk foods, ingesting food high in sugar and drinking soda or juice. Try and displace these unhealthy eating habits with water, milk, healthy smoothies made from fresh fruit and home cooked food.
What Does Healthy Eating In Children Mean
Healthy eating in children means providing them the essential nutrients needed for their physical growth and mental development.
In other words, it is encouraging children to eat well balanced meals daily. This should include breakfast, lunch and dinner time plus any snacks taken throughout the day.
A well balanced meal contains all the various food groups in suitable quantities needed for proper growth. Children need a daily diet that contains vegetables, fruit, protein, carbohydrates and some healthy fats for complete nutrition.
Vegetables Form The Base Of Children’s Nutrition
Vegetbale should form the staple of any child’s diet and they great thing is that there are numerous colorful vegetables to choose from. Be it green, orange, red, yellow or purple these yummy veggies are a daily essential and should form the basis of your children’s menu.
Vegetables supply the body with a variety of vitamins and nutrients that are vital for chilrens growth and development. For proper children’s nutrition a healthy daily diet will mean ingesting a good deal of a variety of vegetables.
One way to encourage children to eat their vegetables is to ensure they see you eat them daily as well. Children often learn by mimicking their parents so it is important to set them a good example.
You can incorporate vegetables into a child’s diet in a variety of ways such as pureeing or grating and making soups or sauces with them.
Another way to promote healthy eating habit in children by cutting colorful vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Even try cutting them in different shapes to make it a bit more fun and exciting to eat. Then serve with yummy dips like hummus or beetroot on a tray or plate for easy selection. This can be a great way to get younger children eating their veggies as they become familiar with different tastes and textures.
Remember that the quantity of vegetables a child needs daily will depend largely on their age.
Protein Is An Important Building Block For Healthy Eating In Children
Protein provides the essential building blocks for good cell and muscle development and is vital in children’s nutrition. It also helps mend any damaged tissue in the body – which is very important in active kids who are running around all the time.
Healthy food rich in protein include eggs, sea food, beans, meat, poultry, fish, nuts and dairy products. Good eating habits in children mean they require their diet to include all of these protein sources as each is slightly different. Obviously, you don’t have them all at every meal and using different products keeps variety in kids diets.
Protein contains sulfuric acid which children need for their overall growth and physical development. Encourage children to eat enough protein daily by serving them a sizeable portion of food rich in this essential nutrient.
Proper Children’s Nutrition Needs Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a great source of energy and we know that kids need a lot of that. Like all other essential nutrients an adequate portion should be given to children daily to foster robust growth.
Many may argue that eating this type of food can cause weight gain but I beg to differ. Healthy eating in children requires this food group but in smaller amounts than vegetables and protein and from a healthier source then things like white bread and pasta.
Carbohydrates are found in a lot of the food we eat daily such as fruits which contain fruit sugar or fructose. Dairy products also contain an amount of carbohydrates known as milk sugar or lactose. Cereals and bread contain starch. So you see, most of the food we eat daily has a percentage of carbohydrates in them.
The body converts carbohydrate into blood sugars also known as glucose. Glucose is required in all cells, tissues and organs of the body for fuel. Hence, carbohydrates are healthy essentials to be included daily in children’s nutritional diet.
Foods high in carbohydrates include grain crops such as wheat, rice and oats and tuber crops such as potatoes and sweet potatoes. They are also found in smaller quantities in fruits, vegetables and dairy products.
Children’s Healthy Eating Habits Include Fruits
Good children’s nutrition should include fruit in their diet daily. Fruits contain plenty of vitamins and minerals not found in other food types.
Eating the right amount of fruit helps children and adults with regular bowel movements, important in children’s nutrition.
Just like vegetables, fruits are found in a wide variety of colors which makes them appealing. Think bright yellows, reds, oranges, purples, blues, greens, and just about any other color you can think of! Also, being high in sugar kids love their taste and are easy to include in healthy eating in children.
Make a fruit platter for afternoon tea with a variety of colors to tempt their taste buds. Add some natural yogurt to include protein and carbohydrates.
Try also to make a healthy treat for your kids out of a banana.
Healthy Fats Are Good For Children’s Nutrition
Fats in food are essential for healthy growth and development in children.
Healthy fatty foods contain unsaturated fats which should be included in healthy eating in children. These are made up of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and are needed for brain and nervous system development.
Fats are required for the gut to digest vitamins A, D, E and K. Without some fat in the diet it may be difficult for the body to incorporate these.
Foods rich in unsaturated fats include avocado oil and olive oil.
Saturated fats and trans-fats are often solid at room temperature and their intake should be strictly limited. Foods high in saturated fats include cheese, red beef, pork, lard, ice cream, yogurt, margarine and butter.
Most baked food such as cakes and pastries as well as fried foods contain high amounts of saturated fats. Eating too much of this type of food may contribute to weight gain and could lead to heart disease and stroke.
Healthy eating in children is practicable and easy to achieve with a little effort. Parents should resolve to teach their children healthy eating habits early by providing well-balanced meals and snacks.
Proper Children’s nutrition must include all the food groups in proper amounts. This will ensure your child’s growth and development will be the best it can be.
With an educational background Alana loves the science behind child development. Her passion is the way in which children learn and grow. After an accident that ended her career as a teacher she has dedicated herself to studying child development. She has been learning styles to help influence teachers with the needs of different children. She hopes to one day have a big impact in this space and we are so lucky to have her as part of our writing team. Alana is mum to 3 young adults and loves being a big part in their life.