Healthy Eating for Children

Be creative with preparing healthy foods and snacks for your children.

Nutrition is vital for everybody, especially children. It’s significant that children be trained to practice eating healthy when they are still small. Good eating habits are one of the most important steps toward a life of good health. Eating well increases your child’s chance to do well in school, as well as improving concentration and behavior.

Here are some healthy eating guidelines for children:

Vegetables and Fruits

Two or more servings each day of each. These may be given as snacks such as apple slices or carrot slices. You can get creative in how you introduce these very important foods. Adding some peanut butter to an apple slice or some cheese can make it more appealing to your child. Use your imagination and stick with unprocessed, wholesome versions!

Whole grains

Your child should consume about four servings daily of whole grains. This can include buckwheat pancakes or toasted ultigrain bread for breakfast, brown rice with veggies or a sandwich with whole wheat or whole grain bread for lunch with other whole grains such as millet or quinoa as part of dinner.

Protein

Two servings per day is sufficient. Encourage your kids to try a variety of foods in this category, like various beans and nuts. Fruits and vegetables also contain protein. Soy can be a great source of protein but always choose the non-GMO variaties. The more a food is processed and modified, the less nutritious it is going to be.

TAKE NOTE: Nuts, while an excellent source of protein is not a good choice for children under five years due to choking hazard.

Minerals and Vitamins

Consult your pediatrician doctor to make sure your child’s diet is adequate in nutritional requirements recommended for their age group.

Here is some advise for a nutritious and healthy eating plan:

  • Sit down for normal family meals. Dinner should be served at just about the same time each night and it is an opportunity for the whole family to sit together and bond. It is a comforting time that provides an excellent opportunity for your children to share what is on their minds. Also, breakfast is one more good time for a healthy meal, particularly because children who eat breakfast are likely to do well in school.
  • Prepare more food at home. Eating foods that are home-cooked are healthier for the family. They are also a good opportunity to get your children involved in preparing healthy meals. Many foods served in restaurants tend to be higher in sugar, fat and salt.
  • Let the children participate. Children like to help adults in the grocery store especially in choosing what is packed in their lunch boxes and dinner preparation. It’s also an opportunity for you to train them on the nutritional values of various foods and teach them how to read food labels.
  • Keep healthy foods available and have the pantry free from empty-calorie snacks. Store plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grain snacks plus healthy beverages around. Make it easy for children to become accustomed to looking for healthy snacks when they are hungry.
  • Allow them to choose. To build a healthy relationship with food for your children, do not battle or force your child to clean their plate, and never use food as a reward.

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