Many children and families today have busy schedules. These make it hard to sit down to homemade, nutritious meals every day. Nutrition for kids is built on the same foundation as nutrition for adults. Humans need the same nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Children, however, need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages.
Every parent has heard that children should be eating a “balanced diet.” But a balance of what? What’s the best theorem to stoke your child’s growth and development?
Consider these few means for a nutrient-dense day:
Breakfast is a big deal!
Eating a balanced breakfast with protein is an excellent way for your child to start their day. Protein can help them stay fuller longer. It can even help teenagers lose weight.
- Whole-grain burgers with fresh tomatoes and lettuce
- Greek yogurt.
- Peanut butter on whole-wheat bread toast
- Unsalted organic nuts and seeds
Sugar occurs naturally in many foods. These include fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products. We get all the sugar we need from these foods.
At best, all this added sugar adds empty calories to our diets. At worst, it can contribute to hyperactivity, mood disorders, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Here are some hints for reducing the amount of sugar in your and your children’s diets.
- Don’t halt desserts – ‘No means no!’ won’t work with the kids. When they do not have a sweet treat, they tend to overindulge. Just make doughnuts or cake a special treat instead of a regular part of their diet.
- Remodel recipes – Many recipes taste just as good with less sugar added. Try lessening sugar by half, use organic sugar, or replace it with jaggery and see how it comes out.
- Avoid sugary drinks – Cutting out sodas and juices is an easy way to decrease sugar intake. Try chemical-free coolers instead.
- Eat more fruit – Fruits have plenty of natural sugar. Serve more to satisfy their sugar cravings.
The Good Kind of Fat
Healthy fats are a crucial part of our diet. They help us get and stay full. They also benefit our brains, improving memory and lifting mood.
Healthy fats are unsaturated fats. These can be:
- Monounsaturated– olive oil, avocados, nuts (almonds or pecans), and seeds (pumpkin or sesame)
- Polyunsaturated– flaxseed, walnuts, or omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as salmon or sardines
Fruits and vegetables, the best edibles
First things first- to make your child like those fresh, colorful, chemical-free fruits and veggies, you must get rid of unhealthy sweet-salty snacks. Your child might want a salty snack, such as potato chips. But if there aren’t any in the house, they will be more likely to enjoy carrots with much-flavored organic hummus.
After that, try some of these ideas:
- Take kid’s pick- When you’re shopping, let your child choose what product sounds good to them. They know what they are more likely to want to eat.
- Hide & Seek with the veggies- Tearing veggies and adding them is easy to get in other foods. You can shred or grate veggies such as zucchini or carrots into stews, spaghetti sauce, or you can bake them in muffins or bread.
Adequate intake of food and regular nutrition habits are the deciding factors for maintaining general health status in children.