The basics of child nutrition

Children need loads of nutrients to grow into healthy, strong adults. A balanced diets of protein, carbs and a selection of fruits and vegetables is the best route to take to ensure that your child’s growing body has enough reserves to get them through their day. Here are the basics of child nutrition.

Many nutritionists believe that kids who don’t have healthy diets as young children are likely to continue to make unhealthy choices as teens and adults.

According to Very Well Family, proper child nutrition should usually include eating three meals a day and two nutritious snacks, limiting high- sugar and high-fat foods, eating fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Children also need larger amounts of calcium than adults do. So stock up on yoghurts, cheese and milk.

This doesn’t mean that you need to be extra stressed about what your child is eating all the time. Having a growing child means feeling your way around which foods work for them, and what is manageable for your family.

We have broken the basics of child nutrition down into three categories; balance, budget and breakfast.

 

Balance

A much as we would like our kids to consume wholesome, whole grain or organic food all the time, it just isn’t a realistic goal. Your children will go to parties, share snacks with other kids at school or crèche and sometimes, will want to only eat the unhealthy, MSG filled treats and completely refuse your healthy meals. This is ok.

Getting kids to eat veggies also isn’t an easy task. So adding a little sugary reward at the end of the week, if they eat their veggies each day can be a lovely incentive to get them used to greens and carrots etc. See what system works best for you and your kid.

Budget

Expecting parents to buy healthy foods and nu6tritional supplements that may be beyond their means is unfair and unrealistic. Tailor your family’s meals to your budget and just try to make the best choices that you can afford.

Don’t feel pressured to buy organic or fresh fruits if you can only afford non-perishables like tinned peas and canned beans. Do your best, which is all you can do.

Breakfast

A hearty, healthy and nutrient-dense breakfast usually leaves very little need for very healthy food for the rest of the day. Now, that doesn’t mean your kid should be eating junk food every afternoon and night, but as busy parents, focus on making at least one meal very healthy; and breakfast is it.

Breakfast sets the tone for the rest of their school day. Kids who eat breakfast are proven to be more focused in class, and way more productive and happy.

Breakfast is an ideal opportunity to eat foods which are rich in B vitamins, folate, iron and fibre, Link HC advises.

Keep a supply of healthy whole grain cereals, nuts, fruit, and tins of baked beans or yoghurt (for example) in the house for your family to snack on.

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