Usually, parents take a responsible approach to their kids’ food and nutrition, following all pediatricians’ recommendations. But the child grows up, and many parents start to feel more lightheaded about what, when, and how the child eats. They believe that the baby is already grown enough and does not need a special menu.
Toddler development, kindergarten, and school are a big burden for the child’s physical, psychological, and intellectual body. And children, more than ever, need to eat in such a way as to replenish all energy costs. Besides, proper, balanced nutrition is a guarantee of a child’s health, not only today but also in the future, when they become adults. It is no secret that many diseases of the gastrointestinal tract originate in childhood, when, due to chaotic nutrition, a child receives chronic gastritis from a young age.
How can you avoid these mistakes? How to learn beneficial food and nutrition facts? How to choose the right food and nutrition for kids? In this article, we will tell you everything about it.
Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Children
For the growth of a child’s body, a large amount of protein is needed, which is absorbed faster in the presence of complex carbohydrates. The percentage of fat in the diet should not be exceeded. In youth, fats are burned faster. But for the elements to go into growth and not into the fat, it is necessary to maintain a balance between these components.
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The most important elements found in food and nutrition for kids are:
It is found in meat, poultry, soy products, fish, beans, peas, eggs, cheese, milk, and other dairy products. It is the main substance necessary for the creation of new cells, including those that support muscles, blood, and the normal functioning of existing tissues.
Carbs are found in cereals, potatoes, corn, bread, and sugar. It is a source of energy. However, it is worth limiting simple carbohydrates and sugars to avoid excess weight. Give preference to whole grain bread and pasta, alternate between different cereals, add more fruits.
They are found in fatty fish, vegetable oils, butter, and meat. Fats provide the body with more calories per unit of weight than proteins and carbohydrates. It is the most important cell wall component; fats also provide the body with the acids it needs for many vital functions. Also, fats contain vitamins dissolved in them, such as A, D, E, K.
Besides, unsaturated fats are an important element of the brain and nerve tissue. It is not recommended to exclude them from the child’s food and nutrition program.
Fruits and vegetables are 70% water (necessary for children); they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Many fruits and vegetables contain selenium and folic acid, contributing to endorphins and serotonin production, substances responsible for a good mood. In the kids’ diet, vegetables and fruits should be present at least 250 grams per day.
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Retinol is found in liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, herbs, butter, and dairy. It is important for skin and mucosal cells; it enhances resistance to infections and improves the ability to see in the dark and color vision.
It is found in cauliflower, citrus fruits, mangoes, strawberries, and other fruits and vegetables. It is necessary for biochemical processes that create binding elements to hold cells together. These elements strengthen blood vessels, promote wound healing, increase the body’s resistance to infections, and also aids in the absorption of iron.
Theanine is a very important part of kid’s food, nutrition, and health. It is found in lean meat, nuts, and cereals. Vitamin B helps absorb carbohydrates and ensures the nervous system’s normal functioning, promoting a good appetite.
Riboflavin is found in the liver, milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese. It helps the body absorb calories, produce energy, maintain healthy skin and eye tissues, and full vision.
Nicotinic acid is found in the liver, meat, fish, peanuts, and cereals. It helps the body absorb calories and carbohydrates, promotes fat cells, aids digestion and appetite.
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It is found in milk and dairy products (including cheeses and yogurts), fish, greens. Calcium promotes the growth and strengthening of bones and teeth, stimulates blood clotting and normal functioning of the nervous system and muscles.
Iron is a beneficial part of food and nutrition. It is found in liver, fresh meat, dried beans and peas, and garlic. Iron is the most important hemoglobin component, red blood cells that supply oxygen to tissues and remove carbon dioxide from them. It is needed to prevent anemia and the fatigue carbon dioxide causes.
Tips for kids’ healthy eating habits
Now that we have figured out the kids’ diet and nutrition, let’s look at some tips to help you start with a healthy eating routine.
- Set up food and nutrition trends for all family members. Follow this schedule so that children do not get food on the go, do not snack often, but can wait for a full lunch or dinner. The next step is to turn family meals into an enjoyable and soulful ritual in the old fashioned way. Nutritionists state that the appearance of gastronomic culture affects the diet. Children at the family table are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and try new dishes. The moments of a friendly meal should become for the child, not a duty, but a source of positive emotions and pleasure, so leave quarrels and discussions outside the dining table.
- Eating well for children is often a psychological game of imitation of their parents. Set a good example of food and nutrition. Ensure that you always have healthy, tasty, and only properly cooked foods on your plate (reduce the presence of fried foods as much as possible, steam, bake or boil), so your children will take an example from you.
- Many parents know how easy it is to turn food into a “war and conflict” zone. All your efforts to ensure that proper nutrition in children becomes a habit will be in vain if you do not stop fighting over food. In this case, the best strategy is to minimize the presence of unhealthy food in the house, the one you want to limit. At the same time, get a “healthy fridge,” which allows the child to choose what they want to eat for dinner.
- Never bribe a child with food. For example, do not promise to buy or make a delicious dessert if the kid finishes the soup. In this way, you form the idea that the final sweet is the best food since it is given as a reward. Proper nutrition for children is too delicate, be patient.
- Respect your child’s appetites. If they don’t want to eat anymore, don’t force. Otherwise, they may associate meals with anxiety and frustration.
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As a rule, a person’s lifestyle and habits are formed in childhood. The parents’ task is to give the child the correct idea of high-quality and healthy food and nutrition. The culture of good nutrition is embedded in the family and helps the child throughout life. The main benefit of eating well is that it helps maintain health. Also, the proper choice of food improves the general well-being and the mood and, to a certain extent, your children’s character.
By following these simple tips, you can quickly develop the nutrition food and fitness plan for your child.
Please tell us your kid’s nutritional secrets. What do you think is most important in developing healthy eating habits for your child?
Author’s Bio: Kevin has been writing content for about 3 years. He really wants to share his experiences and advice with anyone who cares about health and fitness. He enjoys helping people achieve their fitness goals with simple instructions and overcoming any obstacles on the way.