Baby feeding

Healthy Eating for Kids | What Does Your Child Need? (Updated)

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Feeding time of your little kid can both be fun or rough depending on how you handle the entire situation. Little kids do not understand the need for minerals or fibers; they eat whatever tastes good. Hey, you don’t have to take my word for it. Give them a chocolate bar, and they will be content having it for lunch. For this reason, it falls upon you as parents to make sure that he gets all the nutrients he needs. Setting up a healthy eating plan for your kid is an essential step that you need to master on your way to becoming a great parent.

Essential Nutrients for Your Child

A healthy and balanced diet means that the kid gets all the nutrients he needs for his body to grow properly. The following list should help you understand the minerals your child needs, and you can plan his diet accordingly.

Proteins

Proteins help in the development of the body and the brain. For this reason, you need to make sure that your child gets a sufficient amount of protein in his diet. Protein is one of the essential nutrients for developing virtually every part of a child’s body.

Meat, fish, and eggs are primary sources of protein that you must introduce to your kid’s diet. On top of that, nuts and dairy products also help in providing protein. Our body requires 22 different amino acids to make all the proteins necessary for healthy growth. Make eggs, yogurt, cheese, and milk the part of your child’s diet so that your kid may get these critical amino acids.

Calcium

Calcium helps develop the bones and teeth of your child. To help with a healthy development; you need to introduce him to calcium as early as possible. Make your child eat dairy products to have their meals filled with calcium that helps your child to have stronger bones and teeth.

Most people are conscious of calcium’s role in the development of stable bone fragments, but this mineral is crucial for other physical functions too. It also helps to regulate muscle movement and pulse rate. Dairy products like milk, natural yogurt, and cheese are rich in calcium mineral.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are one of the vital sources of energy production in the human body. A child’s body has higher metabolism compared to an adult. For this reason, a high amount of carbohydrates is essential for a healthy diet. Make sure that enough carbs become part of your child’s daily food.

Let your child eat wholegrain bread and pasta, which act as a source of carbohydrates. However, children having lesser than one year of age may not be able to digest the whole grain form of carbohydrates. Foods containing high levels of carbohydrates are bread, crackers, rice, potatoes, etc.

Iron

Iron helps distribute oxygen throughout the body using blood cells. A healthy diet should contain a sufficient amount of iron since it plays a vital role in early brain growth and the ability to produce red blood cells.

Excellent nutritional resources of iron include various seafood, meat, legumes, and spinach. Some food providers add non-Heme iron to grain, bread, rice, and cereal. Red meats and livers are also a good source of iron.

Fiber

Fiber is a vital nutrient that regulates the bowel movement in your child. Furthermore, it strengthens your heart and reduces the risk of cancer as the kid grows older.

Many kids do not get enough fibers in the diet. Meals like beans, fruits, vegetables, and wholegrain contain considerable amounts of fibers in addition to vitamins and minerals.

Other Vitamins

Vitamin B improves metabolism and develops a healthy heart and nervous system in your body. One of the vital vitamin B is B12. It mostly comes from meat-based foods and eggs.

Vitamin D works in tandem with calcium and builds strong and healthy bone. Your kid can get vitamin D from fishes and milk.

Vitamin E improves the immune system and protects against diseases. It further enhances the blood vessels, maintaining healthy blood flow. Vegetable oils are a good source of vitamin E.

How to Develop the Habits of Healthy Eating For Kids

Little kids often get fussy when it comes to eating healthy. That is why parents sometimes have to force-feed them, which is not a very long term solution. The child will never develop the habit of healthy food unless they are adequately groomed. Use these minor tricks to involve your child in healthy eating activities:

Kids always try to be like grown-ups, and they love to imitate. So, if you are a healthy food lover or at least try to eat healthy food in front of your kids, they will definitely develop the same eating habits.

Make eating a fun activity. Try to make the food look pleasant to attract the kids. Cut the fruits and vegetables in different shapes so that it may be fun for kids to have them.

Make sure your kid always have breakfast. Give exciting food options that are rich in minerals to kids for breakfast so that they may develop the love of having the morning meal.

Don’t argue and fight with your kids on the meal table. Let them eat in peace, or they will associate the stress and tension with eating. Healthy eating for kids requires that they have a comfortable eating atmosphere. And you scolding them will not help in the long run.

All you need to do is to convert the healthy and nutritious food into something that looks and tastes good. You definitely need to put some effort into doing this, if you want to instill the habits of healthy eating for kids. Make sure that you start involving your kids in healthy eating activities during the early years of their lives.

Final Thoughts

As a parent, it is your responsibility to take care of your child’s eating habits. Make sure that the above mentioned essential nutrients are part of your kid’s daily food. Also, use those simple tricks described above to make eating healthy and enjoyable for your kids.

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