Healthy Food for Kids: An Overview

Making your child eat nutritious food can be an uphill battle. With the hectic schedules of working parents of this generation, kids’ diets are often built around take-outs. Exposure to take-outs and packaged food can also cause an aversion to home-cooked meals or vegetables in children. Switching to healthier food choices and cooking at home can have a significant impact on your child’s health and well-being. It can improve your child’s mood, prevent depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder and also contribute to the healthy development of the brain and other organs. While talking about child nutrition, it is difficult not to mention the effects of social media on the eating habits of developing children. Early exposure to social media platforms such as Instagram is proven to have adverse effects on the mental health and eating habits of children as young as fourteen, proving to be a catalyst for developing eating disorders. Therefore, while trying to improve the eating habits of your children, it is also important to put a limit on daily social media usage in your home.

Nutrition for kids can vary depending on their age groups. However, they should predominantly derive their calories from protein-rich food, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy. Seafood, unsalted nuts and seeds, oatmeal, frozen or dried fruits, fresh green vegetables, beans and peas, yogurt, cheese, and milk are all suitable for growing children. It is important to limit your child’s sugar, sodium, and saturated fat consumption by reducing the intake of chips, cookies, chocolates, etc. The key to healthier nutrition is just this – eat minimally processed food. The fresher and the less processed your food, the better it is. Of course, making children eat broccoli is easier said than done. One trick you can use is to mix it up with some of their favorite food. For example, you can mash carrots along with potatoes or add vegetables to beef stew. As a parent, you can also take a bit of effort into preparing healthy snacks at home. You can make fresh juice with locally available seasonal fruits and veggies or home-baked cookies instead of opting for soda or chips. Get the kids involved in the preparation of meals, which will make them excited to try it.

Food for Kids

A balanced diet on a kid’s plate should be a unique mix of nutrients. The plate should have protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fat enriched with vitamins and minerals. Healthy vegetables to add to your kid’s diet are carrots, broccoli, and tomatoes. Ensure your kids’ plate is filled with fruits of different colors. It is better to consume sliced fruits than fruit juices if you are adding sugar to them. You can also include whole grains – brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole wheat – instead of consuming bread, pizza, pasta, etc. When you consume less processed food, you decrease the amount of added sugar in your diet, which has a positive effect on the blood sugar levels in the long run. Snacking on nuts, seeds, milk, etc., is known to reduce hunger and keep your child feeling full with smaller portions.

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