Healthy Food for Children

A healthy diet can have a profound effect on your children’s health throughout adolescence and growing phase. A balanced diet should include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds. Parents have an important role in guiding their children learn healthy eating habits.

A balanced diet should give the body all the nutrients - vegetables and fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, protein – in order to function properly and maintain a healthy weight. Lack of proper nutrition to the body makes it prone to disease, infection, fatigue and poor performance. Poor unhealthy eating habits in children can result in lack of immunity, diseases, growth and poor academic performance.

Make food fun to eat

To encourage your child to eat a balanced healthy diet, the best way is to make the food fun. It should not be forced or coerced to make the child eat. Rather the child should enjoy it. Try different colours of fruits and vegetables on your child’s plate or lunch box to make it nutritious and interesting. Including the beautiful, natural colours of fresh fruits and vegetables will provide all the nutrition for optimal health.

The spectrum of colours in fruits and vegetables are full of different phytochemicals and antioxidants. Hence, nutritious food for children should constitute servings of fruits and vegetables of rainbow colours which provides the broadest nutrients. For example, calcium and vitamin D are essential for the normal growth and development of bones in children. Iron supports normal cognitive development in children. Intake of vitamin D helps support the immune system. Omega-3 DHA supports normal brain function.

Pack nutritious food for kids

If your children are school going, pack nutritious lunches every day. Many parents find it difficult to pack balanced nutritious lunch for their children owing to different reasons. It could be either their lack of sufficient knowledge about nutrition or their children are fussy about their food choices. Include a variety of fresh, healthy food choices so that your child does not get bored. Ensure your child has a healthy balanced diet with all the essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals needed for a healthy growth and development.

To ensure a healthy breakfast for kids and healthy lunches for kids, provide all the nutrients from food sources listed below for your child to enjoy a balanced healthy diet.

Good sources of Protein: Nuts, milk, yoghurt, cheese, peanut butter.

Good sources of Iron: Beans, green leafy vegetables, dried beans, iron-fortified cereal.

Good sources of Vitamin D: Dairy products and cereals, sunlight can also give children Vitamin D.

Good sources of Calcium: Milk, and fortified soy milk, tofu, and dry cereals.

Good sources of Fats: Vegetable oils, fatty acids in nuts

Good sources of Vitamin C: Strawberries, amla, oranges, broccoli, kiwi, oranges, cabbage, peppers, fresh juices

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