Essentials of eating for young children

The nutrient requirements of growing children are different from those of adults and it is crucial to include different nutrients in the right quantities in their diets. A right food habit today ensures a healthy future for the children.

For you as a parent, it is important to look after the nutrition needs of your young ones. The food a child eats in their early years, determines the health of the child later in life. It is these food habits that define how healthy or unhealthy will your child be in their adult years. Thus, it is important to be sure about what you have to feed your children with.

Making sure to provide a healthy diet for kids and inculcating good eating habits right from the start is of utmost importance. Getting children in a routine as soon as possible is also a plus.

A balanced diet for kids should consist of the following:

Proteins
Growth, brain development, healthy bones are the three most important purposes served by proteins in our body. It is essential to include protein rich food in children’s diets. Foods such as lean meat, fish, eggs, yogurt and cheese are rich sources of protein. Also, proteins in beans, pulses etc., are required to cover the entire protein spectrum.

Milk and dairy foods
Milk and other products such as yogurt, cheese etc. play an important part in the overall growth of a child. The early years mark an important phase and lack of any of the dairy products can be a problem. These foods can provide children with calcium, vitamins A, B12, protein and other vitamins and minerals.

However, children need much more nutrition in their early years and thus; the requirement is not fulfilled with only a glass of plain milk. Healthy drinks for kids should be an essential part of the glass of milk twice a day. These drinks boost the amount of calcium, vitamins and other nutrients making it beneficial for children.

Fruits and vegetables

Five portions of food everyday are a good starting point for children. Vary the portion size according to their age and physical activity. Encourage your children to keep up the intake throughout the day so as to maintain their health to an optimum level.

Fats and sugar
Fats and sugars are required in the body but only to a certain level. Although foods like butter, spreads etc. add to the taste, it is advisable to not take too much of them. They act as concentrated sources of energy for young children and limited quantities also help in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K.

The consumption of soft drinks, sweets, biscuits, pastries, and desserts should be avoided. Consuming these sugars regularly is very harmful for children and is also a leading factor of obesity

Carbohydrates
They are also amongst the essentials for children. Wholegrain bread, muesli, and pasta are some of the sources. However, the quantity should be regulated according to the child’s age and appetite

With all the above written nutrients for children, you can be sure that your child will grow into a healthy adult and will lead a fuller life.

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