Nutrition 101 – The Guide to Eating Right for Children

A healthy diet can work wonders for children. Eating all the right foods to maintain a balance of nutrients makes their bodies strong and prepares them for the life ahead.

Every child should be fit and active. And for this one, needs to have a healthy diet. But, seeing the scenario today with more and more parents being working, things are taking a shift for worse and because of a lack of time to cook; unhealthy snacking is rendering poor health for the younger generation.

Healthy diet for kids is essential and it is time it’s given due importance. Junk and oily food is amongst the favorites for kids but can easily take down their health and this is why, changing this habit marks a milestone on the road to good health.

Consciously choosing what your kids eat and which habits to incorporate on a daily basis is easy but what matters is following them regularly. The best eating plans with ample nutrients for children are the ones that include whole foods mostly.  Following is a step by step guide which navigates you through the right nutrients that you should be encouraging your kids to consume.

Carbohydrates: They are the major source of energy that are needed by the entire body. Every part of the body uses them to grow and thrive. Available in two different categories, simple and complex, they can be found in different foods.

Simple carbohydrates can be found in milk, fruits and refined sugar. Sources of complex carbohydrates include breads, pasta etc. It is advisable to include the healthy options like milk and milk products in the diet instead of opting for the ones that have negative impact on the health of kids like candy, cakes etc.

Fiber: The human body is not made to digest fiber and this is why it helps clean the intestines and keep the problems away. It helps in regulating blood sugar levels, maintaining a healthy body weight and also aids in getting rid of constipation. Legumes, whole grains, vegetables and fruits are some of the good source of fiber.

Calcium: Optimum bone health and efficient muscular function can be maintained only with the intake of calcium and thus, growing bodies are at a higher need. Dairy products, fortified juices, soy products, green leafy vegetables etc make good sources of Calcium. However, healthy drinks for kids are also an essential to increase calcium intake. Addition of a spoonful of health drinks increases the nutrient value required to fulfill the body’s needs.

Proteins: Referred to as the building blocks. Proteins are a basic necessity. They help in maintaining and replacing body tissues such as muscles, bones, blood and body organs. Milk, meat and cereals are some of the richest sources of protein.

Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A is the most important nutrient for vision, bone growth, reproduction and regulating the immune system. Potatoes, kale, spinach, carrots, turnips, greens, mustard peppers constitute some good sources.
  • Vitamin B is essential for cell metabolism, supporting the immune system and also promoting skin and muscle tone. Good sources are fortified cereals, cereals, meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables.
  • Vitamin C can be obtained from foods like broccoli, pineapple, oranges, mangoes, Brussels sprouts, tomato juice, cauliflower, sweet potato, kale, kiwi and strawberries. It promotes healthy gums, teeth, bones and cartilage.
  • Vitamin D plays an important role in the Calcium absorption of the body and is therefore very influential in bone growth and bone health. Also, it helps prevent cancer and heart diseases. Good sources include fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, fish liver oil and dairy products.
  • Vitamin E plays a crucial role in protecting our bodies from cancer, arthritis, heart diseases, diabetes and infections. Wheat germ oil, salad oils, sunflower seeds, almonds make for good sources.
  • Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting. Good sources are green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and legumes.

A balanced diet for kids is a basic and the very first step to a healthy life. With the above mentioned things in mind, you can easily help your kids achieve optimum health.

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