Healthy Nutrition for Your Child

Dec 07, 2009
During childhood, healthy nutrition is especially important for physical and emotional development. What your child eats not only influences his growth, but also child's health in adulthood.

Unfortunately, fast food often becomes the first option for many school-age children. More than half of all children suffer from child's obesity, which takes its roots from bad eating habits. How to ensure healthy nutrition for your child?

Opt For Small Frequent Meals

Children need to eat frequently, especially during growth spurts, when a child grows rapidly. Many children may choose to have snacks to compensate for the growing calories demands. It is hard for a child to digest the large amounts of food, that's why five to six small frequent meals is the right way to maintain right energy level for your child. It is better to offer your child healthy snacks and other sources of energy, including cereals, juices, fruits and veggies.

Include High-Quality Proteins

Proteins are essential for a child because it provides the growth and repair of the tissues, which is especially important for physical and mental activity. Make sure your child eats high-quality proteins, which are easily digestible such as milk, eggs, meat. There are also other good sources of protein like cheese, yoghurt, beans, grains, nuts and seeds.

Ensure Optimum Calcium Intake

Many adults and children are deficient of calcium, an important mineral for healthy bones. Milk and dairy products are good sources of calcium for your child. You may also include calcium fortified products, soy products, dark green, leafy vegetables, lentils, sardines, and salmon, especially if your child has milk allergy.

Choose Good Fats

Children need higher levels of fat than adults, which is important for their physical and mental development. Make sure your child gets enough of the saturated fats, monounsaturated fats or oils, and the essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6 oils. Include good fats from food, such as milk and dairy, fish, meat, nuts, grains and vegetables. Good fats are ones of the best sources of vitamins A and D, which is necessary for proper protein and minerals absorption, brain development and immune system.

Offer a Variety of Foods

You child needs a variety of foods to maintain optimal weight and growth. You should include foods from all groups, including carbohydrates, protein, fats and other nutrients. Serve a wide range of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and cereals, dairy, fish and meat to meat the growing demands of your child's body.

Avoid Unhealthy Snacks

Many children are more willing to eat sugary and salty snacks and they can even become a substitute for a healthy diet. While it is almost impossible to totally cut on sweet and salty snacks, you should try to limit their intake to minimum.  Avoid large amounts of soft drinks, chips, candy, sweet deserts and others.