Children need plenty of nutritious food during the growing years. Well-balanced food is essential to ensure that a child has a well-rounded growth. Healthy eating for children requires a balanced diet with carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins and fat. Good eating habits inculcated at a young age can mean a lifetime of healthy eating.
It may be a tricky task to get very young children to eat properly. Most young kids in the age group of 12 months -6 years are fussy eaters and can be difficult to handle at the best of times. The most important thing to remember at this time is to not over-feed them, as it will lead to childhood obesity.
Do not force your child to eat if he does not want to. As far as they are growing properly and their weight is appropriate for their height do not force-feed the child. Keep plenty of healthy options on hand and make it a point to offer them over and over even if the child refuses.
Healthy eating for children require that eat a variety of food, but many young children will eat only what they want to. Keep unhealthy options at bay so that they have to pick from the healthy options available to them.
Try changing the form of food to please the young taste buds. They may not like milk or fruit per se but a fruit smoothie may go down well with them.
Young kids will generally like to eat 5-6 smaller meals rather than three large meals. Discourage snacking between meals but keep plenty of healthy options like vegetable sticks, fruits, crackers and even soups to ensure healthy eating for children.
As the children grow and start following a daily routine of school and other activities it is essential that they eat proper meals that give them plenty of energy and nutrition to help them with their daily activities and growth of their body.
Breakfast is the first meal of the day and should be an energy rich, nutritious meal to kick start a good day. A carbohydrate rich breakfast will provide the energy required by young busy bodies until lunch. Full grain cereals with milk, fruits and bread are a good option. Kids may also like yoghurt or toast, along with small quantities of lean meat, to encourage healthy eating for children.
The body needs a range of minerals and vitamins every day thus a child needs to eat a variety of food to ensure that they get all the nutrients required. Lunches should be made interesting even if they are only sandwiches. Try a new filing every day to make it more appealing for the child. Add tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce to the sandwich to make it more nutritious. Add a fruit or yoghurt to the lunch to increase variety. It will help inculcate healthy eating for children.
Dinner should be a family affair to keep the family connected and to make eating fun. Use a balance of proteins and carbohydrates to ensure a complete meal. Avoid heavy meals at night to encourage proper digestion.
Encourage the child to drink plenty of liquids through out the day. Avoid high calorie fatty snacks like chips and other packaged snacks. Opt for healthy snacks like fruits, vegetable sticks, soy milk, low cal snacks and others.