How to give your child nutritious diet
A healthy eating helps children grow and learn. It also helps prevent obesity and weight-related diseases, such as diabetes or heart diseases. Encouraging your kids to eat well can help them reach full potential developmentally, as well as prevent them from becoming overweight. Offering your child healthy choices at each meal and snack can help meet nutritional needs they have.
Nutritional intake has important immediate effect on growth, brain development, intellectual capacity, school achievement, emotional wellbeing and immunity.
If children establish healthy habits, their risk for developing many chronic diseases will be greatly decreased. On the other hand, poor eating habits and physical inactivity during childhood set the stage for health problems in adulthood.
How to give your child a nutritious diet:
- Make half of what is on your child's plate fruits and vegetables (provide many of the vitamins, minerals and complex carbohydrates needed for growth, thrive and development).
- Choose healthy sources of protein, such as lean meat, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, quinoa, natural yogurt and eggs (include them in every meal).
- Serve whole-grain breads and cereals because they are high in fiber (aid digestion and prevent constipation). Reduce refined grains.
- Offer water, milk or homemade smoothie (occasionally diluted juice) instead of sugary fruit drinks and sodas
- Broil, grill, or steam foods instead of frying them
- Limit fast food and junk food
Tips for picky eaters:
1. Respect your child's appetite or lack of one - if child isn't hungry, don't force a meal or snack, serve small portions to avoid overwhelming and give the opportunity to independently ask for more.
2. Stick to the routine - serve meals and snacks at about the same times every day .
3. Be patient with new foods and make it fun - serve new food along with child's favorited foods, sometimes child might need repeated exposure to a new food before takes the first bite. Serve a variety of brightly coloured foods.
4. Set a good example - if you eat a variety of healthy foods, your child is more likely to follow suit.
5. Minimize distractions - Mindful eating and chewing well - turn off the television and other electronic gadgets during meals, will help child focus on eating (television advertising might also encourage your child to desire sugary foods)
6. Keep serving your child healthy choices until they become familiar and preferred - preparing a separate meal for your child after rejection of the original meal might promote picky eating.
7. Recruit your child's help - there is one sure-fair way to get child to try different foods and learn to enjoy it, simply get them involved in the process of buying, preparing and/or cooking fruit and vegetables.
ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS THAT EVERY CHLDS NEEDS
Builds strong bones, teeth, promotes healthy nerve and muscle function, helps blood clot, and helps the body convert food into energy.
Eggs, sardines, cabbage, sesame seeds, watercress, dried figs
The oxygen carrying red pigment in blood, strengthens the immune system, helps healthy growth and development.
Liver, spinach, eggs, dried fruit, sardines, watercress, parsley
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Help build cells, immunity, regulate the nervous system, strengthen the cardiovascular system, brain function and vision.
Oily fish, nuts and seeds, avocado
Keeps bones strong, the heart rhythm steady, supports the immune system, helps maintain muscle and nerve function.
Nuts and seeds, whole meal bread, eggs, dark green veg, bananas
Works with sodium to control body's water balance, which helps maintain blood pressure.
Bananas, dates, cheese, tomatoes, peppers
Essential for vision, bone growth and healthy skin, boosts immunity.
Liver, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, green leaves
Strengthens blood vessel, helps absorb iron, fights infections, keeps gums and skin healthy.
Blackcurrants, oranges, peppers, tomatoes - most fruit & veg
Helps the absorption of calcium, essential for reaching peak bone mass, functions as a hormone with roles in immune system, insulin production and regulation of cell growth.
Sunlight, oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, cod liver oil
Antioxidant, important for immunity, healthy skin and DNA repair.
Avocado, nuts, seeds, spinach, sweet potato,
Helps brain development, normal thyroid function and needed for metabolism of cells (converting food into energy).
Sea salt, seafood (fish, seaweed, mussels)
Essential for growth and development, improves wound healing, needed by more than 70 enzymes that aid digestion and metabolism.
Oysters, egg yolk, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ