The food that your children eat has a great impact on their growth and development. The nutrients and minerals that they gain from food affect their growth, physically as well as mentally. It is essential for kids to consume a balanced diet for children on a regular basis from an early stage.
A balanced diet for children means your children’s meal should contain a wide variety of food in the right proportions. This ensures that they get all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need to grow. Typically, a balanced diet should contain vegetables and fruits, beans and lentils, whole grains including whole grain pasta, rice as well as whole grain bread, nuts, and seed as well as fish and lean meat.
Nutrients For Growth And Development
A balanced diet for children should also include nutrients. Some important nutrients are gotten from the foods listed above, that will give your child the all-around development that they need to grow into strong and sound adults. These nutrients include:
- Iron: Iron is important for the cognitive development of children. This will help them in school as well as develop their social skills.
- Calcium and Vitamin D: Every parent wants a healthy child. With enough calcium and vitamin D in their diet, you can be sure that your child will have strong bones and teeth. This will enable them to engage in physical activities, which will, in turn, develop their sportsmanship. Vitamin D also develops the immune system of children, helping them to fight against sickness and diseases.
- Omega-3 DHA aids the development of the brain, helping the cognitive abilities of your child from an early age.
Other vitamins that aid the growth and development of children include vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin D, as well as vitamin E. Other nutrients include iodine, zinc, phosphorus, chromium, and copper.
Encouraging Your Child To Eat Balanced Diet
It can be a challenge to come up with a balanced diet for children. Especially because they can be very picky when it comes to food. Sometimes, they only want to eat candies and chocolates, rejecting meals offered to them. As a result, it is important to devise a means to encourage them to eat a balanced diet.
Some ideas to help you create a balanced diet for picky children include:
- Make The Meal Colorful: Kids are generally fascinated by colors, and thankfully fruits and vegetables come in a variety of colors. Make the meal bright and exciting to see, by mixing fruits and colors with different colors. This will impress your child and make them eager to eat their meal.
- Shapes: Asides from colors, kids are impressed by shapes. Incorporate this into your cooking, by cutting pieces of food into different shapes. This will get them intrigued and make eating a food activity.
- Be A Great Example: You should be a great example by eating a balanced diet at all times. Children learn by emulation and they look up to their parents, learning their habits. When your child sees that you eat healthily, they will be eager to do the same.
Make Them a Part of It
You can further encourage your children by taking them with you on food shopping trips. Before you go, explain the importance of a balanced diet for children. Point out how what they eat will help them make better feeding choices.
Once at the store allow them to help you pick out foods that they can and should eat. Allowing them to help you select the foods they will be eating encourages responsibility. It also helps them learn about a healthy and balanced diet. And, as a bonus, at least in my experience, they’ll be more willing to eat it if they helped pick it out! 😉
For more help on a balanced diet for your children, you can visit the best childcare in Chifley.