How your child eats today can significantly impact their health throughout adolescence and adulthood. Kids need to eat balanced and healthy foods that contain vital nutrients that help children grow and are essential for their physical and mental development. Let’s understand the Balanced Diet first.
What is a Balanced Diet?
For a balanced diet, ensure your child eats various nutrient-dense foods from all the different food groups. In general, children should eat:
- Lots of fruits and vegetables (more vegetables than fruit)
- Whole grains (such as brown rice, whole grain bread, and wholegrain pasta)
- Beans and lentils
- Lean meat and fish (especially fatty fish)
- Nut seed
Why is a Balanced Diet Important?
Providing your child with a healthy and balanced diet will ensure he gets all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients children need for healthy growth and development. Certain nutrients are needed for various reasons. Some nutrients to consider are:
- Calcium and vitamin D are necessary for children's bone growth and development. Vitamin D Helps support the immune system.
- Iron supports normal cognitive development in children.
- Omega-3 DHA supports normal brain function.
This is just a small list of essential nutrients and their uses in the body. You see, babies need foods that provide all of these nutrients to grow and develop.
Healthy and Balanced Diet for Children
Children need a healthy and balanced diet that includes foods from each food group so they get various nutrients to help them stay healthy. Children's appetites vary based on age, growth spurt, and activity, so appropriately sized portions are essential. Let's see the type of foods that parents should give their kids.
- Carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, rice, and pasta are significant energy sources for active children.
- It also contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals essential for growth and development.
- Children should eat various foods from this food group, and myriads of parents offer these foods at each meal to their kids.
Fruits and Vegetables
- Chopped fruit and vegetables, for example, apples, pears, bananas, oranges, carrots, peppers, or cucumbers. Have our Holle carrot, potato & beef jar which are absolutely tasty and healthy!
- Encourage your child to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- They should eat a variety of fruits and vegetables as this will ensure they get a total supply of vitamins and minerals.
- A child's ration is about half of an adult's ration or the size of a palm.
- Children should be encouraged to increase the recommended adult serving size gradually.
- Beans, kidney beans, and lentils are good alternatives to meat; they are low in fat and rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
- Add them to dishes for color, flavor, and texture, such as stews, chili, and pasta sauces.
- Nuts also subsume protein, but whole nuts, including peanuts, should not be served to children under 5 to prevent choking.
Loaves of bread & Cereal
- Bread or toast (preferably wholegrain or wholemeal) with a minute amount of butter, margarine (a blend of oils), or a low-fat spread (without honey or chocolate spread)
- Pitta bread or a plain bagel succored with a little butter, margarine, low-fat spread, or soft cheese.
- Plain breadsticks or plain unsalted rice cakes
- Natural yogurt or plain fromage frais – add your own fresh, frozen, or tinned fruit for extra flavor
- Wholegrain and unsweetened cereals (don't add sugar to cereal)
Dairy Products and Dairy Alternatives
- Dairy products and dairy alternatives are essential for children because they are good sources of calcium, vitamins A and D, protein, and fat.
- Calcium is essential to help children build strong bones, nerves, and muscle functions.
- Vitamin D is needed to support and absorb calcium and therefore plays an integral part in strengthening bones. Try our Holle organic corner grain which is full of super nutrients!
Children's appetites change daily or even from food to food. Because they have little stomachs, kids must eat or gulp small amounts frequently all day. Kids know how much food they require and will eat what their body needs.
If your child refuses to eat, don't stress too much. Don't give him anything else between meals to make him eat. They will eat better at their next meal.