Healthy nutrition for children lays the foundation for their full life, ensures their growth, physical and mental development.
Therefore, it is extremely important that it is balanced and meets all the needs of the child, taking into account his age and needs. Healthy eating for children plays a significant role in their development. It is very different from the diet of adults, as the child has a much higher need for natural products and nutrients, especially those involved in its growth and development. In addition, a child’s metabolism is 1.5-2 times higher than that of an adult, so the energy value of his daily diet should be 10 percent higher than his energy expenditure – in order for it to continue to grow, develop, build muscle mass, etc. .e.
A healthy diet for children should be balanced so that it includes foods containing the following substances:
• Protein: is a building material for tissues and cells of the body. Protein is found in sufficient quantities in meat, dairy products, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and others.
• Carbohydrates: supply energy to the body. The choice should be based on slow carbohydrates contained in raw vegetables and fruits, whole grains. Oversaturation with fast carbohydrates (confectionery, sweets, boiled potatoes and corn, white bread) leads to obesity, decreased immunity, increased fatigue.
• Fats: supply the child’s body with essential fatty acids, are a source of fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and D, are responsible for immunity and growth of the child. Contained in cream, butter, oil, fish.
• Fiber: not digested by the body, but is actively involved in the digestive process. Contained in raw vegetables and fruits, bran, pearl barley, and oatmeal.
• Calcium: affects bone growth, forms tooth enamel, normalizes heart rate, provides blood clotting, etc. Contained in dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, legumes, fortified foods – such as breakfast cereals, soy products, broccoli, sunflower seeds, almonds, etc.
• Iron: plays an important role in mental development and hematopoiesis. Contained in meat and seafood. Sources of iron are also spinach, legumes, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables, beets, walnuts and hazelnuts, seeds, and others.
It is not necessary to calculate the number of nutrients in grams. It is enough to follow the ratio of proteins in carbohydrates and fats in a ratio of 1: 1: 4 and make sure that the child’s diet is always presented meat, dairy products, eggs, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and fats.
Healthy eating for children is not only a balance but also certain habits instilled from childhood:
• Enter a fractional diet. It is recommended 4-5 meals a day in small portions – 3 main and 2 additional. To the child, however, as well as to the adult, caloric and plentiful meals consisting of several high-grade dishes are harmful.
• Food the same should look attractive. Experiment with the design and solution of dishes, use bright and useful ingredients, involve children in the cooking process.
• Eat with children. The best example is your own. Most often we are similar to our parents in stature, not because we have “such a constitution”, but because we have been instilled in our family certain eating habits since childhood. If you eat the right and healthy food, it is likely that your children will “follow in your footsteps.”
• Do not force children to eat what they do not like. By forcing your son or daughter to eat healthy foods that seem tasteless to them, you involuntarily create an association in their minds – everything that is useful is tasteless. The value of one product in most cases can be replaced by another.
Remember that by providing healthy nutrition for children, you ensure their full development, strengthen the immune system, protect against disease and generally improve their quality of life.
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