We as adults or teenagers are aware of the foods we should eat to stay healthy.
Fruits, veggies, grains, proteins and the like are all staples of a healthy and balanced diet. However, if you are to ask children what they should be eating, many will say things like pizza, fast food or other foods that they enjoy eating (but aren’t so healthy). And can you blame them? I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate that melts in your mouth or a delicious burger?
What is a balanced diet for kids?
While these treats are okay in moderation for most children, you want to instill good eating habits so they can grow up and understand what foods are good for them, and what sorts of foods aren’t. In this article, we will look at what a balanced diet for children is. Of course, if your child has allergies or other dietary restrictions, their version of a balanced diet will differ.
Unfortunately, most children simply do not get enough fruits, veggies and other healthy foods.
And if a parent eats in an unhealthy manner, children are likely to follow. Not only can bad food inhibit children physically, but it has been shown that children who lack essential nutrients and minerals will often perform worse academically and be more aggressive.
But as children get older, they start to become more independent about their food choices and many will be unwilling to try new things or eat things they don’t like. While it is easiest to simply give in and not enforce a healthy diet, which can have dire consequences for their future.
However, forcing them into eating healthy foods isn’t often the right way to go either.
You need to introduce them to eating and liking these foods on their own accord. While not always easy, parents – you can accomplish this!
One of the methods you can use is to dress the healthy food up into something your kids will enjoy – whether that is disguising the food or simply making fun and cool shapes or designs with it.
Another way is to get them involved with the cooking and food preparation. Children will be more likely to eat things that they helped to make, even if the finished product may contain some things they don’t like.
So now that you know how to get your child to eat healthy, as well as the benefits they’ll get from eating healthy – what should they be eating? Let’s take a closer look at that.
A balanced diet for kids includes variety of different fruits and veggies, preferably of many different colors:
- Starchy foods such as breads and pastas
- Proteins, such as meat, fish, beans or lentils
- Dairy should be consumed every day in the form of milk, yogurt or cheese
- Essential fats are important, and you should know the difference between good fats and bad fats
- Sugar should be kept relatively low, but of course, the odd treat is always a welcomed addition to a balanced diet.
- Ensure the child is getting enough vitamins and minerals from their food, and if not, a daily multivitamin could help them reach their goals.
The actual amount of each type of food kids should consume will depend entirely on criteria such as how old they are, how large they are, and their gender.
While eating healthy foods is definitely important, you should also be sure that your kids have some treats and goodies that they really enjoy, as well. Everything in moderation.
Wendy Dessler, Outreach Manager, is a super-connector from SweetServices. She helps sweets lovers find perfect blogs and everyday hacks through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest trends in diets, new age candies and focuses her efforts on customized diet proposals and hints (while consuming candies too)!