Nutrition is the foundation for your child’s health.
Your kids need the right nutrients to stay healthy, have stronger immune systems, and reduce their chances of falling ill.
Proper nutrition for kids also establishes the basis for healthy eating habits that your child can have throughout their adult years.
Unfortunately, most parents are indifferent about nutrition, allowing their little ones to consume excess junk and processed foods.
Healthy children are stronger and more productive, hence the need to learn ways and facts about your kid’s nutrition to aid them to attain their full potential.
10 Nutrition Facts for Children
No matter your child’s age— toddler or a teen, nutrition is essential to his or her physical and mental development.
Rather than forcing your kids to eat their vegetables, you can give them a bunch of interesting nutrition facts instead.
Here are ten nutrition facts for children below.
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables plays a major role in reducing the risk of major chronic diseases.
2. Juice Alert
Children usually reach for juice when they crave something to drink. As a parent, you should note that fruit juice contains high sugar content.
A 600mL bottle of fruit juice has about 16 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than the World Health Organization’s daily limit of seven teaspoons.
Hence, always inform your little ones that eating fruits are way better than a cup of juice.
3. Breast Milk
At six months, babies are ready to eat solid foods like strained fruits, vegetables, and pureed meats.
Breast milk is not sufficient to give enough nutrients like calcium, iron, and zinc for kids around six to nine months.
Encourage your toddlers to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, that provide fiber nutrients to them.
Eating food with fiber content makes them feel fuller and it contains the nutrients required to keep their heart strong.
5. Sports Drinks are not Necessary
The major ingredient found in sports drinks is sugar.
After any physical activity, instead of opting for sugary sports drinks, your little one will gain more nutrients by drinking water and taking fruits.
6. Calcium Strengthens the Bones
Soy products and low-fat milk provide calcium that helps little kids grow strong bones which in turn keeps them safe when playing.
7. Whole Foods Prevent Hunger
Whole foods such as brown bread are more nutritious and filling for kids.
The sugary soft drinks, cereals, and white bread digest faster by the body’s enzymes making your child hungry not long after a meal.
Since the energy from these foods is quickly used up, leaving kids feeling tired and cranky, whole foods are a better option.
8. Healthy Snacks Give You More Energy
Healthy snacks keep your little ones feeling energized all day, keeps their metabolic rate up, and helps them maintain healthy body weight.
Compared to a candy bar or potato chips, children get more energy from fruit and healthy snacks.
A handful of nuts and a slice of fresh fruit contains fiber and healthy fats that give children more energy that lasts, unlike junk food.
9. Cooking Method Matters
The method you use to make kid’s food can also affect the nutritional value they get from it.
For example, rather than frying toddlers’ meals, opt for healthier cooking methods like grilling, steaming, baking, or broiling vegetables.
10. Good and Bad Fats
Developing kids’ body requires good oils and fats to give their tender muscles quick energy.
However, if they eat excess, the fats get stored in their body.
Sources of good fats are nuts, olive oil, canola oil, and avocado. Bad fats are gotten from vegetable shortening, coconut oils, and dairy products.
Best Ways to Ensure Your Little Ones Eat Healthily
About twenty percent of children are picky eaters and prefer snacking to eating healthy nutritious meals.
To ensure your kid eventually grows out of picky eating habits, they need to know the value of healthy eating.
If you are not certain about how to convince your kids to eat healthy food, then you need to use these tips below to make eating fun for them.
1. Tell Them Protein Builds Muscles
All children desire strong and healthy bones.
So, telling them that eating protein strengthens their muscles, they will want to finish everything on their plate.
Fish, chicken, and meat alternatives like tofu are filled with protein to aid keep muscles strong.
2. Vegetables Make Them Play
Your kids probably detest green vegetables like spinach.
Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes are full of vitamins that give your kids enough energy to play for longer periods.
Hence, if you inform them that vegetables make them play longer, they are sure to finish it when served next time.
3. Set an Example for Your Child
As a parent, if you prepare and eat nutritious meals, your child will follow suit.
So, stop the calorie counting and negative associations with food if you don’t want them to adopt the same attitude towards eating.
4. Get The Kids Involved
Have your kids plant a garden, go grocery shopping, and pick the menu for the day.
Growing some of their favorite fruits and vegetables gets them excited about eating what they harvested.
When shopping, let the kids select vegetables that sound good as they are more likely to eat them when they are part of the process.
Also, teach them about food labels so they are aware of the nutrient content in the foods they select.
5. Take Small Shifts to Healthier Meals
Slowly start with alternatives to unhealthy junk meals instead of outright banning the sweets.
Stopping them completely from their favorite snack creates cravings that make them overindulge when eating.
To ensure they stick to healthy eating, just make the snacks a special treat rather than a regular diet.
6. Make Healthy Eating Fun
To get your little ones excited to eat their vegetables, modify the recipe and make it more fun.
Be imaginative and use broccoli to create trees, cauliflower for clouds, and other fruits to make it appealing for them to eat.
Also, you can hide fruits and vegetables in other food as that is one of the easiest ways to get them to eat healthily.
Shred zucchini or carrots into stews, sauces, casseroles, or bake in muffins and bread.
7. Keep Fruit in Sight
Fruit contains natural sugar so strategically keep it in places your child will see it.
A bowl with oranges, apples, and bananas on the kitchen table serves as a reminder that they should eat healthily.
Prepare desserts that are highly nutritious by including fruits. Prepare a fruit smoothie for the kids in place of a milkshake.
The more your child learns about nutrition, the more they cultivate healthy eating habits.
The keys to improving your child’s overall wellbeing via nutrition include communication, guidance, and support.
Kids who know nutrition facts and the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods make choices that create a lifetime of lasting wellness.
If there are questions or concerns regarding your child’s allergy and diet, talk to their pediatrician.