A child’s growth and health is determined by how much nutritious his/her food is. Balanced diet is required not only for a child’s physical development but his/her mental development as well.
The most important meal of the day is breakfast. Healthy breakfast enhances the mental and physical effeciency. Those children who skip breakfast tend to be inattentive, sluggish and experience difficulty in learning while at school. Also, kids who skip breakfast show unwanted craving for sweets and snacks. Therefore, breakfast should include carbohydrates, proteins and fibre. Opt for wholemeal bread rather than white bread that is stripped of essential vitamins, minerals and fibre. Avoid foods with excessive sugar as it leads to hyperactivity in kids.
Important Nutrients for Brain and their Sources
1. Complex Carbohydrates: Potatoes, legumes, whole grain bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, fruits and vegetables.
2. Proteins: Lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, lentils, nuts, seeds and beans.
- Omega 3 fatty acids- Tuna, Salmon, eggs, flax seeds
- Omega 6 fatty acids- Nuts, seeds, corn, sunflower oils
- Vitamin A- Dark green, deep orange, yellow fruits and vegetables
- Vitamin E – Nuts, seeds and their oils
- Vitamin B – Whole grains, eggs, green vegetables, brown rice, meat, fish, legumes, nuts, seeds
5. Iron: Fortified cereals, red meat, Salmon, Tuna, chicken, eggs, shellfish, green vegetables
6. Zinc: Meat, peanuts, pumpkin, be ans, whole grains, sea food
7. Choline: Egg yolk, Sardine, liver, nuts, legumes, grains
Food Guide Pyramid
Always remember not to overfeed your child. The diet should be wholesome, nutritious and well balanced.
Additives and Colorings
Additives and colorings have negative impact on child’s behavior:
- Sodium Benzoate E211
2. Artificial Colouring:
- Sunset yellow E110
- Tartarazine E102
- Carmoisin E122
- Ponceasu 4RE124
Healthy tips for Kids’ Meals
- Food cooked at home is always better that readymade or junk food.
- Prefer fruits than fruit juices as fruits contain fibre.
- Children should drink at least 2 glasses of milk everyday.
- Blend vegetables in soups or dips.
- Desserts should be consumed at a minimum as they are not tooth friendly.
- Involve kids while preparing food (if possible) to invoke their interest in eating.
- Avoid spicy and fried food.
Is organic food good for kids?
Organic foods are produced without the use of pesticides, fertilizers or any artificial chemicals. The benefits of Organic food is a matter of debate worldwide. Studies show that is a healthier option because:
- Harmful pesticides are not sprayed,organic foods contain less pesticides.
- They are high in Vitamin C, essential minerals like iron and zinc and phytonutrients that prevent cancer.
However, some other researches show that organic food is not significantally different from conventional food. There is a possibility that consuming organic food might be ever riskier. According to one study, there was a high proportion of bacteria in chicken meat. Organic food is also more expensive than conventional food. If it is unaffodable for you, you can make smart moves to ensure that your children eat healthy, such as:
- Wash and peel vegetables to remove pesticides.
- Prepare home cooked meals.
- Use less oil, salt and sugar.
I also suggest the following links for more information on Organic food:
For more information and tips on good parenting, check out my blog Parent’s Hub.