Nutrition tips for children
Looking for ways to fill the nutritional gap in your children’s diet? Welcome to the club of anxious parents! As parents, we are not only battling the fussy eaters at home but also rigorously fighting off our little ones’ temptations for unhealthy snacking and fast food!
So, what do we do to encourage healthy food habits in our kids?
The first and the foremost tip to encourage healthy eating habits in kids is to start eating healthy food yourself!! Yes. You read it right! Our children imitate us, and they eat what we eat. So, change your eating habits as the first step and see how quickly your children start eating healthier food.
Let us look at a few tips to instil healthy eating habits in our children:
- Balanced Breakfast: Make sure you as a family sit down and eat breakfast every morning. Do not replace breakfast with snacks, protein drinks or any other ready-to-eat food. Prepare a balanced and quick breakfast that has protein, fibre, carbohydrates and nutrition. On busy days, you can make:
- Delicious sprouts
- Fruit smoothies
- Whole-bread sandwiches
- Egg sandwiches or other nutritious recipes
- Glass of milk
- Luscious Lunches: Make sure you pack lunch for the kids. Eating outside food may not be healthy and fresh.Pack a quick lunch that is tasty and healthy.
- Make something that your kids like to eat.
- Pack fruits, vegetables or other healthy eatables.
- Encourage your kids to finish their lunch boxes.
- Add nuts, whole grains, beans etc., to the food.
- Merry Mealtimes: Make mealtimes a merry time for the family. Make sure you all sit down at the table and eat your meals together.
- Replace processed or package food with freshly cooked food.
- If you are a vegetarian, cook food with lots of greens, grains, pulses etc. Include curd, yoghurt, paneer and other protein-rich food.
- If you are a non-vegetarian, add fish, eggs, chicken or lean meat as per your and your kids’ liking.
- Do not fret over the calories. Healthy fats are equally important in building stronger bones.
Benefits of Healthy Food Habits:
Here are some of the benefits of healthy food habits in kids:
- Help them improve/maintain their weight
- Help them improve their energy
- Help them keep a good mood
- Help them improve their mental health
Nutrition Tips for Children
It is not easy to make sudden changes to your kids’ diet. Slowly replace your diet choices with healthy food. Here are a few nutrition tips for children:
- Introduce fibre rich food into the diet. Replace white sugar with naturally sweetened food items, such as fruits and vegetables. Replace white bread with whole-wheat or whole-grain bread and white rice with brown rice.
- Introduce toned milk to the diet and slowly replace the whole milk. Milk is essential for building stronger bones.
- Introduce fresh fruits instead of soda, fruit juices and milkshakes.
- Try fruit smoothies instead of ice creams.
- Eat healthy snacks instead of fried, processed and packaged food. Use nutritious snacks, nuts, seeds etc. Example:Eat a handful of nuts and fruit instead of potato chips.
- Use healthy oils, such as olive oil, canola oil, etc., instead of coconut oil and palm oil.
- Do not store junk food at home. Always practice eating fresh food.
Mealtime is a time for family bonding. Do not sit in front of the TV or use your smartphones or laptop while eating with your family. Bond with your kids and set a standard before them. Follow our nutrition tips for kids and see a positive change in their health and mood. Involve your kids in food preparation. Try out recipes that are easy to make and are tasty. At times you can supplement your kids’ diet with health supplements such as calcium and vitamin gummies. Lastly, do not force your kids to adapt to healthy eating habits. Be patient, all good habits take time to build.