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The coronavirus pandemic has altered and reorganised the way we look at our health and food. We took our lives, especially health for granted, and the kids were a part of our easy and instant food culture. But the pandemic made us more aware of our health and eating healthy food, including proteins, vitamins, calcium and other nutrients.
Today, though we intend to eat healthy food, we are unsure what to include in our kids’ diet. So, read on to understand the top healthy foods for our children in the new year of 2021.
Top 10 Healthy Foods for Kids in 2021
Here is a list of the top 10 healthy foods you can give your kids in the year of 2021 and march towards overall well-being.
Whole grains are a great addition to support your and your kids’ long-term health goals, says the American Institute for Cancer Research. Whole grains are packed with vitamins, minerals, nutrients, fibre and phytochemicals that aid in digestion, maintain a healthy weight and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer. Make tasty and healthy snacks with whole grains for your kids.
Replace the refined oil from your kid’s diet with healthy oils to reap several health benefits.
Oils with saturated fats, such as palm oil, kernel oil and coconut oil can increase your cholesterol levels because they are solid at room temperature. So, it is best to avoid consumption.
Unsaturated fats are of two types – monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Oil extracted from canola, soybean, flaxseeds, sesame, corn, peanuts, olive and avocado may lower overall cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. These oils remain liquid at room temperature; so, include these oils in your daily food.
Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats (monosaturated and polyunsaturated), vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre and other nutrients. Nuts and seeds make your stomach feel full, maintain healthy body weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and lower the risk of diabetes.
Eat a handful of nuts, such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts and pistachios instead of fried food. You can also consume a mix of different seeds, such as flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and chia seeds.
Include a variety of vegetables to make healthy food for kids. Give vegetables of all colours, such as white/brown, yellow/orange, purple/blue, red and green vegetables to your kids to promote overall growth and development.
Vegetables are rich in fibre, folate, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamin C, folate, calcium, potassium and other nutrients.
Eat fruits to get vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, fibre, nutrients, potassium, antioxidants, carbohydrates and several minerals that support your kid’s good health.
Make a fruit smoothie or fruit juice if your kid does not like to eat raw fruits.
Dairy products are crucial for your kid’s skeletal structure, bone health, muscles and energy. Dairy products are rich in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins (A and B12) and other minerals.
Include milk, curd, cheese, buttermilk or paneer in your kid’s diet to prevent bone weakness and fractures.
Make delicious legume curries and other healthy snacks to whip the appetite of your children. Legumes are high in fibre, protein, zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and healthy fats. These are also low in fat; so, eat legumes to lower bad cholesterol, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, maintain blood pressure and control weight gain.
Eggs provide protein, iron, fats, Vitamins A, B12 and E and choline and are full of vitamin D and omega-3 fats. Eggs are excellent for hair, nails, skin, bones and muscles.
According to https://www.healthychildren.org, fishes, such as salmon and herring are low in mercury and high in brain-boosting DHA. You can also consider giving shrimp, catfish, crab, trout, perch, sardine, anchovy, oyster and lobster to kids.
Include lean meat and poultry to reduce intake of saturated fats in your diet. Lean meat is an excellent source of protein and has fewer calories than calories found in non-lean meats. These foods are rich in vitamin B3 and B6, selenium and choline. These minerals and vitamins prevent free radical damage to the body, improve the immune system, reduce inflammation and support the nervous system. Low in fat, eat lean meat, such as skinless chicken, skinless turkey, lamb, pork, turkey, duck or goose.
Change your attitude towards life and be grateful for surviving the pandemic. However, eat healthy food and healthy snacks to get all the essential nutrients, calcium, protein and minerals for stronger immunity.
It is not easy to plan for the kid’s diet. So, make sure you make the food look appealing for kids to eat. If there is any gap in their nutritional profile, consult with your doctor and give them multivitamin, calcium and vitamin D supplements. Also, make sure that your kids go outside and play in direct sunlight, which is the natural source of vitamin D.