Nutrition for children is based on the same core principles as nutrition for adults. The key to proper nutrition is a healthy and appropriate balance of diet and exercise that complements a healthy lifestyle.
The five main food groups include grains, dairy, protein, vegetables, and fruit, and are generally a good starting point for any child’s diet. The portions of each respective food group will depend heavily on age, genetic makeup, and physical activity. It is important to understand each food group to develop a well-balanced and nutritious diet for your child. As children grow and develop, they need important nutrients to be strong and healthy. Some of the benefits of healthy eating include:
- Maintain high energy levels
- Strong bones and teeth
- Improved mental health: Makes us think clearly and be more alert
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Preventing chronic diseases
As parent and guardians, here at Energy Kidz, we understand that mealtimes can sometimes seem daunting because of busy schedules and time constraints. Creating and maintaining a sense of routine in your diet will help you and your child look forward to mealtime. Here are ways to help create healthy mealtimes.
- Plan weekly meals together, so you can talk about healthy food options.
- Take your child to the supermarket so they can see healthy options and talk about them. Have them pick foods from each different nutrient to consume throughout the week.
- Read the labels for nutritious facts with your child.
- Cook meals together to show them that what they are eating matters.
- Challenge your child to fill their plate with as many different colors as they can – eat the rainbow!
- Make it a competition – by having your child try something new they have never tried before. Maybe they will end up loving it!