Children need foods that are rich in nutrients to support their development and growth. So, you can't arbitrarily choose food for children. Many foods should be avoided and some must be consumed. So, how to choose food for children? What kind of food does he need? Check out the answer below.
How to choose food for children that suits their needs
Actually, every food has its own nutritional content and cannot be compared with each other. Yes, there is no ideal food to give to your little one. So that your child can get good nutrition, then the food provided must be diverse. Then, how to choose food for children so that their nutritional needs are met properly?
Select the type first
1. Food carbohydrate source
Food sources of carbohydrates are the main food for the brain and materials for energy. Foods such as cereals, bread, rice, pasta and noodles are good for serving at mealtime. Give your child a source of carbohydrates with low glycemic index values such as pasta and whole wheat bread will provide energy for a longer time.
2. Vegetable and animal side dishes
Lean meat, fish, chicken, and alternative meats such as eggs, nuts, tofu, and whole grains can meet the needs of iron, zinc, vitamin B12, omega-3, fatty acids and proteins for the growth and development of children's muscles You. Iron and omega-3 fatty acids are also very important for children's brain development and help children in learning.
3. Fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables help children protect the body from diseases, because they contain vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and water. Children aged 4-8 years need at least 1½ pieces of fruit and 4½ servings of vegetables every day. Instead of giving your child a large amount of vegetables, you can provide a small but varied serving of vegetables. For example, you can offer your child 1 cup of green vegetables; ½ cup of broccoli, carrots or pods; ½ medium-sized potatoes and 1 medium-sized tomato.
4. Milk and other dairy products
Milk, cheese and yogurt contain protein and calcium which are good for the growth of bones and teeth. When your child is a baby, breast milk and formula are the best milk until he is 12 months old. After that, he started drinking cow's milk before replacing it with low-fat milk at the age of 2 years. To get enough calcium intake, children with age:
- 2-3 years requires 1½ servings of dairy products a day
- 4-8 years requires 1½ -2 servings of dairy products a day
- 9-13 years requires 2½ - 3½ servings of dairy products a day
- Over the age of 13 requires 3½ servings of dairy products a day
One serving of dairy products can be one glass of milk or two pieces of cheese or 200 grams of yogurt.
White water is the best drink for your child. Sweet drinks such as fruit juice, sweet wine, isotonic drinks, potable water, soda and flavored milk will only fill your child's body with sugar deposits. Most sugar will actually make your child lazy to eat.
Children who are accustomed to drinking sweet drinks are at risk of having excess weight, obesity, and tooth decay. If your child starts consuming sugary drinks from an early age, this can continue to be a long-term habit when he grows up.
Food for children must also be adjusted to their age
1. Healthy food and food for babies and toddlers
Many parents introduce rice cereal to six-month-old babies. You can provide vegetables, fruit and crushed meat in addition. When you are eight months old, many babies are ready to try cheese or yogurt. At the age of 12 months, your baby is ready to try the healthy food that is usually eaten by your family.
Maybe, when your little one grows up, he needs a snack. Make sure if the snack you provide is full of nutrients, not only sweets or sweet cakes that can make him overweight.
2. Healthy food and food for kindergarten children
Preschoolers need more energy to play and learn. A good breakfast is very important, because breakfast can help your child start a good start to his daily nutritional needs.
Your child may be very picky at this age. If he is not enthusiastic about trying new foods, you can work around this by asking for advice and ideas from your little one around a healthy family meal menu. When a child takes part in the cooking decision, he will take part in eating the menu.
3. Healthy food for school-age children
At this age, your child may be busy with his social life, pocket money given, and personal choices about favorite foods. He is also easily influenced by friends and the development of trends, so this is a good time to convey reasons about eating healthy food.
For example, you can explain to your child that a healthy breakfast can help him concentrate in school and have the energy to move. Sharing healthy food and snacks with your child who is still in school can encourage him to eat nutritious food and develop his daily eating routine.
When you pack school supplies, you can include healthy food in it. Add vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meat or eggs, carbohydrate-rich foods - for example whole wheat bread - and water.
4. Healthy food for teenagers
Your teenage child will generally be more independent about their food choices. He will also experience a lot of life pressure. Usually, because of that your teenagers will be more choosy in eating their food or trying this diet. However, give more understanding to him if all the food is actually good, just need to adjust the portion. You also have to be a role model, so also apply a healthy lifestyle so he follows you.
Is it hard to make your child like healthy food? Perform this precise trick
You will have an important role to play in helping children choose nutritious foods at every age. However, sometimes it's not easy to make it like healthy food. Well, here are some of the best and fun ways to strengthen a healthy diet:
- Invite your child to plan and make a food menu
- Eat together with your family, if possible every night
- Provide a bowl of fresh fruit or cut vegetables for a ready-made snack
- Increase the variety of foods and keep healthy food
- Only serve healthy and nutritious foods in your cupboard and refrigerator, and leave snacks that are high in calories.
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