Proper Nutrition for Children: What Foods to Prepare and Limit

Children are particularly picky when it comes to food intake. For the most part, they love to eat sweets and treats. However, some do not enjoy eating healthy and nutritious foods. If left unattended, this food consumption can compromise their overall health and well-being.

But as a parent, you have the sole responsibility to foster your kid’s health and wellness. Understand that it all starts with what your children consume. For this reason, be wary of what foods you prepare and put on the table. As such, you can ensure they have a healthy diet for proper nutrition.

That said, here are top foods to prepare and avoid for your children’s healthy diet:

What to Prepare

As a parent, it’s best to know what kinds of foods are ideal for your children. It’s not just about preparing meals that look interesting and taste good. It’s also about cooking dishes after knowing what nutrients they contain.

For a healthy and balanced diet, be aware of the food nutrients your kids need. They can be macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, and fats. On the other hand, they can be micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. Below are top foods for your children:

  • Fruits

The rule of thumb is for your kids to eat fruits of all colors. You can opt for either whole fruits or sliced ones. Your children can also eat different canned, frozen, or dried fruits. However, make sure they aren’t chemically processed. As for your fruit juice, be sure to limit it to one glass a day. But make sure that it’s 100-percent juice from fruits without added sugar and artificial flavor.

  • Vegetables

The best course of action is to select those dark, green leafy vegetables. Also, opt for red and orange ones for different meals every week. Plus, don’t forget to consider beans and peas as well. Why? It’s best to have a variety. The more kinds of veggies, the better.

  • Grains

When it comes to this, opt for whole grains. These include wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice. However, be sure to limit refined grains like rice, pasta, and white bread. Know that the less processed the grains are, the better they are for your kids’ health.

  • Dairy

As far as dairy is concerned, encourage your children to consume fat-free or low-fat products. These include unflavored milk, plain yogurt, soy drinks, and cheese. These dairy products, especially milk, contain Vitamin D and calcium. Ultimately, they are ideal for your children’s health.

  • Protein Sources

Protein is essential for growth, especially for children. First, consider plant-based foods rich in protein. These include beans and peas, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Second, consider foods from animal sources, such as fish, eggs, and poultry. Lastly, opt for red meat like pork, beef, and lamb. However, make sure that they are lean meat with less fats.

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What to Limit

It’s one thing to eat nutritious foods; it’s another to avoid unhealthy foods. Unfortunately, the world gets saturated with plenty of foods that can be bad for the health. With an unhealthy diet, your children can easily and quickly get sick. When this happens, you have no choice but to rush them to a pediatric center.

Hence, you should monitor what your kids eat most of the time. There are some treats you must limit and foods they must avoid altogether. As far as your children’s food intake is concerned, here’s what you should regulate:

  • Fats

There are such things as good and bad fats. While healthy ones include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, unhealthy ones are industrial-made trans fats. Saturated fats are somewhere in between. That said, avoid trans fats coming from processed foods with partially hydrogenated oil. Also, limit your intake of saturated fats that come from animal food sources.

  • Sugar

There’s a line drawn between natural and processed sugar. Naturally occurring sugars are present in fruits and milk. On the other hand, processed sugars include brown sugar, corn sweetener, syrup, and honey. That said, be sure to regulate your sugar consumption and always read the labels.

  • Salt

Too much sodium intake can be detrimental to your children’s health. Unfortunately, many kids consume foods filled with salt regularly. For this reason, it’s best to monitor your kids’ food intake. For instance, opt for whole fruits for snacks instead of chips and cookies. If not, read the nutrition labels and opt for foods less in sodium.

At this point, you now know how to ensure your children’s healthy diet for proper nutrition. Consider healthy and nutritious foods recommended above, from whole fruits to protein sources. Be sure to avoid fats, sugar, and salt intake, as discussed above. As a responsible parent, you must be on top of your kids’ overall health and well-being. Ultimately, you can expect your kids to grow healthy and strong.

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