All parents worry if they’re providing nutritional goodness for their kids, especially when dealing with picky eaters. How can you make sure your children are getting all the nutrients they need to grow?
Here are six simple tips to help you feel confident you’re feeding your kids everything their growing bodies need.
1. Consume calcium
Do you remember that song from nursery school about how important calcium is for teeth and bones? Well, you can ensure that your kids get their calcium intake by including calcium-rich foods like spinach, broccoli, and milk in their regular diet.
2. Milk your way to healthier choices
Since milk is so easy to consume, it’s vital to include it in your child’s diet. When it comes to the type of milk you choose to give to your child, it all depends on their age and needs.
Babies who are less than 12 months old must be breastfed exclusively. Toddlers older than a year and up to the age of two will do well to consume some a2 goodness. This refers to milk made from cows that exclusively produce the a2 protein. This means it contains all the goodness of milk, just without the digestive disturbances common to the a1 protein.
3. Serve snacks
You must keep in mind that children have smaller tummies. They cannot be satisfied with just eating breakfast, lunch, and supper.
The suggested number of snacks for children is two per day between their three main meals. Also, snacks must be healthy and evenly spaced out between meals. It is advisable to give a child a snack at least two hours before main meals.
Since children feel hungry between mealtimes, they are more likely to settle for a healthier treat if that’s what’s on offer for snacks.
4. Keep up the carbs
Children eat to gain energy and one food group that is known to provide lots of energy is carbohydrates. The good news is that it’s easy to incorporate carbs into your child’s diet.
Make sure that they’re eating balanced meals with fruits, vegetables, and grains and they’re good to go! You can prepare a potato side dish or include rice with dinner. Fresh brown bread is another easy and accessible source of carbohydrates for kids.
5. Be generous with your servings (but not too generous)
Usually, parents feel uncertain as to how much to feed their children. A rule of thumb is to always dish out less than you assume your child will eat. If your child is still hungry after the first serving, they can just ask for more.
The right amount of fat, iron, and calcium to give your child per meal is about a third of an adult serving.
All parents hear about how essential vitamins are for kids. Growing children need adequate vitamin intake to grow up healthy and strong. Luckily, nature takes care of us that way, so most foods include vitamins already.
For instance, red peppers and carrots are a good source of vitamin A. Some parents may also give children multivitamins each morning, but you must always consult with your pediatrician before giving your child any supplement.
Everything should be served in moderation. Be sure to incorporate all five essential food groups into your child’s diet, and remember that the healthier you keep your meals, the more your child will start to crave healthy things. Make a good impression and set the tone for nutritious eating from the onset. The rest will take care of itself.
Photo: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash
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