Healthy eating for children
Everything about healthy eating for children in one place

Everything about healthy eating for children in one place! Full nutrition is essential both for proper growth for children and for their overall development. A guiding principle for all ages is the regular intake of varied and balanced food, but enough water – too. At home, parents are the best way to encourage kids to build their eating habits.

At different ages, the daily needs health of children for energy and nutrients are also different. Specialists recommend eating three main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and two mid – morning and afternoon snacks. In this way, daily intake of food is moderate and regular.

Breakfast in the morning provides the child’s energy to prepare for the day. 150 g of yoghurt with 2-3 tbsp muesli and a handful of berries would satisfy all the nutritional needs of a school-age child. With a well balanced diet, the infant will receive sufficient amounts of macro- and micronutrients. As a major component, carbohydrates should account for between 45 and 60% of daily energy intake. Proteins and fats should be 15-20%, ie. 30% of energy needs. It is also necessary to pay attention to the trace elements (vitamins and minerals) that ensure the proper functioning of the body.

It is well known that children like to eat jam. Therefore, it is important that the daily intake of additional sugar does not exceed 10% of the total. For eight years this would mean no more than 30 g per day, pre-puberty age 47 g, and during puberty – up to 60 g per day. Additional sugars include those needed to prepare different foods, as well as those in fruit juices and sweeteners.

Said substances are found in a certain proportion in the daily diet of the child. Depending on their ingredients, foods can be divided into six groups.

Groups of foods in the diet of children

Basically, the food pyramid contains cereals, fruits and vegetables. They are followed by milk and dairy products, meat and its substitutes. The top is fat.

Cereals. These foods and products, especially unprocessed, are a good source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, of Group B, Iron and Magnesium vitamins. Wheat, oats, barley, corn, buckwheat, millet, rice and cinema are all part of this group.

pumpkin baby menu
Basic principles of complete diet and selection of foods rich in low fat and processed sugar

It is recommended that cereals be included in the first meal of the day – in the form of wholegrain bread and breakfast cereals. Special attention should also be paid to what snacks we buy as they contain large amounts of added sugar.

Vegetables are second to the food pyramid and are a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients with a low fat content. Specialists recommend that children become accustomed to them as soon as they begin to eat solid food. This will create and maintain eating habits that help to get the full range of nutrients. Seasonal vegetables are always welcome at the kids’ menu.

Fruits. They are an excellent source of fiber. Not only are vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients rich in fructose. Just as with vegetables, it is advisable to consume a variety of seasonal fruits. If this is not possible, frozen are a good option. It is good to avoid eating canned fruits and sweetened juices as they contain a lot of sugar and are often not a rich source of nutrients.

Fruits are great for an intermediate breakfast at any age. A mandatory portion is also from the first meal – in combination with cereals and dairy products. If your child is not a big fan of the fruit, try replacing them with a discomfort.

Healthy eating for children and young people

Milk and dairy products. Because of the high protein and calcium content, dairy products are an important part of eating at an early age. Calcium and vitamin D are important because they help in the formation of bone mass. Including other calcium rich foods such as cereals and leafy vegetables increases the intake of important minerals needed for the development of the child.

However, be careful, as milk and dairy products sometimes cause allergies. So give the child a small amount of milk and watch how it will affect. In case of suspicion of an allergic reaction, consult a pediatrician immediately. Due to the lactose contained in it, fresh milk can cause digestive disturbances. In such cases, yoghurt is the better option. Fermented dairy products contain good bacteria that strengthen the digestive system of children and facilitate the absorption of calcium. Yogurt with chopped pieces of fresh fruit is a great breakfast for every child.

Meat, fish, eggs, nuts, pulses. The foods in this group are sources of protein, vitamins from group B, vitamin E, zinc, iron and magnesium. It is good to keep in mind that red meat (eg pork, veal, lamb, etc.) is rich in saturated fatty acids and their presence in the children’s menu should be in moderate amounts. Fish is a good substitute as it is a healthy source of more easily digested proteins. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids – extremely important for the development and functioning of the brain.

Experts advise older children to also receive legumes, seeds and nuts to buy extra protein and healthy fats. Natural seeds and nuts, even peeled, are not recommended for young children as they risk choking. That’s why it’s better to crush them. Nuts can also be potentially potent allergens and for this reason / like fresh milk / inclusion in the children’s menu should be done at a later stage and with caution. Iron in food of animal origin is easily taken up and processed by the body, unlike in foods of vegetable origin.

Fat. The emphasis here is on unsaturated fats like olive oil and flaxseed oil. And while the intake of saturated fat is reduced, the diet of the child as a whole should contain enough fat. They are especially important for the development of the brain and other organs. They also increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins and phytonutrients.

1. Consume a variety of balanced meals that contain foods from all groups;
2. Select natural cereal instead of processed;
3. Give children fruit and vegetables 5 times a day – in salads and trimmings to the main or as snacks;
4. Include fish in the children’s menu at least once a week;
5. Choose foods rich in protein and with less fat and processed sugar;
6. Bet on fresh seasonal products;
7. Watch for enough fluids – about 600-800 ml per day, depending on the age of the child.