The question in every mother’s heart is what should I make my child eat for his better nourishment?
If the children have to grow normally, they need just right amount of calories, micronutrients, macronutrients- not too much and not too little. Paying little attention in these early years, can optimize your child’s learning in school, prevent nutrient deficiencies now & later, and help in normalizing the growth.
The Reality of Eating
The quality and adequacy of your child’s diet have an important bounce on academic performance, from your child’s ability to pay attention in class to her performance on tests.
Parents found that eating breakfast has also been shown to improve attention focus, and concentration, & has positive effects on weight status, eating patterns, and appetite regulation.
School age kids are living on edge of excess and deficiency when it comes to nutrition. They are consuming too many calories, too much saturated fats, total fats, sugar, and not enough calcium & fiber.
Given this info, our goal is to help you capitalize on health & minimize the nutrition threats. Let’s have the knowledge of –
Which nutritious foods are really important for our children?
My goal isn’t to get your child to get exactly what is listed below, but to give you a better idea of what to offer and how to often. Portion size is a reminder that children need smaller portion sizes than adults do, & the smaller eaters get overwhelmed with big portions.
It is also important to include a variety of foods in our diets rather than stay fixated on one or two in particular. Variety ensures our bodies receive the full array of nutrients, vitamins and minerals we need, and it keeps us from getting bored! Here it goes:
- Eggs are great for growing kids, mainly because of their high protein content. Protein is highly essential for growing children.
- Eggs have omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, folate, zinc, iron and selenium. Serve one to two eggs for breakfast, (find the recipe here)several times a week. This will provide sustained energy so that your child remains energetic throughout the day.
2. Broccoli is one of the best vegetable sources of calcium, a very important nutrient for growing children as it helps foster peak eyesight. It is also a good source of B vitamins, which aid digestion. Give your growing child broccoli daily.
It is best if broccoli is eaten raw, juiced or lightly steamed to get maximum nourishment. If your child does not like plain broccoli, you can try putting it in soup or casseroles.
3. Yogurt –The good bacteria present in yogurt boost immunity and aid digestion. It also contains calcium, protein, carbohydrates, vitamin B, zinc and phosphorus.
Eating yogurt daily promotes healthy bones and strong teeth as well as helps meet some of the high energy needs of children.
If your child does not like plain yogurt, you can drizzle it with honey or maple syrup. You can also add fruits
4. Sweet Potato are ranked as one of the most nutritious vegetables available. They are very rich in beta carotene and that are essential for eyesight. Also, they are a good source of vitamins A, C and E, potassium, folate, calcium, iron and fiber.
You can serve them boiled, grilled or as baked sweet potato dishes. You can also deep fry sweet potato slices and serve them as a substitute for unhealthy potato chips.
5. Bell Peppers-There’s more vitamin C in a bell pepper than an orange, and kids who are opposed to cooked veggies often love to snack on raw red pepper strips.
Being high in vitamin A, red bell peppers help to support healthy eyesight. Vitamin C helps inn healthy immune system.
You can pour in soups, noodles, and even serve in red bell pepper hummus.
You can roast it, bake it, with chicken and fish. Add in your pastas or cutlets.
6. Brown Rice has 10 times more energy producing B-vitamins than the white kind. Get kids started on it early, and try brown rice crackers, breads, and pasta, too.
When you start your baby on solids, experts tell you to begin with rice cereal. This is because rice is known to be allergen free. Brown rice pudding, rice crispies, are kids favorites. Its rarely allergic to kids.
7. Pumpkin- High in vitamin A and antioxidants like beta carotene, it can be pureed and served plain for babies or added to muffins and quick breads for the whole family.
Don’t forget the seeds—a tasty source of iron. It is low in fat and calories, but high in fiber. The nutrients in Pumpkin will help your baby relax and sleep better.
8. Coconut –Swap water for coconut milk as a cooking liquid for rice or noodles or add it to smoothies—it’s a natural source of electrolytes (sodium and potassium), and most boxed versions are fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
Coconut milk is healthy and may be consumed by children. This humble liquid may not replace a mother’s milk, but it is nutritious enough to supplement your baby’s solid food diet.
9. Corn –Do you know corn is actually a whole grain? It’s full of the antioxidant zeaxanthin, which benefits vision, and also contains some fiber and protein. Corn or maize for kids include good supply of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, acts as a natural laxative and it is good for eyesight.
When you’re serving corn seeds to kids, make sure that you boil them or at least roast .
10. Chickpeas-The health benefits of Chickpea or Garbanzo beans for babies include supply of high protein, reduces the risk of anemia, good for bone growth, acts as a laxative, improves lower intestinal tract functionality, supplies antioxidants and is a good source of polyunsaturated fats.
Sauté them for your kids who are above 5-6 years of age. You can sauté them with small quantity of oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, little bit of pepper powder and salt. Children would love it so much.
We recommend that instead of giving multivitamins to compensate for imperfect eating habits, you implement, a “food first” strategy- tweaking the food in your child’s diet and then adding supplements if needed.
Do add in your child’s diet to boost variety, immunity, energy & help him to explore new tastes. I am right here as your success partner applauding for you:)
Share your feedback and experiences in the comments section below.