Do you want your child to build healthy eating habits but don’t know where to start? Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can prepare your child for optimal nutrition.
What Should My Child Eat?
Like adults, your child needs a balance of macro and micronutrients to perform and grow. However, you child will need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. By giving your child nutrient-dense foods, they will develop properly and create healthy habits that will stay with them as they grow older.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Encourage your child to eat a variety of fresh, canned, frozen or dried fruits and vegetables instead of drinking juice. Producers often add additional sugars to fruit juice, making it high in calories.
Feeding your child whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa and rice helps them meet daily protein, fiber, vitamin and mineral requirements. Whole grains provide more nutrients than refined grains.
Proteins are crucial in your child’s nutrition plan. If protein consumption is inadequate, your child may experience little growth and development. To add protein to your child’s diet, consider offering them seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and unsalted nuts or seeds.
Limit These Items
Try to limit added sugars and saturated fats in your child’s diet. If eaten in excess, these foods can lead to obesity, heart disease and other medical issues later in life. Replace these items, when possible, with naturally sweet fruits and healthier oils.
Dealing with Food Allergies and Intolerances
As you begin to expand your child’s palate, you may discover they have allergies or intolerances to certain foods. A registered dietician can help you determine healthy replacements to ensure your child is still meeting their nutrition requirements.
The Kangaroo Forest offers daily meals packed with nutrition for its students. Looking to enroll your child in a well-rounded child care facility with the ability to help children understand healthy eating? Schedule a tour of our facilities.