A balanced diet can make a big difference in the overall health and well-being of your child. It helps the children grow as needed. Parents are the best role models. Serve your children balanced meals, so that they grow up healthy and strong.
What is a Balanced Diet?
Balanced diet means that you choose foods in the right amounts from each of the food groups (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein and fat). Adults and Children both need the same types of nutrients; the difference is in the amount of specific nutrients at different ages.
Why is a Balanced diet important for Children?
Good nutrition as children generally will lead to good nutrition as an adult. It can have a positive impact on learning at school and it helps to promote a healthy weight throughout their lifetime. If you do not start develop the habit to eat many fruits or vegetables as children, you may lack nutrients which are important for growth and development.
Balanced nutrition for children:
It can have adverse affects on a child’s weight gain and body growth, if its diet is deficient in the required nutrients. Below given are the nutrient dense food groups for the children.
Fruit and vegetables:
Fruit & vegetables provide most of the required nutrients such as, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber your body requires to stay healthy. They are very low in fat and calories and helps to control your weight. It also helps to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.
Eating five portions of various fruits and vegetables per day is recommended.
Choose seafood, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, seeds and soy products. Protein is essential for muscle building and repair and growth and building antibodies. Our body uses the protein we eat to make specialized chemicals such as hemoglobin and adrenalin. Try to eat lean cuts of meat and skinless poultry whenever possible to cut down on fat. Salmon and tuna fishes are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which has significant health benefits.
This group constitutes foods produced from the milk of mammals. Choose milk, yogurt and cheese which are excellent sources of calcium, important for strong and healthy bones. Children and teen-age people must get plenty of dairy for good bone development.
Fiber is most important for a healthy bowel movement. It forms an important part of a healthy balanced diet. While the main role of fiber is to keep the digestive system healthy, it also helps in reduce the risks of heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, and some cancers.
Healthy fats and Carbohydrates:
Children require the right amounts of healthy fats and carbohydrates for energy. Both of these provide energy which one needs to function during the day. Only when we eat too much of them we consume more energy than we burn, and this can mean that we put on weight. Unsaturated fats is the healthy fat found in soybean, canola, olive, and sunflower oil helps to lower cholesterol and provide us with the essential fatty acids. Carbohydrates contain fewer calories than fats and proteins and provide fiber, which promotes good digestive system function.
A well balanced diet is essential for your child’s growth and health.
Make your child read this: Eating a well balanced diet helps you- to control your weight, to grow healthy, to be energetic, to reduce risks of many diseases and to be more fit and happy. (Repeat once.)
Activity for kids: