Healthy diet plays a vital role in child’s physical and mental development. But, it isn’t an easy task for parents to encourage kids to eat healthy diet. A healthy diet means an adequate amount of calories and fat but high amount of vitamins and minerals.
Calories needed for a kid:
- Up to 5 years of age kids need 1, 200 – 1, 600 calories per day
- Six to eight years of age kids need 1, 200 – 1, 800 calories per day
- Nine to seventeen years of age kids need 1, 600 – 3, 200 calories per day
The followings are the tips for parents on their kid’s healthy diet.
- Foods to include – Include fruits, vegetables, green leafs, whole grains, milk and milk products, egg, chicken, nuts, oilseeds in your kid’s diet.
- Foods to avoid – Avoid excess sweets, fried foods, processed foods, packed foods, butter, creams, mutton and fried chicken from your kid as much as possible.
- Include calcium rich foods in kid’s diet. A kid needs 500 – 800 mg of calcium daily.
- Low fat foods – Kids should have adequate amount of fat. The diet should be low in dairy products and meat. The diet may contain low fat foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Use olive, canola and other vegetable oils over butter.
- Encourage your kid to drink plenty of water.
- Limit sweet beverages and foods. Instead of giving sugar-sweetened foods, offer them fruits which are natural sweet foods. Intake of sodas and other sweet drinks should be limited.
- Be a choosy on fish. Kids should not eat mercury contained fishes like shark, swordfish, and mackerel but can eat fishes like salmon, canned tuna, catfish and Pollock. Avoid fried fish too.
- For breakfast – Always make it a habit of your kid to have breakfast daily. The breakfast may be whole grains with nut butter and apples, oatmeal with berries and milk, breads with eggs, whole grain cakes with low fat yoghurt or cereals. Even if a banana and a glass of milk can supply energy throughout the day.
- Healthier snacks – Provide healthier snacks such as fruits, popcorn, unsalted nut, unsweetened yoghurt instead of chips and biscuits because chips and biscuits are low in nutrients and high in calories.
- Exercise – one to two hours of physical activity is essential for every kid.