Nutrition for children is important nowadays as children are more likely to eat foods that are taste good instead of wholesome, and many foods that are delicious are commonly either highly sugary or salted, neither way the delicious choice is not good for them at all.
It is up to the parents to ensure the meals are as balanced as possible. With balanced meals, they will be able to have all the necessary nutrition for children to optimum and normal growth both mentally and physically. In addition to the different food groups and nutrition supplements that should be part of their daily dieting, the preparation of the food should be taken into consideration as well to assure its nutritional integrity.
The following are a few recommendations to help keeping children’s nutritional balance:
1) Always make it a point to offer nutritional snacks such as fresh fruits, vegetables and yogurt. When a child chooses such nutrition packed snacks habitually it effectively decreases the possibility of unhealthy food choices and intake.
2) Teaching a child the importance of reaching for a glass of water instead of sweetened drinks is another good habit to inculcate. Water is not only a cheaper alternative but is also one that is ultimately the only totally healthy liquid to consume.
3) Sharing a nutritious meal with a child, as often as possible will help to encourage the child to make healthy choices simply by watching the adult’s positive eating habits.
4) Basically, with proper nutritional intake the child will be able to develop mentally and physically without any unusual problems. The health conditions of the child would also be better both in the growing stage and as a good foundation for the future adult phase in life.
Common Nutrient Deficiencies
From early childhood to the toddler, there is usually a limited amount of foods that can be eaten. Ensuring that these foods are highly nutrition for children can be quite a challenge to insuring a complete and healthy diet plan.
While infants who are on a breast milk diet is supposed to have the best and most complete nutrition needed, today many mothers are not self-aware of their own eating habit and certainly not ensuring their total nutrition intake.
Whenever this happens the milk produced won’t have altogether the ideal nutritionary content. The same holds true for the children when simply providing snacks and food that are convenient and fast are often not highly nutritional.
The following are some of the deficiencies that are likely to show up in the health of children:
* Vitamin D – this is common in infants born to mothers with low levels of vitamin D in their own body systems. This usually leads to development of Rickets, which is a bone delebitating disease.
* Vitamin K – it is becoming a very common practice to administer a dose of this vitamin in a newborn as it help to prevent a rare condition which causes bleeding into the brain.
* Iron – most infants who are breastfed for longer than 6 months are usually are risk of developing iron deficiency in the first year. This can be changed with some additional foods into the diet plan besides simply depending on only the breast milk for sustenance.
* Vitamin A – this is a fat-soluble nutrient that is stored in the body and used according to the body needs and when there is an insufficient amount of this vitamin in the child system, frequent infections occur.
Teach Children Healthy Eating
There are many reasons why children should be taught to eat healthy from a very young age. Good eating habits will assure that they are getting all their nutritional needs. It would also ensure the child’s weight and health conditions are kept to its optimum.
The following are some recommendations on who to approach the topic of healthy eating habits for children:
1) Guidance and not dictation, is the best way to help children adopt a healthy lifestyle and make informed food choices. Providing a healthy mixture of snacks within easy access of the child will help this process even more.
2) Teaching a child to ingest food at a slower pace will encourage them to good and healthy eating habits. Eating slowly will allow them to actually learn to taste and enjoy the foods being eaten therefore helping them to consume less and yet feel fuller. Including children in food shopping sprees is another good way to educate them on healthy food varieties available and the the benefits to our health.
3) Making this exercise as fun and informative as possible is good for their future healthy food choices. Encouraging children to help in the actual food preparations is also another good exercise to instill in the daily routine of food preparation.
This is also a different fun technique to introduce healthy food to the children and encourage them to form good habit of consuming such foods.
4) Encouraging the consumption of water over other drink options is also another healthy choice to follow. Water is a much better option as it not only hydrates but also is less like to cause unwelcome negative build-ups in the body system.
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