As a parent, one of the most important things you do is to help your children learn healthy eating habits.
Youngsters need a reasonable eating routine with food from each of the 3 nutrition classes vegetables and natural product, entire grain items, and protein food varieties.
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Youngsters need 3 suppers per day and 1 to 3 bites (morning, evening and potentially before bed). Solid tidbits are similarly just about as significant as the food you serve at dinners.
The best food varieties are entire, new and natural new products of the soil, entire grains, dairy, and meats; and home-prepared suppers.
Sugar and sugar substitutes
- Offer foods that don’t have added sugar or sugar substitutes. Limit refined sugars (sucrose, glucose-fructose, white sugar) honey, molasses, syrups, and brown sugar. They all have similar calorie counts and also contribute to tooth decay.
- Sugar substitutes, such as aspartame and sucralose, do not add calories or cause tooth decay, but they are much sweeter than sugar and have no nutritional value. They may lead to a habit of only liking sweet foods and make it difficult for your child to adjust to fruits and vegetables. It’s a good idea to limit them in your child’s diet.
Juice and water
Offer water when your child is thirsty, especially between meals and snacks.
Limit juice to one serving (125 mL [4 oz]) of 100% unsweetened juice a day.
Serving actual fruit instead of fruit juice adds healthy fibre to your child’s diet.
Sometimes children will drink too much at mealtime or between meals, making them feel full.
Sodium is a mineral that maintains proper fluids in your body. It’s also needed for nerve and muscle function. But, eating too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease. Sodium is commonly referred to as salt.
Offer your child healthy foods that are low in sodium as often as possible.
Processed and pre-packaged foods tend to have high amounts of sodium.
Too much sodium in childhood can lead to a preference for salty food, which is associated with obesity and/or disease later in life.
Use the % Daily Value (DV) on food labels to compare products. Look for foods with a sodium content of less than 15% DV.
Keep recommended sodium intake in mind when choosing foods for your child:
|Age||Adequate intake (mg/day) |
(1 level teaspoon of table salt is 2,300 mg)
|0 to 6 months||110|
|7 to 12 months||370|
|1 to 3 years||800|
|4 to 8 years||1000|
|9 to 13 years||1200|
What about fat?
Healthy fats contain essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 that cannot be made in the body and must come from food. Cook with vegetable oils such as canola, olive and/or soybean. Healthy fats are also found in salad dressings, non-hydrogenated margarines, nut butters (e.g. peanut butter) and mayonnaise.
Many fats that are solid at room temperature contain more trans and saturated fats that can raise your risk of heart disease. Limit butter, hard margarines, lard and shortening. Read labels and avoid trans or saturated fats found in many store-bought products, such as cookies, donuts and crackers.
Limit processed meats, such as wieners and luncheon meats, which are also high in fat, sodium (salt), and nitrates (food preservatives).
As the parent, you must:
Set customary supper and bite times that work for the entire family. Share eating times and eat with your youngsters.
Offer an equilibrium and assortment of food varieties from all nutrition classes at eating times.
Offer food in manners they can oversee without any problem. For instance, cut into pieces, or crush food to forestall stifling in more youthful youngsters.
Assist your youngsters with figuring out how to utilize a spoon or cup so they can eat autonomously.
Remember your kid for age fitting food arrangement and table setting.
Try not to involve dessert as a pay off. Serve sound pastry decisions, for example, a natural product cup or yogurt.
Show your kid how you read names to assist you with picking food varieties when shopping.
Keeping away from drive-thru eateries shows your youngsters the significance of getting a charge out of supper time as a family, while practicing good eating habits home prepared dinners.
It’s your child’s job to:
Choose what to eat from the foods you provide at meal and snack time (and sometimes that may mean not eating at all).
Eat as much or as little as they want.
What if my child is a picky eater?
Don’t stress too much if your child refuses a food product or meal. Refrain from giving them something else in between meals just so that they eat. They will eat better at the next meal.
Don’t worry too much if your child doesn’t seem to be eating enough. If their weight and size is on track, they are probably getting what they need. Just make sure to offer your child a variety of foods from all food groups to make sure they are getting the right nutrients. Your child’s doctor will monitor their growth at regular appointments and will let you know if there are any problems.
Children’s appetites change from day-to-day, or even from meal to meal. Because they have small stomachs, children need to eat small amounts often throughout the day. Children know how much food they need and will eat the amount that their body needs.