How do we define what makes for the best nutrition for children? The nutritional needs for children are largely the same as for adults. Both children and adults need the same kind of vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and minerals. The difference is the amount of certain nutrients varies at different life stages or ages.
Basic Child Nutrition
Preschool children are known to be very active little beings and there is no doubt that they can be fairly opinionated about food, in fact about almost anything. Children between the ages of 3 and 5 needs loads of energy fueled food. Healthy foods consisting of lean meats, fish, poultry, legumes, and eggs are good protein choices. When it comes to the grain selection, whole grains such as cereals and whole wheat bread in stead of refined cereals or white bread are the better choice. Adding two servings of dairy products and fresh fruits and vegetables, you are likely to hit the mark in providing your youngster’s high energy nutritional demands.
What about treats?
Kids will always love treats and if you limit treats, there is no reason why you can not include it into their diet. It is important however to note, that if there are no treats in the house, it is unlikely for them to ask for some and you easily reduce the temptation this way.
Alternatively, if you want your kids to rather drink a glass of milk in stead of sodas or consuming drinks loaded with sugar or eating baked potatoes instead of fast food fries, you need to set the example. Various studies have shown that kids take on their parent’s eating habits from a very early age. Therefore, if you want your kids to eat healthy, you need to show them how.
By making some subtle changes, you can teach children to eat healthier without compromising on taste or certain foods. You can substitute ice cream with frozen yogurt and it still remains a frozen desert for them. Replace white rice with couscous or bacon with Canadian bacon. Instead of giving them cookies give them fig or other fruit bars. Make mash potatoes with low fat milk and serve that instead of French fries. Replace fatty cheeses with low fat cheddar.
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