Some of the major factors that contribute to the healthy growth of a child are nutrition and diet. Including ample nutrients in their diet is the key requirement for children of growing age. These nutrients aid in the development of essential tissues and they help in maintaining the healthy functioning of the body. The requirement to maintain a good quality of nutrients impacts the health of the kids. Kids of different ages have different requirements when it comes to nutrition.
Importance of Diet for Growing Kids
- The nutrition that your child takes has a huge impact on the health of kids, especially through adolescence and adulthood.
- The mental and physical well-being of children is highly impacted by a balanced diet.
- A healthy diet helps in maintaining the behavioral pattern and healthy functioning of the brain.
- The healthy functioning of the human body is influenced by a kid’s diet.
- Many types of children’s diseases can be prevented by maintaining correct nutrition.
- Nutrition helps to prevent some of the most common diseases like diabetes and obesity.
- Having the right immunity helps to prevent any type of risk of having infections in the body.
- To boost immunity, kids should also stay active, practice proper hygiene, emphasize healthy habits, and include good nutrition.
- It is important to understand what types of diet should be followed and what should be avoided as per your children’s age group.
- One should understand what to encourage when it comes to a child’s diet.
- Usually, a human body requires the same 5 types of nutrients – proteins, minerals, vitamins, fats, and carbohydrates but at different ages and stages, different ratios are needed.
Healthy Food for kids
A child needs a healthy and balanced diet for kids that will ensure that all essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. A child needs all of these nutrients for healthy development and growth.
Some of these nutrients are needed for various reasons. The major nutrients are needed by children for a healthy growth cycle. Healthy food for kids includes calcium, Vitamin D, Iron, and Omega-3 DHA that are used in the body.
It is also important to change the food habits of children with growing age groups. It is also vital to change the shape, texture, and taste of the foods to keep them interested. Giving a wide variety of foods to a child in the age group of 3-4 years is important.
For the kids of 4 to 6, it is vital to include healthy food in their snack or mealtime. For the kids in the age group of 7 to 11, children eat as per their appetite and the kids need to maintain their energy level and weight.
Unhealthy Foods for Kids
- Potato chips and French fries
- Seeds of fruits
- Fruit snacks
- Sports drinks
- Packaged noodles
- Granola Bars
- Hot Dogs
- Boxes Cheese and Macaroni
Immunity Boosting Foods for Kids
Although there are no specific immunity boosting foods for kids, but eating a combination of the right type of food is the correct strategy. These foods go a long way in boosting the immunity of kids. Below are some of these strategies,
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables along with meals and snacks
This is a strategy that never goes wrong. The more colors included in your kids’ diet, the better for their health. The vegetables and fruits should be a part of all your kid’s meals and snacks. You should include at least three colors in the meal to make sure it is healthy. Ideally, you can include bell peppers, strawberries, berries, apples, oranges, squash, carrots, and leafy vegetables.
At least a third of kid’s meals should consist of vegetables and fruits which will go a long way in improving their immunity and disease-fighting ability.
Complement your meal with Vitamin D
One of the most important nutrients is an ideal supplement that is important and you can never get enough vitamin D in your meal. The deficiency of this nutrient is linked to higher chances of infection as it is the only vitamin that is fat-soluble.
Not many foods contain vitamin D and it is available in a limited number of foods. You can find vitamin D in fortified milk, fatty fish, and vitamin D supplements. These supplements are often recommended if the children are deficient in them.
Include a higher quantity of proteins in snacks and meals
One of the most important parts of a diet is protein. It plays a huge role in strengthening the body’s immune system. Protein also helps the body tissues in the healing and recovery of damaged cells. There are a variety of foods that are rich in protein that include lentils, beans, chickpeas, nuts, tofu, and seeds which are all plant-based sources.
All these foods also have many other nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The protein-rich sources from animals include lean meat, seafood, eggs, and poultry. They also have additional nutrients like zinc, iron, and Vitamin B-12. These foods also support the immune system.
Include probiotic foods and yogurt in the diet
Probiotic foods contain many beneficial bacteria that are most commonly found in yogurt. These foods help in maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Research shows that probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium help to reduce infections in the respiratory tract.
All these types of foods provide numerous health benefits. The probiotics along with other key nutrients like protein and calcium help to maximize nutrition. Along with these, it is beneficial to reduce sugar consumption in your kid’s diet.
Include nuts and seeds that contain healthy fats
One of the biggest sources of nutrients in a balanced diet is nuts and seeds. They contain healthy fats along with fiber, protein, potassium, and healthy fat. They also contain nutrition like Riboflavin and Niacin. These nutrients help in warding off the effects of stress.
They also support the kid’s immune system. You should give just one cup of nuts to fulfill the daily kids. It will fulfill the requirement of Vitamin E and antioxidant which also helps in supporting immune function. The richest nuts include almonds, natural nuts, seed butter, and other nuts.
Best food for children’s growth
IF you want to include the best foods for your children’s growth, then you should consider some of the most nutrient-dense foods
The foods that are rich in proteins include lean meat, seafood, poultry, beans, eggs, peas, unsalted nuts, and soy products
A huge variety of fresh and dried fruits are the best diet for kids as compared to fruit juice. If you are serving fruit juices to children then they should not contain any added sugars. Canned fruits that are light or are packed in their juice means they have low added sugar and are good for health. Dried fruits might contribute to extra calories if consumed in excess.
Fresh vegetables and dried vegetables also provide a lot of nutrients in the diet. Vegetables should include dark green, orange, and red vegetables that are rich in nutrients. You can also include beans and peas in your diet. Canned vegetables and frozen vegetables have a higher amount of sodium so they should be avoided.
Whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice are better for kids’ immune system
Parents should also encourage fat-free or low-fat dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt
A healthy diet helps children’s mental and physical health, that’s why it is important for parents to focus on kids’ daily food habits.