Every parent wants the best for their children. But when you are busy with work, you’re prone to get into bad habits and it is difficult to ensure the preparation of decent meals for the whole family.
Meanwhile, nothing is more important than a well-balanced diet for your children as well as for their development in particular speaking and the whole family in generally.
Well, it’s simply because food is the source of energy. Nutrient-rich foods will provide the body with the vitamins and minerals needed to ensure good health.
Children are the mirror of their parents, so you have to be a good example for your child to build healthy eating habits that you want your baby to follow.
But what is healthy eating habit and what should you do to help your angels understand about a nutritious meal?
Here, in this article, I’m going to help your children better understand the importance of a nutritious diet with pyramid-shaped foods – called food pyramid. Also, I’m going to list out top do’s and don’ts food for your children as well as some highly-recommended food combinations to vary their healthy diet.
How to Have a Balanced Diet?
I bet that you have all heard about 5 types of fruits and vegetables that everyone should eat every day, but do you know that potatoes are not included in them?
Potatoes belong to another type of food: carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates – as well as protein, dairy products, fats, fruits and vegetables – are five different foods that are included in nutritious diets for children and adults, that we should eat with different content.
Seems complicated, huh? Do not worry – I will help you remember how much to eat each type!
- At the bottom of the pyramid is the foods containing carbohydrates, such as bread, rice, cereals and pasta. They resolute energy gradually throughout the day and are a staple food for every child.
- The next layer of the pyramid is fruits and vegetables, which are important for your baby.
- The top layer consists of protein (meat, fish, beans, barley, eggs and nuts), dairy products (cow’s milk, yogurt and cheese).
- The top of the pyramid represents the portion of food that should be restricted to daily meals, with fat like butter, cooking oil, sugar and sweets.
Of course, the nutrition for infant is different from the dietary needs of older children, which leads to the food pyramids for children of different ages may be different.
The above guidelines are the basic principle for any child over 3 years of age.
To make your baby easier to understand, let your baby create a food pyramid with pasta to surround the pyramid and border its four floors of food group. Then, use those foods that represent different group and place them in the correct location of the towers.
What Nutrition Do Your Child Need?
Some foods can help them cure and even prevent illness. The substances in common fruits and vegetables have these effects.
In contrast, some additives, commonly used in the manufacture of food, have bad effects on their bodies.
Learning and understanding the process of food production will help you and your baby understand the importance of nutrition and a healthier diet.
Why do not you and your family explore the manufacturing process together by bringing your baby to visit a farm nearby? The other way you can do is to grow your own clean vegetables at home!
Food Facts: How to Care for Children
The key to ensure a good health simply lays on the way you choose food! What you eat will affect your body in the long run.
Regardless of which type of diet you choose – your family may be vegetarian, or might you should follow the rules of your religion – you and your baby should keep in mind the following:
Hygiene: Always wash fruits and vegetables or peel them out before eating, to prevent germs and chemicals used in the production process.
How to Cook: Some cooking processes can remove important minerals and vitamins from fruits and vegetables. For example, steaming is a good way to eat broccoli to maintain all of its nutrition instead of boiling.
Breakfast: Often called “the most important meal of the day” (and recent studies have shown that eating breakfast can reduce the risk of heart disease in the elderly).
TV: The habit of watching television while eating is warned as not good for children. They will tend to extend meals or eat less when watching their favorite shows. So, avoid watching television during the meal. Instead, let the whole family enjoy on the dinner happily together! Keep in mind the above, it will help you prepare your baby for a healthy and happy future!
How to encourage children to eat a diet?
Pay attention to what your child eats when he or she walks. In childhood, if you give your child a healthy eating habit in the long run, it will be a good foundation for them in the future.
Take the opportunity to keep track of your eating habits and change them if necessary! As a parent, you play an important role as a role model for your child in the choice of food and eating habits.
Always try to eat with your child: At least once a day, the whole family should reunite at the dinner table. Children should focus on eating and following good examples.
Ideally, you should offer safe food for your child.
A diet with nutrient-rich ingredients will help to ensure balanced nutrition. Even when some foods are rejected by your baby from the beginning, it is important that let them eat comfortably and freely.
In fact, there should be enough nutritional components added to a meal, and let your child choose.
The principle is to place foods on the table so that your children can feel free to choose what they want to eat. Children need more than 10 ‘experiences’ before accepting a new dish and eating it comfortably. Then, of course, they will need praise from everyone.
At the end of the first year, your child may learn to feed himself in his or her safe eating chair. Food is hand-picked. Slowly learn to eat by spoon. Have your baby use a slightly curved spoon and a bib, making things messy as part of their learning process. You can also spread the sheets on the floor.
Give your child time to get used to the food. At first, it is difficult to bring food into the mouth that will scatter everywhere, it is perfectly normal. Be patient and help your child by explaining, encouraging, and giving compliments.
Best foods for children
Eating eggs daily will help your child get enough calcium and protein to keep his or her immune system healthy. The need for protein will increase with age so the eggs at this stage are very clean food and good for the baby.
In addition to calcium and protein, eggs also have a lot of good compounds or minerals. Parents should avoid letting your children eating eggs in the evening because this causes bloating.
Yogurt is one of the most beneficial calcium sources for children.
Many children do not drink milk, so yoghurt is a perfect replacement to afford the calcium requirement of your baby’s body.
Yogurt has good bacteria supporting the immature digestive system of the child during digestion. If have time, you can also make your own yogurt recipes for your children.
If they do not like the taste of vegetables, you can add vegetables to your baby’s diet through other forms.
For example, you can use spinach or broccoli in bread. Add spinach or broccoli in cheese, sandwiches. Or use vegetable juices.
Green vegetables contain all of the important nutrients and vitamins needed in the early years of the baby’s development. Therefore, it is important to put vegetables in the diet of the child, help them enjoy eating this nutrient food in any way possible.
According to recent information and studies, butter and peanut are good for children.
Butter and peanuts are rich in vitamin E, vitamin A, folic acid, copper and zinc. All vitamins and minerals should be added to your child’s daily diet, especially their breakfast.
Many mothers think that high-calorie cereals are not good for children. This is not true because cereal provides all the important nutrients necessary for the growth of the baby.
Whole grain cereals such as oats, wheat … not only provide essential nutrients but also a good source of fiber for the digestive system of children.
Every day, 2 servings of fruit in your child’s diet will supply them with vitamin C, vitamin A and iron. This helps children to have good immune system to fight against diseases.
Besides, Remember to Avoid These Foods for Your Children
Canned meats such as sausages and cold cuts are not good for children. The potential risk of having children eat canned meats will result in obesity, heart disease or diabetes, even cancer.
These foods contain high levels of salt, fat and calories. Therefore, children will take higher risk to catch some specific diseases than the adult if you regularly feed them these foods.
Too salty foods
Foods that are too salty or overly salty may damage the blood vessels of a baby, affecting the blood supply to the brain’s organs if they are fed in long time.
This leads to decreased memory and slow reaction, children may have the phenomenon of anemia, lack of oxygen in the brain cells. Therefore, you should consider those salty foods in the daily diet of your children like salted fish, fish and dried fish. If added, kindly take notes the amount of each.
You should pay attention to minimize the pre-packed ingredients when preparing baby food such as canned meat, canned corn and canned fruit.
Because these ingredients contain a lot of preservatives, which is not good for human health, especially for young children. Parents should note that canned food is not good for the youngest.
It will work to provide the maximum nutrients for your baby when buying fresh food for processing.
Canned soft drinks and soft drinks
Canned soft drinks or soft drinks help children eat better, even eat more during their meals. These are the favorite drinks of young children. However, you may not know that there is a risk of obesity and kidney disease in children if they regularly drink them.
Therefore, it’s essential to limit such unhealthy drinks. Instead, let them enjoy the vegetable juice or fruit contains good vitamins for children.
Don’t Forget These Perfect Combinations of Foods for Your Baby’s Health
Mix pumpkin with ripe bananas and apple juice
– Pell pumpkin, wash and then steam until they’re soft → mash them down.
– Speaking of banana, choose the soft ripe.
– The apples are washed and then soaked in brine in 5 minutes → peel → add into the juice press.
– Add the pumpkin, some banana and apple juice to the bowl and mix well.
You can decorate with some cilantro or basil or herbs.
Apricot juice combined with the pear juice
– The apples and pears are washed and then soaked in brine for 10 minutes.
– Apples and pear are peeled and then steamed.
– Put the apples and pears in the blender with some little water → grind to make a sauce and pour into the cup to serve.
The combination of sweet potato with apple juice
– Sweet potatoes: clean their shell and peel off → cut into itty-bitty pieces and then steam until they’re soft → bring to the puree.
– The apple is soaked in brine in 5 minutes and then peeled → add into the juice press.
– Put some sweet potatoes into the bowl, pour a little apple juice into the mix and then ready feed the baby.
Mix pumpkin with flour
– Peel pumpkin, wash and cut them into thin pieces, steam until soft, then take them out and to mash down.
– Make the baby food powder, follow the instruction in the box’s guidance.
– Put the pumpkin in the baby’s meal and mix it. Then, let your angels enjoy this unique, aromatic and nutritious dish.
Ripe bananas, butter and flour mix
– Bananas should be soft ripe.
– Avocado should be ripe, too.
– Add banana and avocado to the blender or you can cut the banana into small pieces while mashing the avocado down.
– Make the baby food powder, follow the instruction in the box’s guidance.
– Mix the banana and avocado with baby food powder and then serve your child.
You can also incorporate some good baby food as well as other fruits along with the baby food powder to create new flavors to stimulate your child to eat better!
For more healthy meal snacks for kids, take a peek here.
Thanks for reading.