Kid Nutrition Quick Tips for Parents

November 12, 2012

Kid Nutrition Quick Tips for Parents

Some Nutritional Ideas to Help Children to grow Healthily

Learn what you need to feed the kids to ensure that they develop healthily and grow up fit and strong.

All parents want their children to grow up fir and healthy but that won’t happen on its own. Mums and dads have to have an input and ensure that ample nutrients are included in the children’s diets, and this is an ongoing daily issue. Any person who asks why this is an issue hasn’t tried to keep children satisfied with different healthy foods day in and day out! Children get bored of foods, friends tell them that their food is not fashionable or they just don’t like a food because of the way it has been prepared.

And when you have satisfied the little darlings’ appetites, don’t forget that they need a good night’s rest and lots of exercise too. Now you are on the right road to bringing up healthy children. By being fit and healthy, children have the power to fight off common ailments according to recent research.

The foodstuffs that children eat must be high in calcium, fiber, iron and proteins. And choosing some foods rich in antioxidants won’t do any harm either.

Calcium is a major player in the development of healthy bones and teeth, especially when children are growing and bones are developing. Cow’s milk is the answer. Very young children can have the full fat versions and as children grow up the type of milk can be varied to low fat (but still with all of the calcium).

Milk is one of the easiest ways to get calcium into a child, milk on breakfast cereals is easy, fast and nutritious and you can add fruit too. There are also milk shakes and fruit flavored milks, but a word of caution, check the amount of sugar present. Some of these drinks, although high in calcium are also high in sugar.

Any other dairy food can easily be added to a child’s diet, whether it’s yoghurt for a snack or cheese in a whole meal sandwich. Homemade milkshakes can be a great way to get some added calcium into the children and if they help make the shake then they will be more likely to drink it. Just choose a suitable fruit, maybe strawberries, raspberries or bananas and add milk and ice and then give it a blast in the blender. Now you have instant calcium with all the goodness that fruit provides too.

You can also use milk to add to your children’s fiber intake. Get them to eat high fiber breakfast cereal at breakfast with their favorite milk and you are getting the day off to a flying start. Children, like the rest of us, need lots of fiber to aid digestion. Another note of caution, it’s normal to find that sugary breakfast cereals have less fiber so look for a high fiber and low sugar cereal that the children will eat. If the children do have a sweet tooth then use fresh or frozen fruit as an addition. Tinned fruit is fine too as long as it’s unsweetened.

Other ways to get the kids to take fiber include fresh fruit and vegetables cut into bite size pieces to be used as snacks. Another great favorite for children are beans. Just choose the correct tins if they like them that way, no added sugar and no added salt. Dried beans are best and much more durable. They can be added to almost any foods from stews, salads to salsas and they are protein rich too.

Iron has got a bad press from children, the thought of eating spinach, dark cabbage or foods full of blood through the ages has proved too much for many a child. But it doesn’t have to be that way; there are lots of other foods which contain iron. Many of today’s breakfast cereals advertise the amount of iron present in an average serving and some meet between a quarter and a third of the recommended daily required amount.

Other good foods include eggs, lean meats, beans and dried fruits, and don’t forget the dark green leafy vegetables.

A good trick which can help the body to absorb more iron is to have oranges or orange juice with your eggs. If your children are fussy then try salads topped with strawberries or other fruits and add their favorite dressing.

All of these tips help the children’s bodies to absorb the iron meaning that more oxygen is transported around the body keeping the children full of life.

Children’s diets must be balanced as well as healthy and protein is required in suitable amounts too. Healthy growth and development cannot happen without proteins in the body. All cells in the body require protein, so now you understand how crucial this nutrient is to our children.

The good news is that protein can be found everywhere; it’s in eggs, dairy produce, meats and seafood. It’s also present in smaller quantities in beans, vegetables, grains and nuts. The most obvious and easy way to get protein into your child is eggs. If they don’t like fried eggs then children like poached or boiled or omelet or scrambled. There is always one suitable. If you are running out of ideas then don’t forget pancakes and french toast. Fish, in particular salmon is also a good source of protein. Just find the best way to serve it, poached or baked with a healthy tasty topping is easy. And fish also provide lots of omega 3 fatty acids too, another great source of goodness for a growing body.

If the kids are watching television then drop a bowl of nuts, dried fruit, such as bananas, berries, apples and raisins and raw vegetables nearby. These nibbles are full of protein and fiber.

Antioxidants can help protect your child’s body

Antioxidants are a relatively new discovery and they have been found to protect the body from free radicals which can attack and damage cells within the body. By building up antioxidants then you are helping to protect the body at the molecular level.

Foods found to be very high in antioxidants include berries, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, citrus fruits and many nuts but in particular almonds and brazil nuts. To help build up the antioxidants in your child’s diet just have lots of fresh oranges handy when they want a refreshing snack, or add a few more tomatoes to the salsa. The possibilities are endless.

School lunches are another opportunity not to be missed, just add tomatoes to the sandwich filling and a handful of nuts to go into the yoghurt.

Because tomatoes are so common in the foods that children love, such as pizza, salsa, spaghetti bolognese or meatloaves then getting more into the diet is easy.

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