When it comes to food children can be extremely headstrong. They have the tendency to judge foods harshly, it’s too squishy or the wrong color, they may refuse to eat it. This picky eating phase is one that most children go through. In spite of this, it is essential that children maintain a healthy diet, right from the womb.
In the WombBecause your baby eats what you eat, giving your child a healthy diet begins n the womb. At this time in your child’s life, it is important that proper nutrients and energy are provided to ensure that your baby grows and develops properly. Similar to when you were trying to conceive, you should eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, starchy foods, protein-rich food and dairy, says the Food Standards Agency. In addition to these, the agency recommends that pregnant women consume plenty of fibre, folic acid, Vitamin D and iron.
During the first six months of your child’s life, the nutrients and vitamins found in breast milk or formula are enough to sustain him or her. It is best to consult with your health visitor or GP about which type of feeding works best for you and your child. When your child is six months old, he or she should begin eating solid foods. Again, consult your health visitor or GP for which foods to avoid and if you feel that your child is ready for solid foods before the six-month mark.
From toddlers to teenagers, a balanced diet is essential to a child for staying active, for growth and for staying healthy. As your child gets older his or her nutritious needs will change, but a balanced diet enriched with super foods is a stable in their life.
Toddlers, who tend to be fussy eaters, need ultimately, a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, the experts at the Kids and Nutrition website say.
Carbohydrates are foods like bread, cereals and rice. These foods provide slow-burning energy. Choose whole-grain items ideally, as they contain plenty of fibre, which will aid digestion.
When it comes to proteins, feed your child meat and fish as well as dairy products, lentils and soy products.
Toddlers need more fats than adults. The best source of fat for your toddler is from milk, cheese and yoghurt instead of cakes, pastries and biscuits. According to Kids and Nutrition, children should drink whole milk until the age of two to ensure they are receiving enough fat in their diet.
Vitamins A, C, D, calcium and iron are staples of your child’s diet. Ensure that enough of these vitamins and minerals are provided as a part of your child’s diet.
By the time your child is five years old, they should be eating a similar diet to the rest of the family, Kids and Nutrition says. However, there are a few extras children need to consume to ensure they are receiving enough energy:
1. Ensure that the entire family eats well by cutting down on processed and junk foods, as well as foods high in sugar.
2. Meals should provide a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins and minerals, and when possible, meals should be eaten together as a family.
3. Research confirms that children are most likely to perform better at school if they begin the morning with breakfast.
4. Ensure that your child has snacks throughout the day to maintain appropriate levels of energy. Avoid sugary, fatty snacks in favor of fruits, crackers and raw vegetables.
Exercise and General Health
While a balanced diet is essential to your child, ensuring that they receive enough exercise and physical activity is equally important. Find ways to incorporate physical activity into your child’s routine to ensure that they maintain an active lifestyle. Make sure that your child attends GP and dental appointments regularly.
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