Nutrition for kids: easy ways to boost their energy
All loving parents want their kids to be happy and healthy. Through all stages of childhood development, kids experience changes that occur incredibly quickly. To fuel this development it is important to have the right nutrition for kids.
Recent studies have indicated that good nutrition does not simply improve physical health. It is believed that a healthy diet will improve a child's performance at school, and his or her emotional well-being too. Subsequently, good nutrition for kids is a hot topic. So if you want to boost your child's energy levels, and ensure that he or she is healthy, then your first consideration should be diet.
Breakfast: The most important meal of the day
Good nutrition for kids must start with a good breakfast. However, how do you get a child to eat a healthy breakfast? Well there are a number of tactics you can employ, for example;
Try mixing a healthy smoothie. Simply make a base of milk, vanilla and a little honey, and then add the fruit of your choice and mix in a blender. You may like to add some wheat germ or wheat grass to this concoction for an extra nutritional boost. Alternatively, try placing layers of fruit, granola and yoghurt into a glass.
A healthy choice of cereal can be given an extra kick with the addition of chopped nuts, raisins, coconut or wheat germ.
Obviously, the best way of tracking your child's lunchtime diet is to send them off with a prepared lunch. However, even then parents have no way of knowing what has been eaten and what has been thrown away. Fruit in particular, although it provides great nutrition for kids, can be easily disposed of.
Therefore you may need to get a little creative with your kid's lunch. For example try creating a fruit salad with a mixture of fruits, applesauce, yoghurt and perhaps a little popcorn.
If your child likes peanut butter you can offer some healthy additions to a peanut butter sandwich, including chopped dates, raisins, chopped nuts, applesauce and pineapple rings.
Finger food can be more enticing, so try carrot or celery sticks, hard-boiled eggs, a selection of raw nuts, and snack cheeses.
Dinner can be a tricky meal because you may be forced to cater to a number of tastes. Often parents are forced to cook several meals to satisfy the whole family. However, it is important for a child to at least try the meal that has been prepared. If they do not like it at least they have tried and will ultimately broaden their tastes.
You may like to involve your child in menu choices, and even preparing the meal, as this may encourage openness to new foods and flavours. Additionally, it can be helpful to include your child in the weekly shop. Give them healthy and nutritional choices such as which fruit they would like, or whether they would like chicken or fish.
Of course, the basics of nutrition for kids is easy- getting them to eat healthy food is something else entirely. Try to set a good example and make sure that your kids are well informed about nutrition. Additionally, it may be helpful to have only a few 'treats' in the house because if there is an abundance of junk food your child will want to eat little else.
Written by Dr Naras Lapsys, Nutrition Expert
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