LITTLE ONE’S HEALTH
Food is an essential part of human life. Giving proper and healthy food for kids to children from day 1 is the most important responsibility of every parent. Healthy foods that contain the right amount of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins should be given on daily basis. A balanced diet is very important for children to grow healthily. Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of essential nutrients.
In today’s world, oily foods and junk foods are more welcomed by most of the kids. But the truth is these kinds of foods are not all good for health and spoil their routine. Having known this is our sole responsibility to guide kids in inculcating the right food habits.
Switching to a healthy diet can have a profound effect on children’s health, helping to maintain a healthy weight, avoid certain health problems, stabilize their moods, and sharpen their minds.
Vitamins and minerals are required by children to grow strong and healthy. These nutrients can be easily accessed through a variety of foods
- Calcium: Calcium is the essential building block of bones and teeth.
Who needs it and how much:
- Ages 1-3: 700 mg daily
- Ages 4-8: 1000 mg daily
- Ages 9-18: 1300 mg daily
Foods that contain calcium: Dairy products, fortified foods, salmon, dark leafy vegetables such as kale.
- Iron: Iron helps muscle build-up and red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. Kids' iron requirements range between 7-10 mg a day.
Foods that contain iron: red meats and other animal products, cashews, beans, and lentils.
- Vitamin D: vitamin D works with calcium to build strong bones. It may also help protect against chron8c disease later in life. Babies and children should get at least 400IU of vitamin D.
Foods that contain vitamin D: Some fish, including salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are excellent sources of vitamin D, as are eggs and fortified milk. Vegetarian and vegan families should look for fortified cereals high in D.
- Vitamin C: Helps in healthy connective tissues, muscles, bones, and cartilage and helps the child’s teeth and gums stay healthy.
Foods that contain vitamin C: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, winter squash, cabbage, green and red peppers.
Consider nutrient-dense foods:
- Protein: Choose seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Fruits: Encourage your child to eat a variety of fresh, canned, frozen, or dried fruits- rather than fruit juice. If your child drinks juice without added sugars and limits his or her servings. Keep in mind that one-quarter cup of dried fruit counts as one cup-equivalent of fruit. When consumed in excess, dried fruits can contribute extra calories.
- Vegetables: Serve a variety of fresh, canned, frozen, or dried vegetables, including, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy, and others, each week. When selecting canned or frozen vegetables, look for options lower in sodium.
- Grains: Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice. Limit refined grains such as white bread, pasta, and rice.
- Dairy: Encourage your child to eat and drink fat=free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, or fortified soy beverages.
- Juice and water: offer water when your child is thirsty, especially between meals and snacks. Serving actual fruit instead of fruit juice adds healthy fiber to your child’s diet. Sometimes children will drink too much at mealtime or between meals, making them feel full.
- Sodium: Sodium is a mineral that maintains proper fluids in the body. It’s also needed for nerve and muscle function. But, eating too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease. Sodium is commonly referred to as salt.
- Offer your child healthy foods that are low in sodium as often as possible.
- Processed and pre-packaged foods tend to have high amounts of sodium.
- Too much sodium in childhood can lead to a preference for salty food, which is associated with obesity.
FOOD GROUP CHOICES:
- Give your child at least one serving per day of high vitamin C food. Examples are citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, potatoes, and green peppers. Your child also needs one serving per day of vitamin A food. This includes spinach, winter squash, carrots, or sweet potatoes.
- Some children may have trouble swallowing peanut butter at first. Give them only smooth peanut butter up to age 3 to 4.
- Until age 2, your child should have whole milk and full-fat dairy products to make sure their nervous system grows well.
Limit the child’s calories from:
- Saturated and trans fats: Limit saturated fats- fats that mainly come from animal sources of food, such as red meat, poultry, and full-fat dairy products. Look for ways to replace saturated fats with vegetable and nut oils, which provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Healthier fats are also naturally present in olives, nuts, avocados, and seafood. Limit trans fats by avoiding foods that contain partially hydrogenated oil.
“Health is very important to lead a life without hindrances.
A healthy life gives a happy life”.