The basic nutrition which a child requires comes mainly from healthy eating. Healthy eating helps them develop their body, their mental ability, the strength to fight diseases etc. Our food intake should always be healthy rather than being junk.
A child must eat healthy food along with doing physical activities to stay fit and energetic.
According to Australian Dietary Guidelines our food must contain the below five groups to form a balanced diet.
Cereals like rice, wheat ragi etc.
Pulses and legumes.
Fruits and Vegetables.
Fish, meat, egg.
Milk, cheese, curd etc.
Quantity of food according to age
We generally don’t know the amount of food that we should serve our child, and this is the reason why they might eat less or overt eat or also can waste food. We should know how much quantity to serve according to our child’s age.
From the age of 2 to 3-year child must eat one serve of fruit and dairy, one serve of meat and poultry, and two serves of vegetables and grains.
From the age of 4 to 8-year child must have one and half serves of fruits and dairy, one and half serves of meat and poultry, and two serves of vegetables and grains.
From 9 to 11-year children must have two serves of fruit and dairy, two serves of meat and poultry, and four serves of vegetables and grains.
So we can see according to age the quantity of food is increasing, and everything is also included in the chart so that our kids can have a balanced diet.
How can we encourage our child to eat healthy?
Eating healthy is the norm of today’s era as our children are mostly attracted towards unhealthy and junk food. It is important to encourage them to have healthy food. Look at the below tips to adopt some to encourage your child.
- Always sit together to have meals, i.e., make meal time as family time.
- Try to include them while making salads and sandwiches.
- Show them each kind of fruits and vegetables and tell then about the colour they have and also talk about their nutritious value.
- Try to prepare a multicoloured platter for them so that they are attracted to food.
- Always have a healthy breakfast.
- Keep them away from junk food.
- Keep some fruits at home always so that they can have them as snacks.
Foods to avoid
Try to avoid or limit the intake of junk foods as they hamper a child’s growth and development process.
Cakes and pastries.
Ice- creams and candies.
Pizza, burger and chips.
Pasta and noodles etc.
Cold drinks and packed juices.
Limit salt and sweet intake as well as try to cook your food in clarified butter rather than using vegetable oil or refined oil.
Healthy eating is a habit which needs to grow in our kids. If they are provided with healthy food always, they will avoid junk food.