As a parent one the most important duties we have to our children is to make sure they receive adequate nutrition from the foods they eat. Nutrition is essential for kids because proper nutrition helps prevent illness and disease, and affects their growth, development and learning. Eating the right food promotes a better quality of life because when kids feel good physically, they’re able to take part in the activities they enjoy. They are able to learn and have better mental clarity.
Everyone needs the same types of nutrients — such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein and fat. Children, however, need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. We need to educate our children and ourselves about proper nutrition.
- 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.
- Vegetables. Serve a variety of fresh, canned, frozen or dried vegetables. Aim to provide a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas
- Grains. Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice.
- Dairy. Encourage your child to eat and drink fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese
Limit your child’s calories from:
- Added sugar. Limit added sugars. Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruit and milk, are not added sugars.
- Saturated and trans fats. Limit saturated fats