A healthy, balanced diet is vital for your child, especially as it provides them with essential nutrients needed for their continued growth and development. Yet with so much conflicting information out there regarding food and health it can be confusing for many parents when trying to understand what your child needs and why they need it. Here at Tutor Doctor we want to get back to basics and explain why a healthy diet is so important for your child and what healthy eating really means.
One of the most important reasons for your kids eating a balanced diet is down to nutritional value and the demands of a growing child. Kids often crave processed fast food, sweets and chocolate, which are loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats. Not only can these types of food cause weight and health problems, but they can also make your child feel sluggish and unmotivated. In fact, if a child doesn’t have enough nutrients in their diet, it may even cause learning development issues, growth problems and illnesses, especially as children’s immune systems are underdeveloped compared to adults.
Encouraging kids to eat fruit, vegetables and other whole foods, will provide essential vitamins, minerals, fibers and proteins, which are all crucial for overall growth and development.
What does a balanced diet for kids really mean?
Making sure your child has a balanced diet means much more than eating fruit and vegetables for every meal. It involves encouraging them to have a healthy relationship with food! For example, making sure they don’t eat food for the sake of it and knowing that binging on junk food won’t make them feel good. Understanding and using the word ‘moderation’ early on will be sure to teach your child fantastic eating habits, which will stay with them for life.
Other ways a healthy diet can be achieved is by making child-appropriate portion sizes as well as aiming for three balanced meals a day with up to two healthy snacks.
What food groups does my child need?
There are several food groups that are important for your child. These include fruit and vegetables, starchy foods, protein, dairy and fats and sugars. To know why each food group is important, which foods contain each source and how many portions of these your child should be having per day, check out this easy to use table.
How can I encourage my kids to start eating more fruit and veggies?
There are so many quick and easy ways that you can start encouraging your kids to make healthier choices. For some great tips and tricks make sure you read our blog post here, which shows 7 ways to get children to eat fruit and vegetables. Trust us- they do work!