Nutrition for kids should not be very complicated. The truth is children need the same vitamins and minerals adults do. Although it’s true that they need different amounts of these vitamins and minerals, in general a healthy diet for adults is a healthy diet for kids. With a little creativity, you can make your child healthy food kids love.
Of course children need smaller portions but most healthy foods should be encouraged including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, meat and healthy fats.
Some parents complain their children don’t eat enough, while others say the kids eat more than they do. So how many calories do children need? When discussing nutrition for kids and calculating calories it’s important to understand children need many more calories per kilogram of body weight then adults. In fact, a healthy, active toddler needs almost 3 times the calories per kilogram than a healthy adult.
Some children prefer finger foods to food you need utensils to eat, and that’s ok when they’re little. Finger foods can be healthy too, so don’t overlook some great ones to expose your child to healthy foods that are fun as well.
Of course, some children are picky eaters. They need more exposure to healthy foods and non-preferred foods in general, but with a little work they will eat a healthy, well balanced diet.
Food jags are also extremely common in children as a way for them to excersize control. If your child goes through a food jag, be patient and respect her choice while gently encouraging a wider variety of food.
Many children also drink alot more milk than they need. Toddlers between the ages of 1-3 need about 16-18 ounces of milk per day, not to exceed 24 ounces. The reason why this is so important is because if they are drinking so much milk they are full and won't eat other foods, which in turn decreases the nutrition they are getting from other food.
Other than that though, a good amount of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and small amounts of meat should be encouraged so your child has a healthy, balanced diet.
The bottom line is, good nutrition is about the same for adults and children. Offer your kids a wide variety of healthy foods and they will thrive.
Healthy food for kids does not need to be scary or out of reach for children. With a little help and creativity, all children can eat a healthy diet.