A diet is everything that the child eats and drinks from birth. Baby’s body uses nutrients to grow, to function properly and to stay healthy. Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals in the right amount give the child energy for growth, learning and activity.
Children need a certain amount of calories for the development:
• If a child receives more calories excess calories will be stored as fat;
• Deficiency causes anemia, passivity.
What is the importance of proper nutrition?
A poor diet can cause health problems, overweight and obesity. Some of the health problems associated with poor nutrition can be very serious, especially in adolescence. Teaching a child to stick to healthy eating habits prevents the disease, allows maintaining a healthy weight, without forced diet.
Possible consequences of overweight or obesity in children cause:
• Heart disease,
• High blood pressure,
• High cholesterol,
• Sleep apnea,
• Some types of cancer,
• Problems in the collective: fat children are teased, bullied over, which causes a feeling of isolation.
How to accustom a child to a healthy diet?
Education and the promotion of healthy nutrition from birth give the child the important tools for a healthy lifestyle.
The benefits of good nutrition for children are:
• Healthy weight and height;
• Mental and psychological well-being;
• Ability to learn and to concentrate;
• Strong bones and muscles;
• Good level of energy;
• The ability to fight disease – high immunity;
• Rapid wound healing, recovery from illness or injury;
• Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and bone diseases in the future.
How to help your child make healthy choices in eating?
The children develop a natural preference in the products they use in their lifetime. Parent’s task is to make healthy foods attractive.
There are the basic positions of the development of the culinary preferences habits
• The attention should be focused on the total diet rather than specific products. Children should eat fresh food with minimal processing – boiling, stewing, steamed or fresh vegetables as salads or desserts. In a childhood, the momentum of imitation is very strong, so parents should be role models in the food.
• Offering of the useful food choices, cooked at home, at a certain time – such mode helps provoke the appetite without overeating. Menu made up for a few days in advance so that the child would try different dishes helps provide a variety of choices.
Tips on making healthy food habits
Children are not always open to new taste sensations. Specific ways to support good nutrition include the following:
1. Offer several options of fruits and vegetables every day.
2. In the store, you can offer your child to choose fruits and vegetables to try.
3. Maximize the use of fresh, unpreserved vegetables, typical of the place of residence. In the nutrition of children under 4 years you should avoid citrus fruits and hybrid, as a source of possible allergies.
4. High quality protein sources include fish, eggs, nuts, and lean chicken and turkey.
5. In the diet the main place is preferably given to cereals such as oatmeal, buckwheat, millet, rice and others, and do not forget the bread.
6. In the menu, be sure to include fresh dairy products, cheese and cheese. Kefir, cottage cheese for babies should be prepared by you.
7. For the child, the water balance is important, so children should receive a sufficient amount of drinking non-carbonated water, milk, fruit drinks, fresh juices, jelly and weak tea. Avoid sports and energy, carbonated soft drinks, yoghurts with long-term storage.
8. Up to 6 years it is necessary to completely eliminate fast food, fried food, popcorn, potato chips, low-quality chocolate, and donuts. Any snacks outside the diet should be useful.
9. Before buying you need to read the labels of food products. Nutritional information on the labels of packaged food and beverage lists useful information: serving size, calories and nutrient composition.
How to become a good role model in the diet?
In normal nutrition and a healthy diet, the whole family takes part. To do this you must practice good habits in daily diet:
• Make a freshly prepared breakfast mandatory ritual – it gives children the energy to study and for the vitality.
• The daily rate for a child depends on the age.
• Children determine the amount of food that they can eat perfectly – it is not necessary to insist on the full clean of the plate.
• Meals and snacks should be submitted for the whole family to the general acceptance of food would become a good tradition – meal must necessarily take place at the table, not in front of TV.
• Take care of the slow and gradual acceptance of foods to feel satiety and do not overeat.
• Do not use junk food as a reward for cleaning or other help about the house – it will transform chips or chocolate in particular value.