BALANCED DIET FOR CHILDREN AT AN EARLY AGE- A Complete Guide For Parents.
If you are a parent of a toddler, who is too picky with his/her diet, then have a look at this article. This article is a complete guide for parents for maintaining a balanced diet for their children at an early age.
We all are aware since birth that food is an essential part of our lives and existence, and a balanced diet in our lives will make it easier and simpler.
Children at an early age can be excessively picky about their feeds. They pick flavors over a handful of nutrition. Early age is an age in which a child grows physically and mentally, for this growth and development, a child needs a good portion of nourishment, nutrition with a balanced and healthy diet.
A balanced diet varies from children to children, depending on their ages, growth, development, weight, height, and sex.
WHY DO CHILDREN NEED A BALANCED DIET AT AN EARLY AGE?
As I mentioned before, that they develop physically and mentally, a balanced diet is an important factor in their development and growth. Whereas, early age is the first action towards life investment. Although at an early age, children like to be more energized, active and encouraged as they are in their learning phase. So, pursuing a healthy and balanced diet will help them in their learning phase as well. On the other hand, absorbing improper, unhealthy feeds during this age can be the reason for obese children, and it can be harmful as well for their existence, their learning capacity can also be influenced.
LIST OF BALANCED DIET:
There is a list below for some good portion of nutrients that will fulfill a balanced diet for children:
Calcium and Vitamin D:
They both have a huge impact on children’s development as they play an important role in developing bones, teeth, etc. On the other hand, Vitamin D is essential for building their immune system. Their deficiency can lead to rickets in children.
Sunlight is an essential source of Vitamin D. Whereas your child can have calcium from green vegetables, milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
For maintaining hemoglobin levels in growing children. Iron is necessary and vital. Providing iron-rich foods to the children is beneficial for their bodies in the long term.
Your child can have Iron from beans, fishes, fruits including apples, etc.
If we say, protein makes our body, so this isn’t incorrect. Well, protein-rich diet is another factor in the list of a balanced diet as protein is the building block of a child’s teeth, hair, nails, etc.
Egg, milk, meat, dairy products are the best sources of protein.
We all are familiar with the most famous slogan, ” Cut the Carbs.” Well precisely, cutting carbs from a balanced diet isn’t correct, but initially, carbs are the main source of energy. It is a fundamental fuel for children as they provide four calories/gram of energy. To maintain the glucose level in the body, children should consume carbohydrates in their diet.
Rice, potatoes, bread are a rich source of carbohydrates.
It is primary and beneficial for your child’s digestive tract. It is essential because initially, it regulates bowel movements, reducing the risk of obesity in children.
Fruits, whole grains, vegetables, lentils, nuts, etc. are rich sources of fiber.
Another essential source of energy is known as fats/Lipids. They provide nine calories/gram of energy, which means it is more important for a child to consume more fats. Fats are important for the development of the brain initially as a brain is 70% of fat in nature. On the other hand, fat is a fuel that can absorb fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E, K. If the proper and right amount of fats can’t provide in a diet, it may lead to obesity, over-weight, heart diseases, and many more health-related diseases.
Fish, nuts, meat, cooking oils, milk products are some rich sources of fats.
Vitamins fall in two different categories according to their solubility, while both are beneficial for children’s development in different aspects.
- Water-soluble Vitamins: Water-soluble vitamins are;
- Vitamin C: It is a water-soluble vitamin and must consume in the diet regularly. It is essential for the immune system, a powerful antioxidant that absorbs iron; and helps in collagen (tissue) formation. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. The deficiency of Vitamin C leads to scurvy (bleeding gums) in children.
- Vitamin B Complex: As the name suggests, there are eight groups of vitamin B, which are beneficial for bodily functions. A list of Vitamin B is given below;
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (niacin)
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B7 (biotin)
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
- Fat-Soluble Vitamins: They are;
- Vitamin A (Retinoids): Vitamin A is a great source for maintaining vision. Carrots are the ultimate source of vitamin A.
- Vitamin D: It is an ultimate source for bones and teeth health. Sunlight is a rich source of vitamin D.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant, boosts up the immune system, and helps in blood clotting. Almonds and fruits such as kiwi and mango are rich in vitamin E.
- Vitamin K: Vitamin K prevents blood clotting, reduces heart–related diseases. Fruits and green vegetables are the ultimate sources of vitamin K.
Note: Their deficiency and toxicity can lead to different diseases in children.
A balanced and healthy diet from an early age can be beneficial in the long term. Eating right and a proper amount of nutrition is important for your child’s development and growth. A healthy and balanced meal will fulfill your child’s body requirement and have an impact on his/her body and mind positively. Involve your child in consuming the right portion of nutrition to keep them healthy, active, and energized all day long.
Eat Healthily, Stay Healthy.
Myra Qureshi is a medical student, a passionate newbie writer, and a trainee author at https://fundaking.com/. She is willing to write in health issues, diet, self-care, motivational related niche, and recently published her articles on https://firstname.lastname@example.org. She likes to engage herself with words. She is willing to be the best and great content writer.