As a parent you are responsible for providing your child with proper nutrition. With the cost of fresh fruits and veggies on the rise, many parents find other fillers to give to their children. However, skimping on fruits and veggies can have costly repercussions. Fruits and veggies are low in calories, contain vitamins and minerals that your child needs for proper growth and development. Did you know that children who eat a wide variety of fruits and veggies don’t get sick nearly as often? Fruits and veggies support proper immune system function and prevent diseases like constipation, diverticular disease, many other diseases, and help prevent childhood obesity. Jessy, from DomeHealth.com, wanted to share with my readers some great tips for helping your achieve your commitment to your children to serve them with healthy meals.
Proper nutrition is essential for the growth and development of children and adolescents and in a more mature age contributes to the prevention of diseases related to the diet.
Childhood becomes a key point for the acquisition of correct eating habits. During the teenage years, these habits become more marked and many people remain with unchanged habits throughout their lives.
Eating habits are formed in children by the family, but also many other factors have a decisive influence. First are national cuisines and the tradition in food consumption, which society has acquired during its historical development. An Individual is often willing to consume what is available on the market and inadvertently to comply with the imposed traditions and habits, which apply to other members of society. Family preferences again occupy a very important place in the meals that are prepared.
Very interesting phenomenon with a major role in the development of the eating habits are the advertisements, that are distributed daily through television, radio, newspapers and the Internet. In contemporary society, their influence is increasing, as many of them often provide new market information, but also form an incorrect idea about how one should look and what food our body needs to consume. Unintentional adults fall under this influence and often buy a product without realizing that they are influenced by this advertising. Children and young people are more prone to such behavior.
So in order to be healthy and to make the correct and healthy choices, one should know the main principles of healthy eating and teach their children to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
What should appear on the daily menu of our child in order to grow up healthy and also to adopt beneficial nutritional habits? Which substances and elements are vital for good health and growth of children and teenagers? How to give them a complete and nutritious diet, without fear of obesity and weight problems?
Answers to these questions are given bellow:
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy. Carbohydrates are contained in rice, bread, cereals, potatoes, chickpeas, lentils and other grains, which should provide 50 % to 60 % of the calories that children and adolescents consume. They must always be present in the diet, because they are also a source of vitamins and fiber. Whole grains are digested more slowly by the body, providing this way a sustained release of energy.
Fibers are substances of plant origin, which are characterized by a higher resistance in the digestion process. There are insoluble and soluble fibers.
Insoluble fibers absorb little water, becoming a mixture of low viscosity that helps against constipation and gastric irritation. They are obtained from most of the grain foods.
Soluble fiber absorbs water to form a substance, like a gel, which reduces the absorption of fats and glucose by the body. It’s found in fruits and vegetables as well as dried peas, beans and lentils.
Fruits and vegetables
They are a source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. To obtain a sufficient quantity of fibers in the body of the child, it is recommended, that the fruits are consumed whole rather than prepared in the form of juice.
While the peel of the fruits has more fiber, more minerals and vitamins are contained in the fruit juice. It is better to consume fresh juices, as soon as they are prepared.
They are recommended to be consumed daily by children and adolescents as vitamins and minerals are immutable ingredients in their growth. Another advantage of the fruits and vegetables is that they assist in weight control and prevent the development of many diseases.
They can be eaten as fresh juices, fruit or vegetable salads and vegetable broth. It is advisable to include in the diet at least five servings of fruits or vegetables daily, distributed in the form of salads, desserts after a meal or as an appetizer between meals.
Meat, Dairy products, Eggs and Fish
These products are a great source of proteins and should occupy 12 % to 15 % of the daily calories food intake that children and adolescents consume. Proteins are an essential element of the structure of cells and tissues in the body. They contribute to the growth of the human body and are the basis on which to develop the muscles, bones, nails and hair. They are the main components of hormones and antibodies in the body, and are contributing favorably to the immune system.
Proteins are composed of amino acids, which are contained mainly in the products of animal origin. Proteins exist in certain grains, cereals, and dried fruits, but they are of lower biological value compared to the ones of animal origin.
Fat is good and even healthy consumed in moderate quantities!
Fats or lipids are an essential element for human health, aiding in the construction of cell membranes. They are the main source of energy and are indispensable for the proper functioning of the human body. Children and adolescents, however, must consume them sparingly because of their high calorie content.
There are two types of fats: saturated and unsaturated.
Saturated fats are found in butter, cream, cheese, egg yolk and they increase the level of cholesterol in the body.
Unsaturated fats are found in olive oil, nuts and fish and most of them have the opposite effect: they lower the cholesterol levels in the body.
In order to balance the intake of fat in children, it is recommended to:
- Use olive oil and / or lemon to flavor salads instead of sauces, especially if they are mayonnaise based ;
- The products should not be fried , to recommend other heat treatment as boiling, steaming and baking ;
- Although fat flavor very good food is better to add it to seasoning, to achieve the same effect.
Proper Water Intake
Water is a major element of life and takes part in all chemical reactions in the body. The body is composed of around 50% water and in order to keep it hydrated, its consumption per day should not fall below six cups. If children practice some sport, the water consumption should be increased. It is good to divide and drink the water in small amounts throughout the day. The water is always preferable over beverages, because they do not quench thirst properly and load unnecessary the body with more sugar.