Nutrition-dense foods provide a strong foundation
As your children develop, they need the right fuel for learning and growth. They’ll need sufficient calories for hours of playtime as well as sugar and fats in moderation. As such, giving your child the proper diet will provide a strong foundation for a healthy, long life.
However, it’s normal to feel unsure of which foods will offer the best support for your child. So here are a few kinds of nutrition-dense foods your growing child needs.
Grains: Carbohydrates and Fiber
When it comes to providing your children’s body with fuel, carbohydrates and fiber help. Foods such as whole-grain cereals, pasta, crackers, and white bread will help keep them full and focused during the day.
Whole-grain foods also provide fiber and B-vitamins, which take longer to break down in the stomach. If you want to increase carbohydrates and fiber in your child’s diet, a few nutrition-dense foods your growing child needs include brown rice, quinoa, and whole-wheat couscous.
Fruits and Vegetables: Vitamin C and Potassium
There are many ways to find fruits and vegetables: frozen, canned, fresh, etc. Additionally, you can cook them in many ways: baking, broiling, roasting, stovetop, frying—the list goes on. If you want to avoid processed foods for your little one, sticking to fruits and vegetables will help in giving them the necessary vitamins and minerals they need.
It takes time for children to adapt to fruits and vegetables. Try giving them glasses of 100 percent juice or tossing some frozen berries in a bowl of cereal or yogurt. You can also have them snack on apple slices or place colorful fruits and veggies on their dinner plate. There’s a chance they’ll reject it many times, but with patience, it’ll soon become their favorite.
Dairy: Calcium and Magnesium
For bone support weight maintenance, dairy is the way to go. If you’re worried about excessive fats, you can find low-fat dairy options for your child. Foods such as a glass of low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, and string cheese make for excellent calcium and magnesium support. If your child has a dairy sensitivity, you can find calcium-set tofu, soy or nut-based milk, and cheeses.
Protein: Iron, Zinc, and B-Vitamins
Protein makes for excellent brain and muscle health. Foods high in protein also assist in keeping children full longer, so it’s essential for their diets. You can find high-protein foods such as eggs, beans, nuts, peanut butter, turkey slices, and hummus with veggies. It will not only help with keeping them healthy but also support them during their playtime.
It’s normal for a parent to worry about their children’s diets. Teach your children about essential nutrients and help them learn about what foods they do and don’t like; it will help them grow big and strong.