Kids Diet is the specialized diet that has been designed bearing in mind the dietary needs of growing children while making it appetizing and tasty so children can enjoy their daily meals. A sound nutrition right from birth can have a long-lasting impact making them confident healthy individuals tomorrow. The foods consumed by children needs to be attractive, colourful, easy to handle and provide them with all essential nutrients needed for their proper development during the crucial early years of their life. This period in fact lays the foundation for their health in the years to come.
Laws Governing Kids Diet
It is the duty of parents to inculcate healthy eating habits in their children from a young age. Simple measures can have long-term benefits to the child’s health-
- Encouraging kids to clean their hands thoroughly before sitting down to any meal makes for a good start.
- Selecting the right kind of foods, even for snacking, can help to avoid childhood obesity which could continue into adulthood and lead to health problems.
- Children tend to lean towards eating foods of their choice; but it is for parents to guide them towards making more healthful choices.
- Since young minds are impressionable, several factors seem to influence the kids’ diet – peer power, TV commercials, and the characters they idolise all play a part in their decision on what they wish to eat.
- As the impulse to imitate others is very strong, kids tend to follow their friends, siblings and parents. Ideally parents can be the best role models by making healthy diet choices like eating fruits and vegetables instead of chips and soda.
- Sitting down together for family meals is a good way of bringing discipline to the table. Fixed meal timings, and the sense of togetherness could possibly help in enhancing the appetite.
- Emphasising the importance of breakfast as a healthy family meal is crucial as studies have reported improved cognitive performance at school in those kids who eat breakfast daily.
- Reserving restaurant meals for special occasions would be a good idea. Not only are home-cooked meals more healthy for the entire family, it could help children value family outings more.
- Involving kids in preparing their school lunches or snacks can be a valuable lesson in making correct choices and increasing their awareness on what’s good to eat and what’s not.
- Preparing healthy meal options for kids can be a good way of preventing them from being attracted to unhealthy junk foods that are high in calories, fat, salt and sugar content. Whole grain breads, vegetables, fruits can be used in interesting ways to keep the child away from snacking on cookies, pastries, donuts, chips etc. Healthy beverages like fruit shakes, juices, tender coconut water, milk and water must be encouraged instead of colas and sugary drinks.
- It must be remembered that parents should never use food to get things done, as a bribe, incentive or reward.
Benefits of kids Diet
- Including variety in the kids’ diet can help them to try novel and nutritious foods. Different vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals can provide the necessary carbohydrates to provide sufficient energy for their active lifestyle.
- Protein intake in the form of dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt; lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs on a regular basis is central to their growth.
- Essential fats – mono and polyunsaturated fats must be included in the diet to ensure proper development.
- Minerals like Calcium and Zinc are vital for increasing bone strength and enhancing mental performance. Iron, Phosphorus and magnesium are other important vitamins.
- Vitamins like Vitamin A, B-vitamins, and Vitamin C among others are important for maintaining healthy vision, energy levels and boosting immunity.
- Fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, figs and vegetables like celery, carrot, cucumber sticks can be used as ready snacks, high on nutrition.
It is important for kids to engage in regular physical activity in addition to a well-rounded healthful diet to reach their maximum potential. Any sporting activity they enjoy like swimming, basketball must be encouraged.