10 Best Foods for a Healthy Life for Kids

When it comes to food, every child has their own tantrums. They wrinkle their nose, run away from that place, deny constantly, cry, vomit and do lots of things just to avoid food.  When a child is growing, it requires a certain amount of nutrients, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, proteins, fats, water, etc. to grow healthy and easily.

In the present days, children are more inclined towards fast food which not only helps in satisfying their hunger but also does not give them anything healthy in return. These fast foods are loaded with unhealthy fats and provide nothing but obesity, sleep disturbances, low energy, constipation, unwanted calories, etc. The child living in the village area is healthier than the one living in the city. This clearly means that the surroundings have a profound effect on children, especially when it comes to food.

There are many healthy and delicious food items around us, we don’t know how to use them properly. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, non-vegetarians, and many more are on this list that we need to introduce to kids differently. The parent/guardian/carer needs to understand the needs of the child according to his/her gender, age, and interests. A child should be treated according to his mental and physical health so that he can grow in every aspect without any limitations.

10 healthy foods parents should include in their child’s diet

Apple

Foods for a Healthy Life for Kids (Apple)

Rich in minerals and vitamins, apples are considered a healthy and tasty fruit. Everyone is aware of the saying that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away and this is not far from the truth. They have many benefits and contain minimal calories, are a good source of antioxidants, rich in vitamin C which helps in repairing tissue, forming collagen, and strengthening bones besides healing wounds.

They help kids stay active every day and because they contain dietary fiber, it helps reduce bad cholesterol levels. Many children nowadays wear glasses, apples help maintain good vision and also play a role in weight management. It is the best alternative to junk food.

Green vegetables

Foods for a Healthy Life for Kids (Green Vegetables)

Green vegetables can be one of your baby’s body’s best friends. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, magnesium, potassium, calcium, etc. It gives strong teeth, bones and also helps in boosting your baby’s immune system which can protect your baby from getting sick. They play outside surrounded by germs and bacteria and hence their bodies grow faster and require the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals. It is well known that kids hate green vegetables and wrinkle their noses if you include them in their diet. 

It is the duty of the parents to include vegetables in the diet and habits of their babies as they start eating after 6 months of their birth. It is natural and is the best resource to grow and develop physically. Consistent consumption of green vegetables helps children avoid glasses at an early age. In order not to indulge your kids in boredom at the dinner table, try introducing new recipes with healthy ingredients so they can make them easy and grow up fast.

Milk

Foods for a Healthy Life for Kids (Milk)

Babies always make excuses when it comes to drinking milk. There is no doubt that it has many important benefits for babies when they drink milk for the first time after their birth. It is responsible for the overall development of the child from bones to teeth. It is rich in calcium which protects a child from obesity, headaches, and even migraine attacks that children experience when they are deficient in it. The calcium in milk also stimulates the secretion of important hormones and blood clotting.

Vitamin D in milk can help reduce inflammation and boost the baby’s immunity. Studies show that if babies consume enough milk daily, it keeps blood pressure levels in check and promotes heart health. It also contains protein that helps in building and repairing muscle tissue and serves as the best source of energy. Other essential elements in milk include phosphorus, potassium, vitamins A, B12, B2, niacin, etc.

Carrot

Foods for a Healthy Life for Kids (Carrot)

Colorful and naturally sweet vegetable which is very much liked by kids. Initially, it is given in the form of boiled carrots till the child is at least 8 months old. It is considered a boon for children with constipation problems and is rich in dietary fiber. If a child consumes it in sufficient quantity, he/she can improve digestion and bowel movements. Since carrots are rich in beta-carotene, they can help improve eyesight if consumed regularly. It helps with Vitamin A deficiency, reduces the risk of cataracts, maintains healthy skin for a brightening effect, maintains healthy teeth and gums, reduces dietary fat, etc.

Along with growth and development, sometimes children complain of strange burning, itching, and pain in their abdomen. It is caused by intestinal worms growing in your baby’s stomach. Consuming carrot soup or mashed carrots helps in curing stomach upset caused by intestinal worms. It also plays an important role in enhancing memory.

Whole Grains

Foods for a Healthy Life for Kids (Whole Grains)

Whole grains such as wheat biscuits, oats, whole grain bread, barley, corn, millet, etc. are nutritious foods that are high in fiber and low in salt and sugar. A day starting with these for a child is nothing but one of the major parts of their healthy diet and lifestyle. Babies have a small stomach and fill up easily. It is the duty of the parents to fill the stomach of their children with essential things as much as possible.

The study noted that a child who regularly consumes whole grains in their diet has a lower risk of well-known chronic diseases, including obesity and diabetes. It helps maintain digestive health, contributes to preventing constipation, and also plays a role in stabilizing vital components in the blood.

Avocado 

Foods for a Healthy Life for Kids (Avocado)

It is a great natural source of unsaturated fat. With 20 vitamins and minerals, filling fiber, and healthy fats, avocado is one of the healthiest foods you can give to your kids. It is a wonderful fruit that contains many essentials. It is also versatile and you can add it to any type of food, snacks, and dessert. According to a study, babies and toddlers need avocado as it is very nutritious, a great source of energy, and the ideal food for them. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin found in the eyes that can improve your child’s memory and vision.

You can also add it to carrot and tomato salad and give a nutritional boost to your baby. It is also very important to satisfy the hunger of a child and avocado plays an important role here by providing an adequate amount of fiber and also prevents constipation and obesity which are commonly found in today’s life. You can mash it for your baby’s stomach and cut it into pieces and give it to your child. Consuming carrot soup or mashed carrots helps in curing stomach upset caused by intestinal worms.

Yogurt

Foods for a Healthy Life for Kids (Yogurt)

It is a healthy and tasty food that is loved by kids if you put different ingredients and discover new recipes. It is highly recommended for kids as it is rich in calcium. Children try to avoid milk which is rich in calcium but they can easily accept curd as a substitute. There is no doubt that it is a good source of energy, provides good probiotics as it contains Lactobacillus bacteria, and helps with weight management.

It also helps in the digestion of food and makes you feel better due to its cooling nature. It can be included in many dishes to enjoy its taste and benefits. It blends itself with almost any cuisine and makes them interesting. Fruit shakes, salad dips, etc. are easily accepted by children and enjoyed by adults as well.

Eggs and chicken

Foods for a Healthy Life for Kids (Eggs)

Eggs are considered as one the best breakfasts either for kids or adults. Enriched with vitamins and nutrients, eggs are a wholesome food, free of sugar, and taste delicious. An excellent source of iron and nutritious source of protein, fat, Vitamins A, D, E, and B12, and choline, eggs are simply incredible food. They help children to grow up healthy, strong, and smart.

Chicken contains lots of amino acids, which help children to grow taller and stronger. It’s also a wonderful source of protein and reduces the chances of feeling appetite once you consume it as one of your meals. Potassium maintains normal functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscle, nervous system and fluid balance, and calcium which is essential for our body’s ability to function and our ability to think. The cardiovascular system and the nervous system both utilize calcium, and it’s also vital for blood clotting.

Sweet potato

Foods for a Healthy Life for Kids (Sweet Potatoes)

Sweet potatoes are rich in carbohydrates and one of the best sources of beta-carotene. Potassium, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and B-complex can be found in sweet potatoes which help to grow children efficiently. The high benefits are the reason why parents are keen to introduce this sweet food to their children’s meals. A baby can start eating sweet potatoes when introduced to solid food, i.e., after 6 or 7 months of birth. 

Minerals which are required by the body for healthy metabolism of various processes in the body, sweet potato here also does its work very efficiently. Iron, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, etc are important minerals that can be taken by your children if they include sweet potatoes in their diet.

Nuts and seeds

Foods for a Healthy Life for Kids (Nuts and Seeds)

One of the best sources of antioxidants, nuts, and seeds are high in healthy fat, fiber, and protein. Examples include almonds, cashews, pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.

Continuous intake of nuts and seeds can help to reduce cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease, maintain regular bowel movements and also support bone health.

A child can take nuts and seeds after six months of birth just like any other food. It can be eaten as a quick and healthy snack or used to add crunch and variety to recipes. Dry, roasted, and unsalted nuts are very helpful to give constant energy and are said to be the healthiest food. It also plays a significant role in improving memory.

Best food according to age

A child grows constantly if they get the required amount of essentials in respect to his/her age. Giving your child a well-managed balanced diet according to his/her age is vital to make him/her free from allergies, weak bones, body parts problems, etc.

A child aged between 0-3 requires about 100 calories per kg. On the other hand, children who are between the ages 4-6 and 7-11 require 90 and 70 calories per kg respectively.

Children who are between 0-3 years old need about 1.2 grams per kg of protein. a 4-6-year-old child needs 1.1 grams per kg of protein and 7-11 needs 1 gram per kg of the same.

If a child doesn’t want to take a required amount of food at one time, give him/her in intervals but don’t leave them. If you do so, the child develops a habit and degrades his/her health. Children who perfectly understand sentences always need appreciation for every task. Praise their good eating habits so that they can continue to follow good ones and don’t ignore their bad habits especially at meals. Change shapes and sizes of their regular food items so that they can take interest in the same. 

Always try to give your children high vitamin C food. Citrus fruits like oranges or vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, juices, etc are enriched with vitamin C. Spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, etc are filled with vitamin A. A child also needs vitamin A. To make a child familiar with dairy products should be on the priority list of a parent. Until age 2, children should take the milk and other dairy products to grow their nerve cells in the best possible way.

In their 3 to 4 servings per day, 1-3-year-old children need 1/4 cup of juice at once. Similarly,   a 4-6-year-old child needs 1/2 cup of juice along with 1/2 pieces of fresh fruit, and a 7-11-year-old requires 1 piece of fruit with 1 cup of fresh juice.

Bread, Vegetables, juice, sweets, meat, or meat substitute should be there in a balanced diet.

Best food according to gender

Girls and boys grow differently in respect to how their body functions. When a girl reaches her teenage years, she observes multiple changes in her body. To function efficiently, she needs a good amount of iron in her body. Boys also see changes and want different essentials in different amounts. To have a good healthy body, one needs to give children different amounts of food at different stages of their growing period for their gender.

The essentials along with their food names are:

Protein- Eggs, beans, soy products, nuts, seeds, seafood, meat, and poultry.

Fruits– Every fruit is beneficial for a child unless or until it’s not allergic to anyone’s body. Encourage your child to directly take fruit instead of juices and if they take juice, make sure it is without added sugar. Dried fruits are considered healthier than others.

Grains–  Brown Rice, corn, barley, oats, rye, millet, whole wheat, wild rice. Its products include bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, etc.

Dairy– Milk, yogurt, cheese, etc are low-fat dairy products. Encourage your child to take them with new recipes to avoid their tantrums.

Vegetables– Fresh green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, pea, coriander, pumpkin, beans, etc should be on diet for their good blood circulation and muscular growth.

Girls who ages between 2 and 4 should take per day

  • Calories- about 1000, depending on their activities and growing body
  • Protein- 2 to 4 ounces
  • Fruits- about 2 cups
  • Dairy products- 3 cups
  • Grains- 3 to 5 ounces
  • Vegetables- 2 cups

Boys who ages between 2 to 4 should take per day

  • Calories- 1000 to1600, depending on growth and activity
  • Protein- 2 to 5 ounces
  • Fruits- 2 cups
  • Dairy products- 3 cups
  • Grains- 3 to 5 ounces
  • Vegetables- 2 cups

Girls falling under the age category of 5 to 8 should everyday take

  • Calories- 1800
  • Protein- 3 to 5 ounces
  • Fruits- 2 cups
  • Dairy products- 3 cups
  • Grains- about 6 ounces
  • Vegetables- 3 cups

Boys falling under the age category of 5 to 8 should everyday take

  • Calories- 2000
  • Protein- 6 ounces
  • Fruits- 2 cups
  • Dairy products- 3 cups
  • Grains- about 6 ounces
  • Vegetables- 3 cups

Girls who fall between the age group of 9 to 13 should follow daily diet plan including

  • Calories- nearly 2200
  • Protein- 6 ounces
  • Fruits- 3 cups
  • Dairy products- 3 cups
  • Grains- about 7 ounces
  • Vegetables- 3 cups

Boys who fall between the age group of 9 to 13 should follow daily diet plan including

  • Calories- nearly 2600
  • Protein- about 7 ounces
  • Fruits- 2 cups
  • Dairy products- 3 cups
  • Grains- 9 ounces
  • Vegetables- 4 cups

Every child needs a balanced diet according to their body’s acceptance, age, and gender. Instead of forcing their kids to eat continuously, parents should try to encourage them through new recipes or some other option. A balanced diet should include protein-rich food, adequate calories, dairy products, grains, vegetables, fruits, etc.

Parents should also be well-versed in giving proper diet to their children about their gender. The requirements of a girl’s body are different from that of a boy. They should also take into account the level or quantity of food required by your child’s body at different ages. A child grows only when he gets a healthy and happy environment. Hence the role of parents is important in every aspect of the development of their child.

Along with this you also see 10 Best Foods For Children Below 7 (Seven) Years.

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