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Balanced Diet For Kids

As a diligent parent, you strive to provide your kid with a nutritious and balanced meal. This balanced diet would mean choosing the right foods in appropriate quantities from each food group. It is very important for children to get the right supply of vital nutrients and energy needed to grow well. Kids always require more nutrients as compared to adults, but necessity of specific nutrients may vary depending on the role they play in the growth of particular body tissues. A balanced meal for kids should be divided into at least 5-6 small meals through the day as their appetites are relatively smaller compared to adults.

A healthy and balanced diet for children should include foods like vegetables, fruits, cereals and whole wheat bread. Other foods like milk, meat, fish, pulses and soya products are great sources of protein and must be included in a balanced meal for children.

Information On A Balanced Diet For Children

Kids tend to be fussy eaters and therefore it is important that these foods are presented to them in an attractive and interesting manner. Kids who are over 5 years of age have a higher calorie requirement because of higher cellular activity. Children who are below 5 years of age should be allowed to have whole milk as they need the extra calories. Many parents prefer giving their kids skimmed milk to reduce intake of fat and cholesterol, but this is not necessarily a good thing. Rather, restrictions should be put on fried and fatty foods which can be easily substituted with baked and grilled foods. You need to gain more information on ‘balanced diet for children' so that you can make healthier food choices for your  kids. Foods which are high in fats such as concentrated sweets should be avoided as far as possible. A balanced diet menu for kids must also meet the protein, vitamin and mineral requirements of a growing child. The muscular development of a child is the highest during pre-school years and hence proteins play a vital role in a child's diet. Amino acid requirements for children are also higher as compared to adults. Therefore complete protein foods like eggs, milk and meat should be included in a well balanced diet for children.

Importance Of Balanced Diet For Growing Child

Foods which are rich in vitamins and minerals are also very important for a growing child. Iron and calcium needs are much higher in early childhood, and deficiency of these vital nutrients can cause problems in the development of healthy bones and teeth. Calcium rich foods like milk, dairy products, leafy green vegetables, fish and finger millet should be included in their daily diet. A balanced diet for toddlers would mean a good mix of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins. Toddlers are very active and need a well balanced diet to keep them energized and healthy. Foods like rice, cereals, pasta and bread are good sources of carbohydrates which help in digestion and provide energy to toddlers. Protein needs of toddlers can be met by foods like milk, dairy products, eggs, fish, soy products and pulses. Fats required by toddlers can be obtained through foods like oily fish, yogurt, cheese and milk rather than bakery products like pastries, cakes and biscuits. Vitamins A, C and D, iron and calcium are very vital for growing toddlers and can be obtained from foods like dried fruits, eggs, cheese, milk and leafy vegetables. Toddlers also require snacks in between meals as they do not follow the concept of 3 meals in a day. Some good snack options to be included in a balanced meal for toddlers are fruits, rice cakes, toast, breadsticks, cheese, baby tomatoes and carrot sticks. Very sweet or salty snacks should be avoided as much as possible. Toddlers should also be encouraged to drink plenty of water through the day. Sugary drinks can be avoided completely while fruit juices should be given in limited quantities and should be more watery. A balanced diet menu for toddlers would include all these foods in variation and such a diet is crucial for the healthy growth of toddlers. A balanced diet chart for kids not only helps you give your kids the right foods from each food group, but also encourages kids to eat a variety of foods. Some of the main benefits of a balanced diet for children include prevention of diseases and infections, weight control, healthy body growth and an active lifestyle.  

Healthy Diet For Kids With ADHD

A healthy diet for your kids can be planned out with the help of a good dietician or even your child's pediatrician. Problems like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and child obesity (very common among children these days) are linked with nutritional deficiencies in the diet and food allergies. To avoid such health problems, doctors are stressing more and more on the importance of a balanced diet for children. A healthy diet for kids with ADHD would include-high protein low carbohydrate meals, protein and mineral supplements, flax seed oil, plenty of fruits and vegetables and even organic foods. Organic foods are free of pesticides and toxins which can increase hyperactivity in kids with ADHD. High mercury fish like shark, king mackerel and swordfish should be avoided in such diets. In cases of child obesity, a healthy diet for kids weight loss should concentrate on reducing sugar intake and increasing low fat foods. Nowadays there are many options like low sugar cereals, low fat cheese and mayonnaise which can be given to children to help them lose weight. Fried and junk foods should be totally avoided and overeating must be discouraged. The best way to prevent kids from overeating is to give them healthy soups or appetizers which can curb their appetite.

In addition, since kids always follow their parent's example, making healthy changes in your own diet would encourage them to do the same. Modifying your child's diet, in consultation with the pediatrician could be very helpful in achieving weight loss for your child. The right amount of exercises along with a nutrition balanced diet for children can make them lose weight effectively and help them lead a healthier life.

Submitted on January 16, 2014