Proper nutrition is essential for the growth of children; it helps stabilize their energy, even out their moods and improve their minds. It also helps prevent mental health conditions like anxiety, ADHD, and depression as well as to maintain a healthy weight.
Children are continually growing, and their bodies have particular nutritional needs. It’s therefore vital for mothers to observe the kind of diet they put their kids on. A balanced meal should include vitamins, protein, fat, and vitamins.
Understanding healthy eating
People have different definitions of healthy food; some think it’s sticking to a vegetarian diet, while others it’s following a restricted diet. Another group believes its okay to take snacks and sweets but in moderation. Although the meaning of healthy eating varies from group to group, some aspects remain constant.
According to Frisco Pediatrician Danielle Leung, mothers should consider nutrient-dense food to fuel their child’s growth and development.
“Lean meat, seafood, poultry, soy products, seeds, and unsalted nuts are incredible protein sources for kids,” she says. In addition to that, parents should encourage their children to eat a variety of canned, fresh, dried, or frozen fruits and vegetables. Grains like whole-wheat bread, quinoa, popcorn, oatmeal, and brown rice along with low-fat dairy products are also ideal for their health.”
However, she recommends eating all of these in moderation – taking too many calories on a daily basis can result in weight gain, which may negatively affect the family. It’s also important to stick to nutritious meals, which contain higher amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals, proteins among other nutrients than “junk” food.
With an understanding of what proper nutrition is, let’s now have a look at why it’s important for children.
Cultivate a life-long culture
Exposing the children to healthy eating habits early on in their lives will significantly benefit them for the short-term and the future as well. Like brushing teeth or taking a shower, proper nutrition should become their second nature. The earlier they start to learn and practice healthy eating, the more likely will the habit become life-long.
Help improve energy levels
Children who don’t eat well can be tired or sluggish throughout the day. At the same time, children who eat plenty of sugar can be too active. Proper nutrition will give them enough energy to pay attention, but not so much that they become restless.
Help control weight
According to CDC, about 20% of children are obese or overweight. Being overweight or obese increases the child’s risk for a range of diseases, such as diabetes, asthma and cardiovascular diseases. They also are prone to social, emotional, and psychological difficulties. Proper nutrition and good eating habits can minimize the calorie intake, in the process, helping the child to maintain a healthy weight.
Improve school performance
A recent study by the Society for Neuroscience revealed that foods with high levels of saturated fats could negatively influence memory and learning. These foods (French fries, chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, etc.) are cheap and readily available, and it’s why many mothers and children love them. Experts recommend proper diets like wheat germ, apricots, bananas, melons, avocado, nectarines, peaches, soybeans, and peanuts that are known to help boost energy and also enhance the brain functioning for improved performance.