We all know that nutrition is the cornerstone of children’s development. With all the different information around nutrition, it can become confusing to keep up with your child’s needs to fully support their growth. Healthy eating during adolescence makes up part of a healthy lifestyle, which is something that should be taught from a young age.
We have put together some guidelines for helping your kids eat more healthily. You may want to discuss some things about your child’s diet with a healthcare provider to be sure that it’s healthy enough, and whether or not it needs any change. For adolescents and teens, it’s a good idea to discuss any healthy eating ideas or dietary changes with them so that they can consciously follow a healthy eating plan if necessary. These guidelines will help your children to develop healthy eating habits that will last for life.
1. Encourage Food Variety
Children need a certain amount of energy and nutrients to fuel their bodies as they grow and develop. Different types of foods provide the nutritional benefits that they need, so it’s important to expose them to as many different healthy foods as possible. This is a great reason to add something different to their lunchbox everyday.
2. Provide Lots Of Fruits And Vegetables Every day
Fruits and vegetables all contain vital nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and fibre. This is why your kids must have a variety of them everyday. You’ll want to give them at least five servings of a variety of fruits and/or vegetables each day.
3. Dairy For Calcium
Dairy foods are a source of calcium, which is a crucial mineral for the development of strong bones and teeth. These foods include milk, yoghurt and cheese. Other nutrients in these foods are protein and potassium, which also help to keep your child’s body functioning at optimal performance.
4. Fish, Chicken, Lean Meat And Other Protein
These foods are great sources of protein, also essential for your adolescent’s growth. They are also sources of iron and other nutrients. You can also include a regular serving of lentils, split peas and soya.
5. Good Fats
It’s not good for kids to have low-fat diets as fats play a role in healthy growth and development. But, the quality of fat that you choose to give your child is the important part. It’s best to take away animal fats and go for unsaturated fats more often for the kids, which include foods like olive and canola oils, oily fish, avocados, peanut and other nut butters, and the like.
6. Starchy Foods
Always try to feed your children high-fibre versions of foods, such as wholegrain bread and pasta, brown rice, potatoes with the skin, and breakfast cereals that are high in fibre.
7. Less Salt
For kids, you’ll want to avoid preparing meals with ingredients like stock cubes or soup powder. These ingredients are high in salt, making them rather unhealthy if they are added to food too often. Instead, you should try to help your children get used to the natural taste of foods by choosing not to add salt to their food.
8. Be Sparing With Sugars
To Achieve a balanced diet there can be sugar, just in moderation. It’s best to limit sugary foods such as sweets, cookies, chocolates, and sugary drinks. If your child gets too much of these unhealthy foods and drinks, they will miss out on nutrient-rich foods that their body craves. Give your child water, milk, and fresh fruit as snacks most of the time they are hungry in between meal times. You can keep sugary treats and drinks for special occasions, or even as treats for the weekend.
9. Teach And Encourage The Importance Of Drinking Water
Encourage them to drink lots of water. Not only is it the cheapest drink, but starting a good habit of drinking water from a young age means they will continue to do so into adulthood. Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated and to keep cool during summer.
10. Keep Them Moving
Healthy eating is a part of a healthy life, but it’s also important for them to remain physically active as well. As children learn from your example, it’s good if you also follow a healthy eating plan and stay active. That way, your adolescent children will be more likely to also become active themselves.
We hope that this article gave you the insight to healthy eating during adolescence. If your child tends to be picky when it comes to different foods, experiment by making meals made from different food combinations, textures and tastes, so that your kids develop a diverse palate from a young age.
Also, keep in mind where most meals happen – it’s been found that children who are used to eating family meals tend to eat a wider variety of foods and are less likely to become picky eaters. Getting the kids involved when preparing meals can help them to develop healthy eating habits from an early age. Why not start with homemade ice lollies for everyone to enjoy during summer?
While you focus on yours and your child’s healthy eating plans, let SweepSouth clean your home and further add to a healthy life to be enjoyed by all.