Let’s discuss how your present actions favour your child’s health in future?
The hi-end technology world that we live in today is undesirably packed with a variety of food options and most of them though look tempting and overwhelming, might not be considered healthy for the kids.
The times of early childhood are crucial for toddlers as they are in the active stages of growth. Establishing patterns for healthy eating in early years is going to make a notable difference in children as all essential nutrients necessary for their growth become available in the early years.
Healthy eating habits of kids begin by the inclusion of balanced diet and nothing less.
A balanced diet is fundamental and instrumental for gaining eating habits because it is going to provide the growing kids with the nutrients for progression to adulthood.
The diet should comprise the routine of three daily meals alongside a group of two healthy snacks that have balanced inclusion of fats, protein, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, as well as dairy products.
Importance Of Healthy Eating In Early Years
Parents who are not serious about developing healthy eating patterns need to think over one of the most potent questions – Why is healthy eating important in early years?
Junk foods may look tempting to children and their parents, but the type of devastation that such types of food bring in the life cycle of development of the kids is irreversible by every means.
Parents who concentrate on healthy eating in early years will have a positive impact on the dietary habits of their kids.
In several cases of eating, parents who encourage their kids on fat and junk diets find themselves hanging in the lurch of a bigger problem. They find their kids becoming dumb headed and overly plump individuals carrying a disfigured body.
One of the benefits of healthy eating in early childhood is that it gives your kids the intelligence factor, which eventually leads to the development of reasoning.
Next time when you are focusing on the healthy eating in early years, you are not only trying to maintain a perfect BMR of your kid in the later years of his or her growth, but somewhere, although unknowingly, you are paving the way to enhance the IQ levels.
Long term health and growth and development of body during the growth of kids are based on patterns of healthy eating in early years. If you miss or ignore those patterns, you are giving your kids the reason to stall and fall, and it is not their fault.
Again, the same question rebounds in our heads – Why is healthy eating important in early years? Let’s answer the question in some another and more logical way!
What will happen if your loving and adorable kid is not provided with nutritious and energy-rich food while he is in his growth and formation stage? The answer is straight – you will see him develop into a fragile individual.
Requirements for the Nutrition in Early Years
Healthy eating in early years is largely administered by the nutritional requirements, wherein the meals need to have the content that provides a perfect balance of nutrients, energy and vitamins.
It is this perfect balance, which helps in perpetual growth and development into healthy and grown-up folks. The fledgelings have a tendency of growing quickly and therefore their demand for energy and nutrients is always on the higher side.
Furthermore, since young children will eat food in small quantities as compared to old children, it becomes very important for them to have regular meals supplied by rich nutrients and an adequate amount of energy.
The need and format of children diet has changed with the changes in the lifestyle of parents. Today, the trend is more towards the addition of saturated fats, salt and high sugar content, but when it comes to the vital nutrients, most of the foods are low in it.
Children also like staying away from the endorsed five types of fruits or vegetables every day. This is where the healthy eating in early years is affected, and parents just don’t know where they are taking their kids.
One of the known reasons for the development of Type II Diabetes, poor dental hygiene and health, obesity, iron deficiency, and the growing number of rickets, is that parents do not follow healthy eating patterns in their children.
Healthy Eating in Early Years: What do the Children Need?
A fit balanced diet for the growing children between one and four years of age should be provided with essential nutrients, which add to the growth and development. Here is the list of items that children should get around with:
- Fruits and wide range of vegetables
- Dairy and other types of similar products
- Nutrients in the form of eggs, fish, beans and pulses
- Carbohydrates, rice, pasta
A good and prolific idea out here would be to arrange food and drinks from any of these above food groups, which will help in providing not just the right type of balance but energy too.
Adding a variety of items of food would yield benefits of healthy eating in early childhood. When there is an addition of a variety of food items, textures, and variety of colours every day along with the nutritional elements, there is obviously more to the quality of life for your kids.
Talking specifically for the kids between the age group one and four years, should have a balancing factor in such a way that equal division is made between the energy and nutritional necessities of the kids.
It is beneficial in having following propositions like for example in breakfast, it is 20%, in the mid-morning snack items, the proportion is 10%, while the mid-afternoon snack is approximately 10% and if the lunch is considered as the principal means, it should consume 30%.
There is an additional proportion of 10% added to drinks or snacks that come out to be calculated near to milk glass and a small amount of fruit. The nutritional requirements in case of infants vary largely, and it is where one needs to discuss about healthy eating in early years from their reference in particular.
For infants whoare between 0 and 6 months of agemonths healthy eating in early years should include weaning and finger foods, plus there should also be much of nutritious foods added as well.
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Planning the Right Menus in Early Years
Planning the meals and the snacks during the early years of child development means you have to look smartly into various aspects. There always need to be innovative and hygienic healthy plans and only then the outcome of diet can be assessed.
Planning the meals according to the needs of children gives the advantage to the food providers to add foods of different types of varieties, textures and colours.
If this thing happens, the children will have a sheer advantage to look into different kinds of meals and snack menu. By this method, you have the opportunity to try and prepare the meals that are really tasty and meet your ultimate reason for doing business.
You need to guarantee that dietary needs are sufficed with the cultural needs of the family. Of course, here taste will also matter a great deal. Parents need to look into the menus designed for the snacks and the meals. This will further help in keeping a superb balance between the food items and everything else.
Benefits of healthy eating in early childhood give children the knowledge and ultimate value of nutritious diet and hygienic food in the growth and development of children. Fruits and food items searched from a variety of cultures would give all the advantage to the children.
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What could be Recommended for Healthy eating in Early Years?
Children could be helped and guided in the right way such that these have the food and nutrition most appropriate for their growth and development. Parents should encourage food activities as well as educate them on the quality of food that is good for health.
It is also quite essential that parents should get through the knowledge of different types of cultures and continue to learn about the new food items. Here are a few options that can be recommended for Healthy eating in Early Years:
1. Bring in the culture of adding variety to the fruits and vegetables and give children the opportunity to learn about the food that is nourishing. Parents can take the step ahead towards building green beans, sweet corn husk besides the carrot peelings. These food items have nutritious value.
2. Build up an innovative collage around the theme of the nutritious food. It would still be an extra advantage in the favor of kids when you make the rainbow by arranging the food items in different colours.
3. Tasting foods from different cultures is inspiring and nutritious. Give your children food not only from your culture but also let them give the opportunity where they can taste the food from other religions and cultures. You can always plan out a variety of ingredients, foods and equipment that is provided in different types of cultures. The parents should try to work on their cooking skills and create the taste and variety. Try to interact with families from other cultures.
4. Ensure good quality food preparation and this is only possible if you have prepared the food in the right manner. Make sure you focus on the right type of preparatory methods, ones that maintain the nutritional value.
Why is healthy eating important in early years?
Healthy eating in early years should not be the ultimate goal of every parent, but it should necessarily aim at developing nutritious healthy habits in the children, once and for all times. The advice that goes out for parents are:
1. Provide good quality foods arranged in typical portion sizes.
2. Maintain a continuous balance of diet.
3. Do not include the food items that your kids feel allergic to.
4. The food that you include as the part of healthy eating in early years should not contain any supplements.
5. Try to maintain the food taste alongside the content of food.
6. Instil the habit of minimizing waste of food in your kids.
7. Give your kids the knowledge to read the food labels as this will help them understand between good food and the bad food.
8. Support and encourage community eating in your family.
9. While preparing the food, you as a responsible parent, should focus on the trident philosophy – Healthy, Balanced and Nutritious.
10. Do not overwhelm your kids with lip stacking and spicy food.
The Bottom Line
What we offer to our kids in their growing years is reflected in their puberty and adolescence. The reality is that as responsible parents, we should inculcate healthy eating habits in kids and the reasons for it are quite obvious.
Research conducted within the community and elsewhere clearly indicates that promoting healthy eating in early years has a direct impact on the food preferences of children besides their eating arrangements when they develop as fully developed individuals.
Finally, healthy eating habits for kids relate to good parenting.
Frequently Asked Questions By Aware & Active Parents
Q1. How can we promote healthy eating in early years?
We can easily promote healthy eating in early years by involving ourselves with the children. We can become the role models for our children, and help them understand the value and importance of eating nutritious and balanced diets.
Being responsible parents of the kids, we may also go an inch forward and try to create mealtimes that are quite comfortable and more relaxing than otherwise.
Moreover, we can also promote healthy eating in early years if we include positive and influential ways of making the foods not only healthy but tastier too.
Q2. How do you explain healthy eating to a child?
We need to add the benefits of healthy eating in early childhood, and this obviously means that you have to bring your kids on to the levels where they become aware of healthy eating habits.
One of them could be the discussion on the portion size. You should also show your kids the idea of “Balanced Diet” and “Eating Right.”
Adding the value of healthy eating in early years also requires educating your kids through educational videos, which shows all types of food items have a space in the dietary chart.