It is often found that children crave more unhealthy junk foods, which is most of the time overlooked by the parents. Gradually they tend to develop a habit or taste for such easy to get processed food.
This not so kid’s friendly high-calorie, high-fat food should only be kept only for the occasion, not every day. Such food should be replaced with high-fiber, low-fat, and the food rich in essential nutrients and minerals that can help a child grow healthy.
There are certain foods that should surely be in the list of foods to be eaten by the children. Such foods help them grow healthy and develop immunity which is necessary for healthy living.
10 Best Foods For Better Children’s Growth
As the toddlers and preschoolers grow old, it is seen that the intake of milk reduces. It is not that they do not get it but milk is replaced by other drinks including soda, fruit drinks, juices, and other drinks easily available for them to reach for.
Milk is the best part of a kid’s diet. It provides protein, vitamin D and calcium. Unless a child is allergic to it, it should be a part of the daily diet.
It is often preferred by children in the form of applesauce, apple juice, and in peeled form. These ways the apple loses its nutritional benefits. Peeling apple makes it lose about half of its fiber and applesauce and apple juices have more sugar and added calories.
Apple is best to be given in whole, unpeeled form so that it can give kids the nutrients it is known for.
Peanut butter is high in fat and mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats, which is better than the saturated fats found in other fatty foods.
It is avoided by most of the parents, fearing food allergies and its high-fat content.
Peanut butter is also available in reduced fat and fortified options. These types are rich in vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, protein, and copper.
Yogurt can be a healthy addition to the kid’s daily diet, especially for those who do not drink milk.
Yogurt is a good source of calcium and is a probiotic food that can keep the stomach functioning properly.
Because of the children’s preference, most parents go ahead with the flavored yogurts which are liked by the kids due to their extra sweet taste. These yogurts are added with unnatural flavors and excess sugar and lack the nutrients present in yogurt otherwise.
For kids, one should look for yogurt with live active cultures, low-fat, and no-sugar options.
Fish can be a healthy food option for kids unless they opt for fried fish sandwiches or fish sticks.
Tuna fish is a healthy fish that can be given to kids. Parents often give less of fish due to its mercury contamination. Different types of fishes have different mercury levels.(2)
Oily fishes such as salmon, tuna, and sardines contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that support eye, brain, and nerve development.
If the child likes fish sandwiches, you can use low-fat mayonnaise and whole wheat bread.
Eggs are the richest source of choline, an essential nutrient for brain development. It is also rich in protein, iron, minerals, and vitamins.
Eggs have a bad reputation for raising the cholesterol level. They do contain cholesterol but not that much saturated fat to raise a person’s cholesterol level.
They can be a part of a child’s daily diet for sure.
Oatmeal is a high-fiber food that is good for kids like any other whole grain food.
It can be a snack option in the form of oatmeal bar and oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal can be served to the kids and many like its taste too.
Vegetables are sure to be present in the list of healthy foods for the children. There are varieties of vegetables that can be slowly introduced to the kids at an early age. The child develops taste for them and can benefit from the variety of nutrients they offer.
It is not a good habit to force a child to eat anything. A small serving should be given to the child even if they do not eat them. Gradually as the taste develops they start eating them.
Cheese is excellent for bone growth. They are rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D.
Cheese can be added to sandwiches, meals, and a variety of other preparation which kids love such as burgers, pizza, pasta or noodles.
Whole grain foods are rich in fiber that helps maintain digestive health and prevents constipation.(3)
Wholegrain biscuits, bread, and cereals should replace the refined ones. The kids will love the taste and it would be healthy as well.
Kids need proper nutrition. As they grow it is the duty of the parents to help them develop habit for healthy food. Developing healthy foods habit is a path that leads towards healthy development.