Your child’s body is growing so rapidly, proper nutrition is extremely important for healthy growth. This is true both mentally and physically, and emotionally as well.
Use the following top 5 smart nutrition tips for children as a way to ensure that your child has the best chance at a healthy and happy childhood, and develops beneficial habits that lead to being a fit and healthy adult.
#1 Stay Hydrated, on a Consistent Schedule
Drinking water regularly is just as important as drinking enough every day. Children have unique fluid needs. Since their bodies are growing so rapidly, it is best for them to sip water throughout the day, rather than trying to reach their daily water intake in just a few drinking sessions. Teach your children at a very young age to keep a water bottle handy, sipping and refilling all day long.
#2 Promote Quick Muscle Recovery
Adults should eat some protein and carbohydrates within the first 60 minutes after exercising. Children have internal systems which are quicker at healing and repairing than adults. This is why you should make sure your kids enjoy a high protein snack or small meal in the first 30 minutes after they have played sports, exercised or played outside.
#3 Practice What You Preach
This is more a tip for you than your child. Do you really expect your kids to enjoy a healthy diet if you don’t? To get your child eating more fruits, vegetables and whole foods, and less processed food items, you are going to have to do the same. Children look up to their parents, and by eating right you impact your own health in a positive manner while helping your child enjoy the benefits of good nutrition.
#4 Do Not Forget the Fat!
In an effort to keep your child healthy, don’t forget that his body needs lots of “good fats” to function properly. Avoid trans fats and saturated fats, which means steering clear of pastries, doughnuts, french fries, processed foods and pizzas. Focus on getting healthy amounts of extra virgin olive oil, cold water fish like mackerel and salmon, grape seed oil, nuts and seeds into your child’s diet. Healthy fats are good for your kid, and those foods provide them.
#5 Feed Your Kids Sweets Seriously
We just mentioned cutting back on pastries and processed foods, and now we are recommending that you give your kids sweets. What gives? The rationale here is simple. Nutritionists, doctors and other health professionals like dietitian Sarah Krieger know how important it is for you to allow your child small amounts of sweets on a regular basis. This reinforces the idea that sweets should not make up a significant part of your child’s diet. As he grows older, your child will develop a smart and healthy relationship with sweet foods and treats. This may not be the case if you totally deny access to what children naturally have a taste for.