What is child nutrition?
Ensuring your child has a healthy, balanced diet is vital in the correct development during childhood. Good nutrition in children is ensuring that all of the necessary nutritional elements are present in a child’s diet. A lack of important vitamins and minerals can lead to serious illnesses and developmental issues.
How can I ensure my child has a healthy diet?
To give your child a nutritious diet, you can:
- Fill half of your child's plate with fruit and vegetables
- Opt for healthy sources of protein, including lean meat, nuts and eggs
- Serve foods high in fibre, such as wholemeal bread
- Boil or grill foods instead of frying them
- Limit refined carbohydrates like white rice, pasta, and junk food
- Encourage your child to drink water instead of fizzy drinks.
Why is child nutrition so important?
Nutrition is important because a healthy diet helps your child's physical growth. It also prevents your kids from being overweight, which may lead to obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes. It is also important for mental development, performance, productivity and health and wellbeing across their entire lifespan into adulthood.
Many school-aged children are overweight and obese. Parents should adopt a healthy lifestyle and encourage their child to make better choices with their eating habits, which are established early in life.
What healthy habits can we share with our child?
As well as eating a healthy, balanced diet, it is important to encourage your child to be physically active. Children should be active at least an hour a day. In older children, you should try to limit their screen time if it is possible and motivate them to kick the ball around the garden, go for a walk or to join a sports team in school.