Chips, Noodles, Chocolates, Colas…these are a child’s La-La Land. Yes, give a child a bar of chocolate and you have won him forever.  But is winning your child’s heart more important than winning his health? Think.

Are Parents aware of the nutritious foods their kids must take? This is a million dollar question.

Healthy eating, nutritious food, balanced diet… these have become common clichés in both print and social media. Both kids and parents have become bored of listening to this that they hardly take notice. Yet when your neighbour’s kid is affected by some grave intestinal disorder, only then you sit up and start thinking.

Prevention is better than cure. So let’s get started in learning a few facts about the nutritious food kids must have from Let’s practise.

Need for Nutritious food for kids

In the Journal of School Health (2008), findings reveal that 41% of the Canadian students passed the literacy test due to the healthier diet. See, even school performance relies heavily on nutritious foods!

Nutritious foods Kids must have

1. Fruits and Vegetables

One-half of every child’s square meal must comprise of fruits and vegetables. In other words, your child must have at least 2 vegetables and one fruit a day. Include boiled vegetables like potatoes or beans in your child’s lunch. Add raw veggies like carrots and cucumber as salads.

Green vegetables and carrots must be a definite part of your kid’s meal every day as they are rich in antioxidants.

Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that boost immunity and antioxidants that prevent ageing. They improve digestion as they are fibre-filled and reduce obesity. They remove toxins from the body and improve nutritional intake.

2. Pulses

Pulses, lentils and beans are power-packed with proteins. Proteins are vital for body-building and repair of tissues.

Include a generous helping of peas, beans and lentils in your child’s breakfast every day. Beans can be added to soups and salads or even sandwiches to make them appetizing to eat.

3. Milk and Milk products

Every child must have 2-4 glasses of milk a day. Milk is a storehouse of calcium and protein. It also has vitamin B and  D supplements.

Other Milk products like yoghurt, cheese, and tofu are also equally nutritious.

Yogurt

Yogurt is probiotic and rich in calcium and protein. Yoghurt contains healthy bacteria that help in digestion.

Yoghurt is yummy and versatile. It can be topped with fruits and consumed as desserts or added to Indian curries and gravies.

Cheese

Most kids love cheese and this is a blessing really. Cheese is full of protein and calcium.

Even half an ounce of cheese a day would do your child a world of good.

4. Nuts and raisins

Nuts of any kind like peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios are the best boosters for your child’s health. Add dry fruits like dates or raisins and prunes and you are on the right track.

Nuts are rich in proteins, healthy fats and Vitamin E.

Go for unsalted nuts and give a handful to your child today. Add chopped nuts and raisins to breakfast cereal, porridge, pancakes or muffins and watch your kid gobble them with delight.

5. Water

Water is the elixir of life and your child’s best friend too. Let him take 8-10 glasses of water to prevent loss of minerals and dehydration.

Water flushes out toxins, controls body temperature and supplies your kid with minerals.

How to make your child eat nutritious foods?

Having learnt what are the nutritious foods your child must have, learn how to make your child eat them.

  1.     Healthy home-cooked food is best.

You might be an international chef, but as a parent, you are bound to cook homely and healthy food. Avoid eating at restaurants often and encourage eating at home. Home food is the best food as it is well-cooked with well-cleaned veggies.

  1.     Dress up your food

A food that looks yummy, tastes yummy. This is what your child thinks. So dress, decorate and garnish your food in different colours and shapes to make the food look enticing.

  1.     Keep changing your meal menu

Kids love surprises and this is no exception to their food too. Don’t have the same boring meal menu every week. Try something different instead.

A word of caution from Let’s practise

  • Everyone is aware that fast foods and junk foods are lethal for kids.
  • Bear in mind that too much sugar or salt is too dangerous.
  • Substitute salty chips for crunchy peanuts and sugary colas for fruit juices

A healthy kid is a happy kid. Make sure you that your kids grow into healthy and happy citizens by feeding them nutritious foods.