Nutrition is a major issue today and specific focus has been placed on childhood nutrition and its effect on development. Kids require a variety of vitamins and minerals in their food so they can grow and develop naturally. The rate of obesity is also rising, and kids are not exempt. Part of fighting against disease is maintaining a healthy diet and getting the right nutrients. Parents need to pay attention to diet and what their own kids eat. Providing the right nutrients is essential especially in these formative years.
Proper nutrition can start as early as pregnancy, and you should start eating healthy as early as possible to help development in the womb. You’ll need to increase your calories to about 300 per day during the later trimesters. Get lots of protein which is important for brain development and add more calcium to your diet which builds bones and teeth in the fetus. As early as you know you’re having a child, nutrition should become an important factor for you both. If complications do come up in your pregnancy, it’s best to consult with a medical malpractice attorney like McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C..
Focus on Your Kids
Just as you have your own parenting style, you will also develop your own meals and have your own sense of taste in your household. You cannot base what your children should eat based purely on what other kids do. Your children have their own unique bodies, and may have diseases or conditions that preclude them from eating certain foods, or require they have higher levels of a specific nutrient. Speaking with your doctor or pediatrician and creating a plan is the only way to know for sure what your children should eat and what they aren’t getting enough of.
Prepare Balanced Meals
While you may be tempted to throw chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese into the microwave every time the kids start to whine, you need to remember they aren’t receiving very much nutrition with quick meals. Having treats once in a while is fine, but you should introduce your children to healthy foods early on and make them a regular part of meals. Making lean meats, whole grain pasta, vegetables, fruits, and healthy dairy part of meals and snacks will help them to retain nutritious eating habits all their life.
Have Snacks Ready
Perhaps you find you make well-balanced meals for your children, but when it comes to snacking, anything goes. Instead of frantically grabbing for a box of cookies or a bag of chips when your kids are hungry, prepare snacks in your free time. You can cut up some fruit to keep in separate bags and serve them with yogurt dip. Make homemade oatmeal and heat some up after school. Buy supplies for smoothies so you and the kids can make healthy, nutritious treats together in the warm months.
Consider Their Ages
The types of nutrients, and the vehicles for providing them will vary depending upon the unique needs of your children, these decisions are also dependent upon their ages. For example, parents are often encouraged to feed their babies full-fat dairy products. However, if their children struggle with their weight as they age, they may begin to send them to elementary school with low-fat cups of yogurt. Needs change as children age and mature.
Knowing whether or not your children are receiving the right nutrients depend on quite a few factors, but you can work to prepare the healthiest meals possible. Getting the right nutrition will help your whole family stay healthy, disease-free, and encourage good habits for years to come.