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Child diet

what would be the ideal healthy diet for 3 year old kid who is so fussy about foods?
(November 1, 2010)

The Importance Of Child Nutrition

In general, kids are known to be picky and fussy eaters. Most people take for granted that children love eating unhealthy foods like cookies, pies, noodles, French fries, pizzas, burgers, fried nuggets, hot dogs and so on. However, what many people do not realize is that children can only develop unhealthy eating habit if their parents allow them to. Many parents blame schools or friends when their children pass up healthy foods in favor of for junk foods. However, eating habits are developed in children much before they join school.

Therefore, in order to prevent children from developing unhealthy eating habits, nutritious child foods should be given to children at an early age, i.e., right from the time they are toddlers or even infants, on a daily basis. All parents should make sure that they introduce their children to a child healthy diet as early as possible. The correct child nutrition is the building block of the child’s growth and learning abilities. Creating good nutritional habits in children can also help set the foundation of lifelong eating habits, which contribute to the child’s good health and overall well being. This can enable the child to reach their full potential physically, mentally, academically and socially. A healthy child diet plan can help prevent several childhood diseases such as diabetes or other health problems, which are common in children like obesity. Hence it is the duty of every responsible parent to understand the basics and the importance of the correct child nutrition, right from the time they are newborn babies till they reach their teenage years.

How to reinforce proper child nutrition?

Children should never be punished or left to starve in case they refuse to eat the foods that their parents want them to. It is much better to think of a strategy to “reward” them for eating the right foods. Things that work wonders with children are praise, trips to the park or movies and occasional treats like a special dessert. There have been many instances of parents getting their children to eat healthy foods, by getting them involved in shopping for the ingredients or actually helping in the preparation of some of the easier dishes, like kneading dough or tossing salad. 

How to incorporate a child healthy diet?

Forcing children to clean their plates is almost as bad as not paying attention to child nutrition at all. Hence in order to have a happy child, who does not dread meal times, it is essential to find the right balance between the two. If parents start at an early age, creating this balance is much easier, as it is possible to alter the recipes of children’s favorite foods, into healthy and nutritional dishes.

Given below are some tips on creating healthy children’s meals:

• For children who want to burgers everyday, a moderate amount of finely chopped spinach and carrots can be mixed into the ground meat patties. The burger can be made on whole wheat buns, with a few slices of lettuce or tomatoes in between.
• Some creative parents make pizzas at home, using whole wheat bread and homemade sauce, made with fresh tomatoes and herbs. The pizza is then loaded with healthy toppings like mushrooms, carrots, corn, olives, peas, grilled chicken and low fat cheese.
• Pasta, which is another favorite dish of most children, can be made using whole wheat spaghetti or angle hair pasta, in pesto sauce, fresh tomato sauce or even white sauce with spinach and other fresh vegetables.
• For children who need French fries with every meal, oven baked fries can easily be made, by cutting the potatoes into thin slices and tossing them in a little olive oil and salt, before baking them at 400 degrees F for around 30 minutes or so.

Submitted by S M on November 1, 2010 at 06:48


Diet for a Child

Formulating the diet for a 3 year old is difficult, as they are generally fussy eaters. They also take a very long time to consume. Low fat milk or 3 per cent fat is recommended. Consumption of milk, thrice a day is vital for growth and development. Caffeinated beverages are completely avoided. Any kind of commercially available protein supplements are helpful.

Try to improve on the appearance, texture, colour and flavour of the food, thereby making it more appealing. Bread with butter, cereals and fruit or juice is important for breakfast. A glass of milk is provided on rising. Lunch should comprise of vegetables, potato or any tuber with milk / curd / yoghurt. Animal food is preferred for lunch and is replaced by cereals in the case of vegetarian children. The same diet is followed for dinner.

Fruits are must in every meal, as they provide the essential vitamins and minerals. Skimmed milk is not necessary in 3 yr old. Due to small appetite, five meals are preferred. Iron rich foods, such as green leaves, egg, liver and rice flakes help in preventing anaemia. Occasional sweets or candies are accepted, provided, it is followed by brushing teeth.

Submitted by E L on April 2, 2008 at 12:45


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