Nutrition for Kids: Complete Guideline

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Nutrition for Kids: Complete Guideline
nutrition for kids
KayaWell Expert

As kids grow, so does their need for vitamins and nutrients. Nutrition for kids is a must to stay healthy and sound.

Good nutrition for kids helps in three important ways:

Boosts immunity or defense against infectious diseases.

Ensures proper growth of the organs and brain.

Improves physical and cognitive abilities.

However, teaching kids healthy eating habits is not always straight forward. Fussy eating is a behavioral problem of children. Does your child too eats impossible amounts of sweets and stuff that is not healthy.?

If yes, this blog is the perfect guide to help you understand and meet the dietary needs for children

Importance of Nutrition for Kids

Kids grow fast. To stay healthy and grow up healthy, they need the proper nutrients. Understanding the importance of nutrition for kids will keep them fit and active for life.

As per UNICEF, good nutrition more or less governs children's emotional and physical well-being. Healthy eating in kinds:

     Keeps skin, teeth, and eyes healthy

     Helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight

     Supports brain development

     Supports muscles

     Strengthens bones

     Supports healthy growth

     Helps the digestive system function

     Boosts immunity

Best Nutrition for Kids

So what should be included in a healthy diet for kids?

Check out these dietary fundamentals for kids of different ages based on the most recent Dietary Guidelines.

Consider these nutrient-dense foods:

     Choose seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds for protein.

     Fill the child's plate with a variety of fruits. If your kid prefers juice, be sure it contains no added sugar.

     Include a whole variety of vegetables. Have a weekly plan and choose between leafy vegetables, beans and peas, starchy, and others each week.

     If possible, limit refined grains. Instead, opt for healthier whole-grain alternatives such as bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown rice.

     For dairy, use only fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, or fortified soy beverages.

Aim to limit your child's calories from:

      1.  Added sugar

Cut back on added sugars. Natural sugars, such as those found in milk and fruit, are no added sugars. Brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, honey, and other substances are added sugars..

 2. Saturated and trans fats

Reduce saturated fats in chicken, red meat, and full-fat dairy products. Try to find healthier alternatives to vegetable and nut oils, such as olive, almond, avocado, and seafood.

      3. Sodium

Limit the amount of sodium they consume daily. Fruit salads are a more tasty alternative to cookies and chips. Check nutrition labels and buy products with low sodium count. 

How to Build Healthy Eating Habits in Kids?

Let alone kids; even adults are not very fond of a healthy diet. But unlike adults, kids have a short attention span and can be quickly drawn toward junk food, candy, cake, cookies, and ice cream.

We understand that being a parent is not easy, especially when encouraging a child to develop healthy eating habits. To make your task easier, here are some tips that you should try:

     Focus on regular, healthy meals with small portions rather than large ones.

     Choose foods high in protein and good fats

     Avoid introducing new foods frequently. Be patient and gradually include them into the diet.

     Pair fruits or veggies with nut butter, hummus, or avocado dip if kids won't eat them plain.

     Most kids dislike plain milk. To improve the flavor of the milk, add some fruit or dark chocolate.

     Never push too hard. As a parent, allow your kids to eat as much or as little as they like.

     Teach kids the importance of dining together as a family and enjoying good, home-cooked meals.

Nutrition for Kids Vs. Adults

Children's diet should be different from adults; it should include more fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and proteins that boost the child's immunity, physical fitness, and cerebral capacity. A child that receives a healthy diet is always less likely to contract a disease at any point in their lives.

A Healthy Lifestyle for Kids

Good nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep are the foundation of a healthy lifestyle for kids. These three components should be well balanced for kids in a fun and engaging manner.

For kids, a good diet should be complemented with enough physical activity. Kids today are more attracted to mobile games and cartoons. Mobile addiction can make kids lazy and inactive. Encourage your kid to take up some form of sport or physical activity as a hobby. 

Also, don't forget to ensure that your kid gets sound sleep. Children who sleep well have better attention, learn faster, remember things quickly, and enjoy a calm and relaxed mood. Inadequate sleep or poor sleeping patterns can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and depression.

Talk to a Nutritionist for Kids

Raising a kid can be a daunting experience. There are numerous things to attend to. Having experts on your side is usually advantageous. Having a nutritionist for kids is a novel idea these days.

A nutritionist can provide you with useful, trustworthy nutrition information if you're a busy parent. You can also discover hundreds of simple and wholesome recipe ideas for young children, toddlers, and picky eaters. You can also get a custom meal plan depending on their needs and taste preferences.

Is sweetener better than sugar for kids?

In general, natural sweeteners are safe. But consuming any specific kind has no proven health benefits. Too much added sugar and even natural sweeteners can cause weight gain, poor nutrition, tooth decay, elevated triglycerides, and other health issues.

Giving a child a sugar-rich diet is one thing, but giving them the occasional dessert, lolly, or piece of birthday cake has no bearing on their development. No harm, no danger.

Food Items Kids Can Easily Consume

Here is a list of kid-friendly healthful foods. It might assist you in staying away from many high-calorie, high-fat meals that kids frequently consume.

    1. Eggs are naturally rich in vitamin D and an excellent protein source.

    2. Dairy: The macronutrients—protein, fat, and carbohydrates—are provided by whole milk and other dairy products. They also contain vital minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, which support the development of healthy bones and teeth.

    3. Oatmeal: Oats are among the healthiest grains. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning can help kids meet their daily fiber needs. It has low-fat content as well.

    4. Nuts: Including nuts in your kid's diet is an excellent idea. Nuts are good sources of vitamins and are packed with many essential minerals. They are also heart-friendly. 

    5. All The Greens: Because they are rich in dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, and potassium, leafy vegetables can improve digestion, strengthen bones, and lower the risk of serious illnesses.

Things to Keep In Mind

Before you plan a healthy diet for kids, please keep in mind that the calorie needs of kids vary with age.

Daily Caloric Needs by Age:

     6-8 years old: 1500-1600 cal/day.

     9-10 years old: 1700-1800 cal/day.

     11-13 years old: 2000-2200 cal/day.

     14-17 years old: 2400-2800 cal/day.

The Bottomline

Healthy eating habits for kids offer lifelong benefits. As kids age, good nutrition lowers the risk for cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and even anxiety and depression.

At Kayawell, we connect parents like you with child health experts and nutritionists. Using our platform, you can consult the best child specialists near you.

So don't wait! Use Kayawell's doctor network to learn about the best nutrition for kids.