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What is Good Nutrition for Your Child?

Not only is it important for your child to get the proper nutrition so that they can grow to their full potential, but it is also important so that they will learn good eating habits for the future.

You need to set a good example because what your child sees when he is young will model his future behavior. We often times do not think about the everyday health of our children until they get sick.

What we should be doing as parents is trying to prevent our children from getting ill and keeping them at their optimum health every day. The question becomes how can we make this a daily goal without overburdening our already full lives?

Learning what goes into a healthy child will go a long way in this becoming a routine. The following are four basic factors that contribute to a child being and keeping healthy. These are Nutrition, Exercise, Vaccinations, and Well visits.

In this article I will discuss the nutritional aspects of staying healthy. It is important that children eat a well-balanced diet while growing up. Since your child knows nothing about what makes up a good diet it is up to you to be on top of this.

There are five food groups that you should be aware of and how much of each food group one should have each day.

Fruits

Fruits and vegetables should play a major role in everyone’s diet.  It is sad however that very few people get the 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables that they should each day.

Although the number of servings of fruit will vary by age, every adult and child should be getting fruit every day because of the nutrients they provide.

When serving fruit to your family the best is always fresh fruit, however this is not always possible. If the fruit is out of season you can buy frozen or canned fruit.

If you resort to either of these two types you should get ones with no sugar added. Most people get way too much sugar in their diet so be the smart shopper and don’t buy the cans of fruit in the heavy syrup.

If someone buys a can by accident take the fruit and rinse it under clear cold water until the syrup is off of it.

Some fruits are better than others when it comes to nutrients and calories.  Always try to vary the fruits your child eats so they will get a little of the nutrients from all of them.

Vegetables

As mentioned above, kids and adults should get several helpings of vegetables a day.  The type of vegetables you may choose vary greatly in type as well as form.

They may be fresh, frozen, veggie juices, cooked or raw. The most important thing is to make sure you get an adequate number of servings each day.

They are very important for all of the nutrients they provide. If you choose vegetable juice as a serving of vegetables make sure it states 100% Juice on the bottle.

Proteins

Proteins are the foods that help a child to grow, strengthen their bones and muscles and provide energy to our bodies. Proteins are found in foods like meat, dairy, poultry and certain beans and legumes.

Some proteins are better than others for you and you should try and work the better proteins into your diet. Examples of the better proteins include lean meat such as chicken and turkey, pinto beans and other beans.

If you do not get enough proteins your body will start destroying your muscles to provide enough. To determine how many servings of proteins your child should get please use the following.

Grains

This group consists of two subgroups, whole grains and refined grains.  Whole grains include such items as quinoa, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, oats and muesli.

The whole wheat products are usually better for you because they are higher in fiber.Your refined grain products include such products as grits, crackers, corn flakes, and traditional pasta.

Because your refined grains have been enriched they are high in B vitamins and iron. Whole-grains should make up at least half of what you eat from this group.

Dairy

This group includes all those dairy products that are high in calcium such as milk, yogurt, cheeses and ice cream, as well as some desert puddings that are high in Calcium.  It has been suggested that we get three servings of dairy a day.

As a parent you should make every effort you can to make sure your child gets the proper amount of food from each food group each day. When you children are old enough to understand, you can start explaining to them how and why you choose the foods you do and maybe let them help you pick the foods to be served.

Editor
Editorial Staffs at Healthtian, A team of Writers.

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