When your child first starts school, he or she will start growing quickly and becoming more active. Childrenâ€™s energy and nutrient needs are high, so itâ€™s important they get the right foods.
Protein is important for growing children as Protein is responsible to make them tall, Protein also helps in building tissues and calcium is important for the stronger bones and teeth.
A proper and healthy choices of food helps your child grow taller and stronger. Here are all the things you can give and avoid in your child's diet.
What to give
Children need a healthy balanced diet containing plenty of fruit, vegetables and starchy foods. Encourage your child to choose a variety of foods to get the wide range of nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Remember to include these sorts of foods:
Foods to limit
There are certain foods and drinks that can be harmful to your childâ€™s health if they have them too much or too often.
Sweets and snacks
Eating sweet and sticky foods frequently between meals causes dental decay. Snack foods such as cakes, biscuits, chocolate and sweets can be high in sugar and saturated fat, and low in certain vitamins and minerals. If your child does eat these sorts of foods:
Try to make sure they eat them only occasionally or in small amounts, so they only make up a relatively small part of the overall diet
Help and encourage your child to clean their teeth every day
Try picking a weekly sweet day, or choose the weekends as a time when your child is allowed to eat sweets
Check the label and choose those options lower in fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt
Sweet drinks damage teeth, especially if drunk frequently or sipped from a bottle over long periods between meals. So try to keep drinks such as fruit juice or squash to mealtimes, and try to encourage your child to drink water or milk in between.
Thereâ€™s no need to add salt to your childâ€™s food. The maximum amount of salt your child should have depends on their age. As a guide:
four to six years â€“ 3g a day
seven to ten years â€“ 5g a day
11 years upwards â€“ 6g a day
If youâ€™re buying processed foods, even those aimed at children, remember to check the information given on the labels to choose those with less salt.
Vegetarian diet for children
If you want to give your child a vegetarian diet, it's important to make sure their diet is balanced.
Getting enough protein
Make sure you find an alternative to meat, fish and chicken as the main sources of protein. These could include:
Getting enough iron
You need to make sure your growing child is getting enough iron. Good sources of iron include:
Remember, eating foods containing vitamin C with iron-rich foods, might make it easier to absorb iron from our food.
You should also avoid giving your child too much tea or coffee because it could reduce the amount of iron they can absorb.
If you encourage your child to eat a healthy balanced diet with only small amounts of foods containing sugar and fat, and you encourage your child to get plenty of physical activity, they should maintain a healthy weight
If you are concerned about your child's weight, you are free to contact me for personalised advices.