Getting Kids to eat healthy food is quite challenging. From meal-to-meal they crave newness & different tastes. Sometimes you see them throwing tantrums or scrunching their noses over the healthiest food and the fight doesn’t end there. There are half eaten lunch boxes that are so depressing for parents.
As a parent, your focus solely lies in making your kids eat healthy food. But, do you know which nutrients are necessary and how to make eating them entertaining for your little ones? With a little effort, you can make this happen. We know, you’re thinking about your jam-packed routine, we’re with you & we make this easier for you. Keep reading, you’ll know we’re right!
6 Must Eat Nutrients For Your Kid
You might wonder, what must be the essential nutrients that help your baby grow healthier. Here is a quick list for you on the necessary nutrients your kid needs, how much should they eat & some of the best nutrient-dense foods.
Protein helps boost the immune system, build muscles & other tissues in kids. Kids aged between 2 to 8 years will need 16.7gm to 29.5gm of protein per day & children between 10-14 years require 39.9gm to 59.3gm of protein.
Foods Rich In Protein: Fish, turkey, chicken, lean meats, eggs, nuts, milk, string cheese, yogurt, peanut butter and edamame.
Iron in blood carries oxygen around the body, which helps kids grow. Also, it helps in making red blood cells & Iron deficiency will cause anemia. It’s necessary to feed your kid with iron rich foods everyday. Kids aged between 4 to 8 require around 13mg to 16mg of Iron & you can extend it to 28mg for ages above 9 years.
Foods Rich In Iron: Red meat, green leafy vegetables, beans, tuna, dried beans, eggs, iron-fortified cereal.
Fats are not always bad. Omega-3 fats are healthy fats that promotes normal functions of brain & nervous system. Protects against dry eye, improves metabolism & reduces body inflammation. It’s said that 30% of the entire diet of your kids must include unsaturated fats.
Foods Rich In Healthy Fats: Breast milk for infants, Salmon, Walnuts, Soy, Corn
Calcium builds stronger bones, aids in maintaining healthy heart, muscles & nerves. INtake of calcium is very necessary for your kids to grow healthy. It’s recommended to feed at least 600mg of calcium for children between 4 to 8 years and 800mg of calcium for kids aged between 9 to 13 years.
Foods Rich In Calcium: Milk, Soy Milk, Tofu, Cereals, Broccoli, Collards, Salmon, Yogurt, Buttermilk, Spinach.
Vitamin C also known as ascorbic acid, helps in the growth & development body tissues in your kid. It helps in the production of collagen, absorption of iron, promotes wound healing, improves immune health and maintains bones, cartilage & teeth. Kids aged between 4 to 13 will need 40mg of Vitamin C.
Foods Rich In Vitamin C: Oranges, Strawberries, Kiwi, Cabbage, Guava, Grapefruit, Cauliflower
Vitamin D promotes healthy immune system, supports lung function & heart health, maintains healthy growth of bones & teeth. Nutritionists suggest that children of all ages must get 400 to 600 international units of vitamin D per day.
Foods Rich In Vitamin D: Vitamin D is rarely found in foods. Take your kid on a stroll in sunlight between 7 to 8 AM, as sunlight is the prime source of vitamin D. Also remember that over exposure to sunlight might cause cancer. So, a 10 to 15-minute walk is sufficient.
5 Healthy Snacks That Doesn’t Have To Be Boring (Kids Approved!)
Eating fruit is really good. But if kids turn up their nose on the sight of fruit, serve them with a fruit smoothie. Trust us, they’ll love it. Also, you can add some greens, with the sweetness of fruits, kids will not notice they’re in there!
- 2 cups of fresh spinach
- 2 cups of frozen berries (or any fruit your kid likes)
- 1 cup of plain yogurt or curd
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
Preparation: Blend all ingredients together & serve the smoothie chilled.
Banana Oat Cookies
No refined sugars. The sweetness from mineral-rich bananas and nutrition from oats makes these cookies both flavorsome & nourishing.
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup of coconut oil
- 2 cups of rolled oats
- 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips or dried fruit
Preparation: Mix all ingredients. Place a spoonful of cookie dough on greased cookie sheet & bake them at 350o F for 15 to 20 minutes.
Made with whole ingredients, energy balls are delectable & are rich in fiber & proteins. These are crumbly in texture & tastes like cookie dough. We know kids enjoy this!
- 1 cup of oats
- 1/3 cup of unfiltered honey
- 1/2 cup of almond butter or butter
- 1/2 cup of ground flax seeds or whole chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of dried fruit (Use choco chips instead for a treat)
Preparation: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, roll them into fist-sized balls & refrigerate.
Frozen Fruit Popsicles:
Fruits are a yummy treat and also quite healthy for kids. They relish them when made more interesting. Store bought popsicles are loaded with sugar syrup, preservatives and lack real fruit in them. This recipe will help you make healthy real fruit popsicles that your kid will love! Don’t worry it’s easy.
- 1 cup frozen Strawberries (or any fruit your kid likes)
- ½ cup fresh Strawberry juice (for multi-flavor, use any fresh fruit juice)
- Make puree of frozen fruits & blend it along with the fresh juice.
- Pour the mixture into popsicle moulds and freeze overnight.
You don’t need to worry, if you kid loves to eat packed food. All you need to do is to find the best pack, which has no preservatives, not fried or no added sugars. Here’re some of our picks that are both healthy & makes your kid happily munch.
Mini Oats Bites:
Made from high-quality rolled oats, these are soft & chewy oats bits are a perfect snack for your toddlers.
Packed with highly nutritious ingredients, these multigrain munchies are just not in between meals snacks, they are super healthy & tasty.
Made from whole grains & real strawberries, Timios crunchies are best for breakfast for your little ones. A bowl of cereal crunchies with milk provides your kid the necessary nutrition.
Best suited for kids above age 4, these energy bars are a healthy source of protein and soluble fibre. Energy Bars keep your kids full until their next meal & amps up their energy.
Snacks doesn’t always need to unhealthy. As long as they aren’t drowned in unhealthy oils or made from artificial flavors, snacks can be healthy for kids. Even if you have no time to make something new, fruit or veggies with a dip is a healthy option to stock-up!