What is Nutritious Food? Why is it Important for Children to Eat a Healthy Diet?
Healthy eating for children encompasses four key food groups; carbohydrates, protein, fruit and vegetables and diary. Each group plays an important role in their early development but collectively they can stabilise energy, improve their minds, focus and mood and help maintain a healthy weight whilst ensuring optimal growth and development.
Carbohydrates are a necessary part of healthy eating, especially for children, as it not only provides energy it alsooffers the body can store this energy in order for it to be used at a later time. This food group includes bread, pasta, potatoes, rice and couscous and should be included in each meal. However, not all carbohydrates are equal, they can be broken down into categories such as, starches, sugars and fibre. Children diets are ought to be made up of starchy foods (mentioned above) than sugary.
Common forms of protein are lean animal meats, eggs, fish and some yoghurts but these aren’t the only source for this food group. Vegetarian and vegan options include beans, lentils and pulses. Protein in a child’s diet aids the body to build cells and muscles functions, brain development and keep bones healthy
Fruit and vegetables hold a great number of vitamins, minerals and fibre. These not only encourage optimal development and but helps ensure energy is spread throughout the day unlike sugary sweets and snacks, which create peaks and crashes. Eating a variety of fruit and vegetable will provide an array of benefits as each holds a different nutritional profile. This fibre rich food group aids in proper function of the digestive system and prevents constipation.
Milk, yoghurt, cheese and other diary produce can provide children with strong bones and health teeth once digested as their calcium is easily absorbed. They also provide an added source of protein and essential vitamins such as Vitamin A and B12. Both full fat and lower fat milk options contain the same level of calcium. Flavoured yoghurts are usually loaded with sugar and colourings, thus always opting for natural yoghurt and adding fruit to it will favourable for nutritional contain.
At NutriFresh we understand that the foods children eat in their early years influences their eating habits later in life, so eating a healthy balanced diet in nurseries will encourage them to continue to make healthier choices as they grow. Furthermore, all our nursery meals and early year meals are overseen and reviewed by top nutritionists and cooked by professional chefs to ensure a variety of seasonal ingredients and delicious child friendly tastes.
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