HEALTHY EATING FOR KIDS: Tips for a balanced diet

Healthy eating tips for children and teenagers 

To balanced diet

   
   This article will encourage discussion and inspire young readers to find out more about healthy eating and encourage children to eat healthier foods, particularly fruits and vegetables

   So after reading this article, you and your young kid will be able to answer those big questions: which foods are full of fat? Why fruits and vegetables are good for you? How to eat a balanced diet?

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Healthy eating for kids tips and tricks

Fabulous food

Do you wonder why you get hungry? Hunger is your body's way of letting you know it needs healthy foods. Healthy means it is good for you.

Healthy food keeps your body working at its best.


Why do you eat?

Food gives you energy. You need the energy to play, to learn, and to grow. Your body even needs energy when you sleep!

What are the calories?

Some kinds of foods give you a lot of energy. The energy in food is measured in calories. Food that is high in energy has a lot of calories.

How are you feeling?

You need to eat healthy foods to stay well. Eating too much of wrong kinds of food can make you sick.

If you are not well, eating healthy foods will help you get better.

Why should you try to eat healthy food?

Fresh food is good for you. When food is fresh it is raw, or not cooked. Fresh food is food that is not frozen.  It does not come in a can or jar. Fresh food has the vitamins and minerals you need. Try to eat as much fresh food as you can.

Children need to eat healthy foods to grow.


Eat your five-a-day

You need to eat five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. A portion is a piece of fruit, one serving of a vegetable, or a fruit juice drink.

Vitamins and minerals help you grow.


What are vitamins and minerals?

Vitamins and minerals are nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. Vitamins and minerals help keep you fit and well.

A nutrient is a natural chemical in food. Nutrients help you grow and stay healthy.


What is fiber?

Some food is hard to digest. This means it takes a while to pass through your body. Fiber is a nutrient that helps you digest. Fiber is found in many fruits and leafy vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables contain fiber.


What should you do if you do not like fruits or vegetables?

Try to drink fruit juice. A drink of pure fruit juice counts as one portion of fruit. There are many delicious fruits and vegetables. Do not be afraid to try new ones. You may find some you enjoy!

Food for life

You need the energy to get fit and keep your body healthy. High-energy foods help you stay moving for a long time.

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are foods that give you a lot of energy. They are very filling. They stop you from feeling hungry again for a while.

Some foods that have carbohydrates are bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes.


What are pulses?

Pulses are seeds that grow inside plant pods. Beans and lentils are pulses. Pulses add protein to your diet.

What types of food give you energy?

Carbohydrates provide most of the energy you need. Your body breaks them down into glucose, a type of sugar that the body can use for energy.

What are whole grains?

Try to eat whole grains in your diet, such as wheat, barley, and oats. Whole grains are natural. They are not made in a factory. Whole grains are a good way to get fiber, vitamins, and protein.

Do you drink milk?

Dairy foods come from farm animals that make milk. Cows and goats give milk. Cheese and yogurt are made from milk. They are dairy foods, too.

What is the other choice?

Some people do not want to eat dairy foods. Others cannot eat dairy foods because they are allergic to them. Some people choose non-dairy foods, such as soy milk, instead of dairy foods.

Dairy foods contain a nutrient called calcium. Calcium is good for your bones and teeth.

Some people like to drink soy milk. Soy comes from vegetables.

Are eggs dairy food?

Eggs are not dairy food. They are not meat either. They have a nutrient called protein. Protein helps make your muscles and bones grow.

Why are dairy foods good for you?

Dairy foods give you calcium. Calcium helps your teeth and bones grow and stay strong. Children need to get more calcium than adults. This is because their bodies are still growing.

Eating meat


Meat can be an important part of a healthy diet

Meat has protein. Protein is good for you. It helps you grow. It helps your body get better if you are hurt.

What kinds of meat are there?

Beef and Iamb are red meats. Chicken and pork are white meats. Most fast-food meals have processed meat. This is made from meat but has other foods added to it too.

Do you like meat?

A small amount of meat is good for you. But do not eat too much every day. Many stores sell other choices for meat, such as soy or tofu.

Many burgers contain meat, but they are also full of fat and salt.


What is a vegetarian?

Vegetarians do not eat meat. They get all their nutrients from vegetables and vegetable products, such as tofu and soy.

What is a vegan?

Vegans are vegetarians who do not eat animal products. They do not eat eggs or cheese. They do not drink milk. Many vegans do not wear wool or eat honey because it is made from animals. They get all their nutrients from vegetables.

Do you eat fish?

It is a good idea to eat fish two times a week. One of your fish meals should include oily fish. Mackerel, salmon, and sardines are oily fish. Oily fish is full of healthy nutrients.

Oily fish contains vitamins that are good for your eyes, skin, hair, bones, and teeth.


Why choose fish?

Eating fish adds protein to your diet. Fish also have a lot of minerals. Fish is not as fattening as some meats, such as pork or lamb.

Which fish is best?

The oil in oily fish is called “unsaturated” fat. Fish oil has a nutrient called “Omega 3”. Omega 3 helps different parts of your bodywork well, such as your brain.

Eating oily fish is good for your brain. It can help you focus on your work.


Why is fish good for you?

Fish is full of healthy vitamins, minerals, and protein. It has a healthy kind of fat. It is good for your heart and brain.


What are fatty foods?

You do not need much fat in your diet. The two kinds of fat are saturated and unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are better for you than saturated fats.

What should I eat?

Try to eat foods that are made with unsaturated fats. For a snack, try nuts instead of potato chips.

Donuts contain saturated fat. They should only be eaten as a treat.


Why should you try not to eat fatty snacks?

Snacks that are full of saturated fats are bad for your heart. Fatty snacks can make you put on weight. Choose healthy snacks instead, such as a piece of fruit. 

Nuts and olive oil have unsaturated fats.Cookies, cakes, and chocolate contain saturated fats.Sweet potatoes have more nutrients than other kinds of potatoes.


Is it fattening?

Fatty foods give you energy. But they can make you gain weight if you eat too much of them. Starchy foods, such as potatoes, fruits, and vegetables are also high in energy. They are much less fattening.


Snack attack

Sugar and salt make food taste better. But you do not need a lot of sugar and salt in your diet. Too much sugar will rot your teeth. Too much salt is bad for your health.

Many snacks contain sugar or salt.


Avoid tooth decay

Try not to eat too many sugary foods and drinks. Sugar left in your mouth turns into a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque can cause tooth decay.

Brush your teeth about one hour after you eat sweets.


Does it need salt?

Many convenience foods are very salty. You do not need that extra salt. A salty diet is bad for your heart.

French fries are a type of convenience food.

Snacks do not have to be sweet or salty. Try eating healthy snacks next time you are hungry. Eat fruits, plain popcorn, unsalted peanuts, or breadsticks, instead.


Drink up

You need to eat and drink to stay healthy. More than half of your body is made up of water!
Try to drink at least four to eight cups (one to two liters) a day. Do not drink too many sugary drinks.
It is good to drink water throughout the day. Do not wait until you feel thirsty.

Can you eat water?

About half of the water you get comes from the foods you eat. Fruits and vegetables are foods that contain water. You get the rest of your water by drinking.


What is a balanced diet?

You should eat three balanced meals a day. In between meals you can have one or two healthy snacks.
Remember to eat foods from each of the different food groups.

Different food groups, how much of each food group should eat, fruits and vegetables portions, avoid fats and sugars
Different food groups

This picture shows you how much of each food group you should eat. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Do not eat very many fats or sugars.

It is important to eat the right kinds and the right amount of food. If you eat too much, or too little, you may get sick.

 For parents, it's important to give your child the correct portion for his or her age.

Do not fill up on fatty snacks between meals. Try high fiber snacks instead. Foods with fiber stop you from feeling hungry because they take a long time to digest.

Why is it important to eat a balanced diet?

balanced diet gives you the different nutrients you need to grow and stay healthy. Eat a lot of different kinds of foods. Eat from each of the food groups. Do not be afraid to try new foods.

Tips to Healthy eating for kids:

By following these simple tips, you can get children to eat right for a balanced diet:

1. Start with breakfast. Eating a balanced breakfast with protein help your child performs better, and it is a great way for your child to start their day.

2. Make mealtimes more important; it’s not just eating together; it’s an opportunity of establishing healthy eating habits, and setting an example for your child.

3. Encourage kids to help you by involving them in shopping with you for groceries, choosing foods, and preparing meals. You can also teach children about how to read food labels so they know the nutrition in the foods they’re choosing.

4. Make fruits and veggies more appealing by providing healthy fruits/veggies snacks between meals; try to hide veggies in other food if your child does not like vegetables.

5. Try to substitute unhealthy items by healthier foods; here are some kid-friendly junk food alternatives:

Instead of…
Try healthy alternatives…
Ice cream
Yogurt; fresh fruit smoothies
Potato chips
Baked vegetable chips or nuts
Butter
Olive oil
Soda
Fruits juice or sparkling water
White bread
Whole wheat, whole-grain bread
French fries
Grilled potato in the oven
                   6.  Limit sugar and be smart about fat; try to avoid unhealthy fats and focus on the healthy ones because your child needs the right fats in his diet, here are some best foods that contain healthy fats:

  • Olive oil
  • Avocados,
  • Nuts (Pecans and almonds)
  • Pumpkin and sesame (contain seeds)
  • Fish that contains Omega 3 (Fatty acids found in salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovies)


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