As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure our children grow up to be who they want to be. Small though they may be, they can have big dreams! And it is up to us to make sure they get all the nutrients their growing bodies need.
For April’s Global Child Nutrition Month, we’re giving out some crucial kiddie diet tips to not only maximise our knowledge of our young ones’ nutrition but also remind us of things we can do to accommodate to the special needs and behaviours our kids may have towards food they may not always like or appreciate.
Guidelines to a healthy kiddie diet
A healthy diet for a growing child is important. Healthy food fosters a child’s growth and development and lessens the chances of them developing chronic illnesses later in life. To stay healthy, children are required to maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and eat the right vitamins and nutrients. 
- Proteins – For your young ones, choose lean-meats such as seafood, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds.  Chicken is also a good protein source if you want to focus on an animal meat that’s not beef, pork, or lamb.
- Fruits and veggies – Eating a variety of fruits and veggies is important and they’re even better served fresh!
- Grains – Choosing whole wheat bread, pasta, or oatmeal is good for your kids, too. Grains are good sources of fibre, carbohydrates, and a wide range of vital vitamins and minerals. 
- Dairy – Encourage your child to eat and drink fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Dairy is a good source of calcium and vitamin D.
- Added sugar – For a growing child, naturally-occurring sugars in fruit and milk are preferable over added sugars in sodas and other juicy drinks.
- Saturated fats – Limit your child’s intake of saturated fats as well. You can try to replace saturated fats in your kid’s diet by replacing them with vegetable and nut oils, which are good sources of essential fatty acids and vitamin E.
- Salt – It’s pretty common knowledge that foods with a high salt content is not very good for children. Processed foods especially, such junk food should be limited or at least carefully curated by reading the nutrition labels.
Get your child some greens
Getting kids to eat healthy can often be a challenge. Vegetables are just not as appetising to most kids and that’s okay – but as a parent, it can be frustrating when you would like to infuse more veggies in your young one’s diet but they just can’t seem to get into it.
There is a reason for this: biologically, babies are born with a preference for sweet tastes. This is what makes them drawn to their mother’s breast milk.  And veggies just don’t have the same sweetness they like, and so as they grow into children, this lack of preference for veggies persist.
Fear not, though, there’s a chance! Here are tips for you to try to get your little one to have a go at their greens.
- Add a fun dip – To get started on this journey to get more veggies in your kids’ diet, start off with something easy: offering a dip. A simple dip like hummus or a cheesy sauce can really help increase the “fun” of eating veggies. Just pair these dips with easy starter veggies like carrot sticks.
- Be consistent – You might be wondering if it’s a futile exercise to offer your young ones veggies if they always refuse it, but paediatricians actually recommend that you be consistent and continue offering veggies to your children even if they refuse them. According to studies, children will often refuse a food item consistently, close to 15 times, before they become open to try it. 
- Be a good role model – Sometimes, the way to get your child to eat more veggies is to show them why they should. This can be achieved when you show to your kid that the veggies you want them to eat is something you enjoy yourself.  They may not be on-board when they first see you eat it, but making it a point that they do see it at every meal time you have together will increase their curiosity and make them more open to eventually trying them.
- Sneak those veggies – When all else fails, it’s never a bad thing to resort to a little bit of magic – that is by simply sneaking your kids’ veggies into other food they do
If you are still worried your little ones aren’t getting enough nutrition from their refusal to eat their greens, you can always support their diet with some kiddie supplements.
- Made with a tasty fruity flavour, the NOW Kids DHA chewable supplements support brain health in kids. It’s packed with just the right amount of fish oil per serving to support brain function and overall health.
- The NOW Kids Kid Vits Berry Blast chewable supplements is also a good way to support your kids’ daily nutrition intake, if their diet leaves a lot to be desired. These specifically formulated sweetened chewable supplements contain only the highest quality vitamins and minerals in just the right dose for your growing child. Just remember to limit these vitamins to children ages 4 and up.
- Gut health in children is important, and NOW Kids BerryDophilus chewable supplements combines 10 clinically-validated probiotic bacterial strains designed to support gastrointestinal health and healthy immune system function.
Making sure our children get the best in their younger years will make sure that they experience less health problems in their later years. So, this Global Child Nutrition Month, always remember that prioritising your kids’ health doesn’t have to be difficult or frustrating – all we really need are the right tools and tips to make sure we can stay focused on what’s important.