How to ensure healthy eating for children


The family has an important role in the child's growth and development. Healthy eating for children is entirely the parents' responsibility.

Children's food education requires time, attention, patience and persistence. Industrialized products full of salt, sugar and fats that can bring diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cancer earlier should be avoided.

Child nutrition deserves special attention first because children are growing up and need essential nutrients to grow healthy, and then because it is the chance that parents have to create healthy eating habits.

How to ensure healthy eating for children

The different stages of child feeding

Children go through different phases, with changes in eating behavior, and parents are responsible for guidance in each phase.

From 0 to 2 years - in the first 6 months of life and exclusive breastfeeding is advised. After this period, it is time for the introduction of other foods into the diet, which should be slowly introduced, gradually increasing the quantity, variety, and thickness of the food.

From 2 to 5 years old - avoid the consumption of very sugary and salty foods, stimulating the consumption of fruits, cereals, legumes, tubers and meat in a balanced way, adjusting the nutritional needs of each child.

From the age of 6 - it is essential to control excessively caloric foods, as at this stage there is an increase in the child's appetite, making it important for healthy foods to persist and to avoid processed foods.

How do I know what kind of food to give my child?

The amount of food that should be eaten daily depends fundamentally on age, sex and degree of physical activity developed in daily life.

Proteins help with growth, regeneration of bones, muscles, healing, and provide heat and energy to the body. There are animal proteins like meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products, and there are vegetable proteins like beans, cereals, bread and potatoes.

Carbohydrates have the function of giving energy to the body to perform physical activities.
Depending on the child's physical activity, these can be balanced in the diet.

Lipids are a concentrated energy source with the function of insulating the organs to protect physically and against changing temperatures. They transport vitamins to awaken appetite and are found in fish, chicken, egg yolks and dairy products.

Nutrients you can't miss

Calcium is important for bone growth and blood pressure control. It is present in milk and its derivatives, in pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, and spinach.

Iron improves a child's learning ability and increases resistance to infections. It is found in meat, dark green vegetables, and legumes such as beans.

Zinc increases immunity and improves brain development, ability to concentrate and memory and can be found in meats such as liver, chicken, turkey and oilseeds such as peanuts and nuts.

Vitamins C, D and B complex found in fruits, cereals and seafood, guarantee the proper functioning of the body, decrease the appearance of diseases such as diabetes and increase the ability to concentrate in children.

Mistakes to avoid when feeding your child

Some behaviors that should be avoided in order to create good eating habits in children are:

  • Force the child to eat more than he can
  • Reward good behavior with treats and other caloric foods
  • Punish the child without food for presenting unfavorable behavior
  • Allow daily consumption of sweets, cakes, soft drinks
  • Eat meals at restaurants or take aways frequently
  • Do not let children skip meals, organizing a constant eating routine


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