How to Create a Healthy Diet Plan for Your Children

Came from a plant, eat it; was made in a plant, don’t.

– Michael Pollan

How many of you remember the Kellogs Chocos ad where a little boy is annoyed over his clever mom’s idea of topping his pizza with eggplant? 

Children sure can bring out the creativity in you when it comes to eating healthy. When kids get fussy with food, their metabolism will get affected.  With a healthy diet plan, you can ensure your kids get the right nutrients in the right quantity.

Read on to discover some diet essentials that will fuel your child’s growth and development.

Proteins: Proteins are essential for cell development and help to build muscles. It plays a pivotal role in your child’s skin and hair growth. Serve your child fish, lean meat, poultry and eggs. If you follow a vegetarian diet, beans, peas, dals, spinach, yoghurt, unsalted nuts, and seeds are a good choice for your kids’ daily dose of protein.

Fruits: Offer your child a serving or two of fruits in a day. Let them have 100% fresh juice without added sugars. Dried fruits are also an excellent option. Remember, one-fourth cup of dried fruit equals one full cup of fresh fruit. Citrus fruits are a rich source of Vitamin C which is essential for your child’s immunity. 

Vegetables: Serve a variety of fresh and cooked vegetables. Include green leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce, which provide a good source of roughage that helps with digestion.  

Make it a practice to serve salads with some olive oil and crushed nuts or with light dips. This way, your child may be inclined to enjoy a bowl of salad. Serving light dips is also a tip to get them eating their bowl of salads. 

Dairy: Calcium and Vitamin D are essential at all stages of life. Calcium helps in bone strength, and Vitamin D is necessary to absorb calcium. So, encourage your child to eat and drink dairy products, such as milk, yoghurt, buttermilk and cheese.

Grains: Whole grains are a good source of fibre and other nutrients. Cooked brown rice provides carbohydrates that give energy and keep your child full for a longer time. Rotis made out of whole grains taste great with a dash of ghee. A side dish of your child’s choice could be encouraging to have the rotis or rice, so keep that in mind. 

Make sure to mix things up so that your child gets a balanced diet and doesn’t get bored by routine. Try to prepare your child’s favourite delicacies at home as it avoids all the unhealthy fat, salt and sugar that goes into its cooking in restaurants.

However, occasionally serving your children their favourite food is not a bad idea.  Just make sure there is a healthy balance between their choices and what you give.