Are you providing a healthy, varied diet to your kids?
Kids love eating the same things day in, day out—but doing so may stop them from getting the nutrients they need for proper growth and development. You need to provide a varied and balanced diet for your kids to stay healthy!
Having a varied diet means eating a wide range of different foods from all the food groups. Each food group must be included, because each food group provides nutrition that the other food groups won’t be able to provide as well.
When your child eats a variety of foods, it increases the chances of him or her getting the many types of nutrients needed for their growth and development.
The flipside of this? When you have yourself a picky eater who refuses to eat other foods besides his or her favorites, it may lead to nutritional gaps. Observe what your child eats and the dishes you serve: Does what he eat come from only one or two of the food groups? Or does his daily meals cover all the food groups, but he’s stuck on eating only a particular food within each group?
If you would like to figure out on how to go about giving your child a more balanced and varied diet, here are some ideas you can start with:
1. Serve foods from the different food groups
According to the Health Promotion Board, there are 4 food groups:
i. Brown Rice and Wholemeal Bread
Besides brown rice and wholemeal bread, other foods in this group include oats, wholegrain biscuits, and wholemeal chapatti. These foods are rich in carbohydrate and dietary fibre, and also supply vitamins and minerals.
Fruit contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Get your child into a routine of eating fruits by offering him a variety of brightly coloured fruit every day.
Eating vegetables play an important role in one's health. They provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.
iv. Meat and others
This group includes foods like meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, nuts, beans, as well as dairy products. These foods are important sources of many nutrients, particularly protein, which is required for tissue building and growth.
2. Choose different foods within each food group
Each food group offers a wide range of choices, and the food found in each group contains a combination of nutrients and other beneficial substances.
Help your child achieve a better eating pattern by simply offering up a selection of different food from each of the four groups.
For example, some vegetables are good sources of vitamin C or vitamin A, while others may be high in folate. From the Meat & Others group, chicken provides vitamin B6 and iron, whereas milk supplies calcium and vitamin D.
Choosing a variety of foods within each group also helps to make your meals more interesting from day to day.
# Source: Affiliate Audit Data (Nielsen, IMS, MFPM) 2014
^ Meets or exceeds 100% of the current U.S. Dietary Reference Intakes for protein and 25 vitamins and minerals in approximately 1000 mL for children ages 1-3 years, 1050 mL for children ages 4-8 years and 1500 mL for children ages 9-13 years.