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Designing a Healthy Diet for Kids

The foods you bring into your home for your kids is super important to their health. Some kids may be picky and stubborn about eating the healthy food you bring in, but eating the right food is the best way to prevent disease, live a long life, and feel great. Planning a healthy diet for your children doesn’t need to be hard or complicated. Considering a few key factors can help you design something that will help them to grow to their potential, and thrive in their environment.

A healthy diet should be considered adequate. This means, the meals should provide enough calories and nutrients to maintain good health. Because everyone has different energy needs based on their size and activity, adequacy might be different for different people. You will know if your child’s diet is adequate if they are growing and have energy for day to day activities.

A healthy diet should secondly be moderate. We have lots of food in our country, and kids are losing their ability to know when they are full. Fake foods with added chemicals, sugar, and fat, can be blamed for addictive behaviors toward foods and losing those innate hunger cues. Once returned, kids are great about moderating the amount of food they eat, without eating too much.

The third feature in a healthy diet is to eat a balanced diet. Excluding an entire food group can leave kids missing some vital nutrients. Instead, make sure you are helping them eat foods from all the food groups. These include, vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole grains, and dairy.

The fourth step to designing a healthy diet is to make sure the diet is varied. Although eating from all five food groups is good, different foods within those groups also offer different nutrients, and are available in different ways. For example, protein is important, but if a child only eats one type of protein, say from chicken, they could be missing out on healthy proteins from nuts and seeds. So, when putting together a healthy diet, make sure there is a variety of food within each food group.

When kids eat a diet that is adequate, moderate, balanced, and varied, they will be healthier. Discover new recipes and encourage your kids to try new foods and new ways to cook them in order to meet all the criteria of a healthy diet.

For help with designing Healthy Meal Plans or learning about Key Nutrients, visit our resources.. This article, Designing a Healthy Diet for Kids has free reprint rights.