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As parents, you surely are familiar with sentences like "I don't wanna eat this" or "Vegetables again?", and the scene where your kids put aside those vegetables or fish that they don't want to eat rings a bell, doesn't it? These battles that we have to face every day may lead us to think that our kids' meals are a complicated issue, but we couldn't be more mistaken.
The frenetic rhythm that we have doesn't help our imagination when it comes to thinking about nutrition for kids without falling into a poor or repetitive diet. So we want to help you by presenting some tips, ideas, and menus for the kids to help enrich, facilitate and improve the diet of the youngest in the house.
Some factors that are important at the time of choosing the best options of nutrition for kids are certain habits that facilitate meals ideas, their purchase, and preparation, besides being conscious of the importance of the variety of the foods and how to distribute them during the day.
The first thing we have to bear in mind when considering our children's nutrition is that they should eat at least 4 meals a day, if not 5. These should be distributed in a balanced way, every approximately three hours. This means that meal times are important and should include breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner.
Another important point regarding kids menu is to distribute the nutrients that their body needs for its proper functioning. For example, during breakfast, it is important for children to eat fruit, as well as dairy products and cereals for a complete diet early in the day. It is also recommended that both at lunch and dinner there are foods from the group of vegetables, tubers, pulses, cereals and foodstuffs with protein components (not forgetting a dessert of fruit or dairy).
When we talk about nutrition for kids, we should not forget hydration, so having the child drink about two liters of water a day will also be essential for their health. Try to avoid soft or high-sugar drinks and add natural juices to their diet.
Among kid-friendly meals, there is no place for pastry, bakery, cakes, sweets... From time to time a candy does not harm anyone and the youngest will appreciate it, but sometimes, for lack of ideas or time, we add more sugary and processed foods in the kids' meals.
A useful tool to have different kid menus is to make a meal calendar. Taking into account each day of the week, the different moments of food intake and the distribution of daily nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the body of the little ones, you will have a very useful tool for their diets. On the other hand, it will help to have this calendar in a visible place that will help you know what you have to prepare each day and what you should buy for it.
Having a meal calendar will also make it easier to have a clear shopping list and organize when to do it. Try to mark one or two days a week to go shopping for the menus for the following days.
Involving children in the importance of their diet will be another plus that can help possible menus for kids. Why? Well, children have enough memory and capacity to, for example, remind you that "mommy, daddy, tomorrow it's time to eat legumes," so the fact that they are active agents in their diets will help you all to carry them out without problem. You can explain more seriously how important it is to eat well, but you can also do it more playfully, involving games, for example.
If your kids eat at school, consider what they have for lunch, so you'll know how to supplement it with meals at home.
Eating together as a family, in addition to strengthening the family bond, will help ensure that kids eat everything they need, both in terms of quantity and quality. Also, if they have any difficulty with any food or behavior at mealtime, you can be present to help them overcome it.
When children become aware of the importance of their diet, it will be necessary to positively reinforce those healthy behaviors and habits that they have about it; in this way, we achieve that they continue to care of their healthy diet.
This is one of the many possibilities you can choose from when thinking about kid meals:
- A bowl of milk with cereals (that are not high on sugar)
- An apple
Another option is to substitute the apple for a natural orange juice and the bowl of milk with cereals for some toasts of cereal bread (with ham, jam...) and a yogurt. In this way, you would also have dairy products, cereals and fruit, which the little ones need to start the day with energy.
- Cheese sandwich
- A fruit
The classic sandwich could not be missing for recess time, but it is important to eat some fruit or natural juice as well.
- Salad with walnuts and quark (or similar cheese)
- Pasta with chicken and vegetables
- Yogurt with fruits
This is a meal rich in protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins, but there are also other options such as, for example, legumes, or stew.
- Bread with oil, tomato, and turkey
- Pineapple juice
A mid-afternoon snack is another classic, but you can also opt for cookies or a fruit salad.
- Sauteéd vegetables
- Baked fish (with a little bread)
Before going to bed, if digestion is complete, they can have a glass of warm milk and some cookies.
Other nutrient-rich dinner options include a salad, cheese and ham omelet, grilled chicken... These are healthy meals that will not hinder the sleep of the little ones in the house.
As you can see, what is important in kid-friendly meals is the variety of foods, the intake at different times during the day and the usual consumption of fresh foods such as fruit, in addition to drinking plenty of water. A nutritious and balanced diet will give the little ones that strong health we want them to have.
Check out the original article: Menús para niños: 10 ideas para aprender a comer sano y un ejemplo de menú diario at bitpadres.com