5 Essential Daily Food Habits for Child's Health [In Depth Guide]

Dhaka Post Desk

Nayema Tasneem Meem

30 September 2023, 11:25 am

5 Essential Daily Food Habits for Child's Health [In Depth Guide]

Good health is a lifelong journey, and instilling healthy habits from childhood is crucial. Parents play a pivotal role in shaping their child's health by deciding what they eat. While it's tempting to indulge children in fried snacks, sugary treats, and fast food, it's essential to prioritize their long-term well-being. Experts emphasize that the habits developed in childhood have a profound impact on future health. In this article, we'll explore five daily food habits that are vital for children's overall health and well-being.

5 Essential Daily Food Habits for Child's Health [In Depth Guide]

1. Prioritize Breakfast

Skipping breakfast, a common habit among adults, can be detrimental to a child's health. According to a study by King's College London, children who skip breakfast are at risk of malnutrition, missing out on essential nutrients like folate, calcium, iron, and iodine, crucial for growth and development. Encourage your child to start the day with a nutritious breakfast to set a healthy tone for their day.

2. Limit Fatty Foods

While children may crave indulgent foods, such as samosas and pizza, it's vital to avoid excessive consumption of fatty foods. Research from Swiss scientists reveals that high-fat diets can lower levels of a key protein called Reelin, which affects brain function, leading to memory issues, behavioral inflexibility, and potential health problems like obesity and diabetes. Limiting fatty foods can reduce the risk of future health issues, including Alzheimer's disease.

3. Monitor Sugar Intake

Children's love for candies, ice cream, and sugary treats is no secret. However, excessive sugar consumption is linked to lifestyle diseases like diabetes. Indian research indicates that children often consume three times more sugar than recommended daily. While eliminating sweets entirely isn't necessary, it's crucial to moderate sugar intake and educate children about the potential harm of excessive sugar consumption.

4. Embrace Green Vegetables

Green vegetables are a cornerstone of a healthy diet, promoting growth and development in children and maintaining adults' health. Make green vegetables appealing by incorporating them into dishes like tikkis, pakoras, salads, and vegetable noodles. Early exposure to a variety of vegetables encourages lifelong healthy eating habits.

5. Offer Nutrient-Rich Meals

Children may resist healthy foods like fish, milk, and vegetables. Transform these nutritious options into enticing meals. For example, make wholegrain homemade pizza with fresh, unprocessed ingredients or replace fried foods with baked alternatives. Creative preparation can make nutritious meals more appealing to children.

Nurturing healthy eating habits in children is an investment in their future well-being. By ensuring they have a balanced breakfast, limiting fatty foods, monitoring sugar intake, promoting green vegetables, and offering nutrient-rich meals, parents can set their children on a path to a healthier and happier life. Remember that these habits established in childhood will influence their health for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions about Daily Food Habits for Your Child's Optimal Health

1. What are the 5 food items we eat every day?    

The five food items that we should ideally consume every day for a balanced diet include:
•   Fruits and vegetables: Rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
•   Whole grains: Such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oats for sustained energy.
•   Lean proteins: Like chicken, fish, tofu, or legumes for muscle growth and repair.
•   Dairy or dairy alternatives: Providing calcium for strong bones and teeth.
•   Water: Staying hydrated is essential for overall health.

2. What are the 5 things you need to eat?    

To maintain a healthy diet, focus on including these five essential food groups:
•   Fruits and vegetables
•   Whole grains
•   Lean proteins
•   Dairy or dairy alternatives
•   Adequate water intake

3. What are 5 healthy eating habits for kids?

Five healthy eating habits for kids include:
•   Eating breakfast daily to kickstart the day with essential nutrients.
•   Incorporating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables into meals.
•   Limiting sugary snacks and beverages.
•   Encouraging portion control to prevent overeating.
•   Involving children in meal preparation and making nutritious foods fun and appealing.

4. What are the daily food requirements for children?

Daily food requirements for children can vary depending on their age, activity level, and overall health. However, a general guideline includes:
•   Fruits and vegetables: At least 5 servings a day.
•   Grains: Mostly whole grains, about 6 servings a day.
•   Protein: About 2-3 servings, including lean meats, fish, legumes, and dairy.
•   Dairy or dairy alternatives: About 2-3 servings to support bone health.
•   Water: Plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

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