Overview Of The Best Food Groups For Kids

food groupsAlmost everyone has heard about the different food groups that should be used when creating meals every day. There are actually six different food groups including fruits, vegetables, grains, oils, dairy and protein foods. Oils are the only food group that is not absolutely necessary for the development of children. Therefore, when looking at the five food groups that remain, by creating meals that use an assortment of these ingredients on a regular basis, you can provide your body with the nutrition that it needs, allowing you, and your children, to stay healthy. The best food groups for kids will be presented in this article, specifically targeting which food groups are the most important to ensure a child’s healthy development.

Proteins And Kids

One of the most important food groups, especially for children that are growing and developing so quickly, is the protein food group. As your child grows, they will need amino acids, the very building blocks of the cells of the body, in continual supply. Proteins are important for not only building the cells in your body, but also renewing your tissues and cells on a regular basis. With their metabolism running so high, cell division is at its highest, requiring large amounts of protein every day. Therefore, it’s important to include chicken, beef, fish and eggs on a regular basis, as well as vegetables such as chickpeas, lentils, and beans.

Milk And Dairy

This is another very important food groups for children as they are growing up. Milk not only contains calcium which is necessary for proper bone growth, but it also has protein that your child’s body will need. Health experts have stated for decades the importance of providing your child with milk as they grow and develop from an early age. There are some children that are lactose intolerant, which means you may want to substitute milk for almond milk, or soy milk, both of which provide protein, as well as other important ingredients including omega-3 fatty acids, an essential part to your child’s development.

Why Grains Are So Important

Finally, grains are extremely important for your child’s development, specifically in regard to the fiber that they provide. Fiber is important for not only the processing of food, but also the dispersal of glucose into the bloodstream. The more fiber that is eaten with each meal, the slower the food will digest. This will help in the prevention of diseases such as type II diabetes which is the result of too much glucose all at once. The combination of these factors makes fiber a top contender for being one of the most important food groups for kids today.

The remaining food groups, which include vegetables and fruits, are also extremely important. Vegetables provide fiber and nutrients that the body needs, and fruits can give your child the natural sugar that is necessary for functioning and proper development. The combination of using all five of these food groups in their meals throughout the week will ensure that your little boy or girl will have the nutrients necessary to grow and develop everyday.

Ideas For Healthy Diets For Kids

healthy diet for kidsIt is very important for your children to have an abundance of healthy natural food in their diet everyday. By providing them with the fiber, protein, and carbohydrates that they need, in a balanced manner, it will help them grow and develop both physically and mentally. Trying to convince children that eating a candy bar is probably not in their best interest is very hard to do unless they understand why it is so important to eat healthy food. To help them stay healthy, and eat meals and snacks that are healthy too, let’s look at a few of the best healthy diets for kids, meals and snacks that they will not only enjoy, but will keep them coming back for more.

Peanut Butter And Cheese Snacks

First of all, let’s look at ways to redirect their attention to healthy snacks instead of ones that are probably bad for their health. Every kid loves to eat candy, cookies, ice cream and everything else that is loaded with refined carbohydrates and sugars that they simply don’t need to have in their body. As an alternative, you might want to redirect their attention to a couple snacks that almost every child loves to eat. By providing them with healthy peanut butter snacks, and cheese snacks, it might help diminish their cravings for junk food. Be creative with your presentation, giving them peanut butter on top of whole-wheat crackers, sprinkled with raisins. Kids love string cheese, and believe it or not it is actually an excellent healthy source for calcium, phosphorus, and the lean protein that every child needs to grow healthy and strong. Now that you have a couple ideas for substituting in healthier snacks, let’s look at ways to improve their everyday meals.

Fish And Whole Grains

Some children enjoy eating fish, whereas others will not touch it. Likewise, many kids enjoy healthy whole grain cereals, whereas others do not like the taste at all. If your kids do like fish and whole grains, you might want to create meals that target some of the most beloved meals that kids eat every day. By preparing fish sticks at home, using whole-grain flour and bread crumbs, and olive oil to fry them, your kids will absolutely love dipping their fish sticks, especially if you let them dip them in all natural cocktail sauce or home made ranch. Likewise, by creating whole-grain spaghetti, your kids will never know that they are actually eating healthy whole grains with their favorite spaghetti meal.

As you can see, there are many ways that you can create innovative healthy diets for kids every week. Try to think of what their favorite foods are that they have all the time, and find ways to substitute in healthier ingredients. By incorporating peanut butter and cheese snacks instead of sodas and candy bars, or simply making healthier versions of their favorite meals like spaghetti, you can slowly begin to improve your child’s eating habits by using these simple tips for creating healthy food that your children will enjoy.

Fun And Interactive Nutrition Games For Kids

gamesWhen you have a small family, it’s always good to spend time together, doing fun filled activities that gets everyone involved. You might do hikes out in the wilderness, going to new and beautiful locations that will create fantastic memories, and keep everyone healthy. In regard to your family’s health, it is also important to plan meals together that will be both nutritious and delicious to eat. One way that you can interact with your family, especially if you have younger children, is to play fun and interactive nutrition games for kids. Let’s look at a few of the best games out there that will not only bring the family together, but educate your children on how important it is to eat healthy food every day.

Food Group Games At Home

The foundation from which all meals are planned is to understand the different food groups. There are actually six different food groups which include proteins, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, fats and carbohydrates. By creating different meals with each of the food groups, your children can learn what each different part of the food groups represents. For instance, you can add fruit, fats, and carbohydrates for one meal, explaining that they provide fiber, natural sugar, and non-saturated fats that we need to eat to stay healthy. Your kids can choose the food groups that they want for each meal, and then find recipes that reflect their decisions.

Recipe Matching Games

If you have a couple hundred recipes printed out, you can have your kids play a matching game. Create multiple cards for each food group, color coding each one. Take each recipe, read off the ingredients, and have your kids raise the food group card that represents each part of the recipe. For example, if you are preparing a lunch that has French dip and applesauce, your kids would raise their protein and carbohydrate cards to show that they understand what that meal represents. By doing this on a regular basis, your kids will start to associate the food groups with the different recipes that you prepare. This is a great way to get them to become more health-conscious about the foods that they eat everyday.

Nutrition Games For Kids Online

Finally, in this digital age that we live in, where our children are constantly participating with online games, you can find websites that are dedicated to teaching kids about the importance of nutrition. There are websites that have interactive games where they can play with other kids at the same time. They even have sudoku matching games that will help them remember what different types of food will do for your body. Using the Internet, and your computer, to your advantage with these special healthy websites for kids, you can educate your children about the benefits of eating healthy using games that are nutritious from the internet.

Whether you decide to help your kids understand more about the value of eating nutritious food from your home by cooking together, playing games together, or letting them interact on websites and games online, this will help your kids understand how important it is to eat healthy foods every day, a habit that will stay with them the rest of their life.