Want to learn more about how to improve your child's nutrition?
We know that getting your child to eat the healthy foods they need for optimal health can be challenging. Anything green seems like an immediate “no.” If you’ve been struggling with your child’s nutrition these days, our Ventura, CA, pediatricians can help you find ways to prevent mealtimes from feeling like a battle you won’t win.
Why Is Child Nutrition So Important?
We get most of our nutrients from the foods we eat, and we all know how important proper nutrition is for ensuring that our brains and bodies function optimally. Childhood is a time of immense growth and development, and a healthy, varied diet ensures they have everything they need to grow up healthy and strong. Practicing healthy eating habits can empower your child to make smarter decisions as they get older about the foods they choose to eat.
What Types of Nutrients Are Most Important for My Child?
Kids must eat a variety of foods to ensure they get the most vitamins, nutrients and minerals possible from their diet alone (this can also reduce the need for supplementation). This include,
- Learn sources of protein such as wild-caught fish and free-range poultry
- Beans and legumes
- Whole grains
- Fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy fats such as coconut, avocado and olive oil
- Low-fat dairy (in moderation)
What Are Some Helpful Tips for Parents To Improve Child Nutrition?
When it comes to your child’s nutrition, our Ventura, CA, pediatricians know that it isn’t always easy. Here are some helpful tips that may make it easier for your child to make healthier food choices (and maybe even enjoy these foods, too!).
- Portion size is just as important as what your child is eating. 50% of your child’s plate should be fruits and veggies.
- Avoid processed foods and choose fresh, whole foods every time.
- It’s important to limit sugars, refined grains (e.g., white rice), sodium and trans fats.
- Opt for steaming or baking over frying or boiling, which can remove some nutritional value.
- Make sure your child is drinking water. Avoid fruit juices and sports drinks, which are chock full of sugar and other additives.
- Have your child shop with you to pick out the fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks they want.
- Make cooking a family activity. Show your child how you prepare nutritious foods to make them taste good. If they get to play chef, they may also be more likely to eat the foods they helped prepare.
If you have questions about your child’s nutrition, our Ventura, CA, pediatricians are always here to provide support and advice. To schedule an appointment with us, call Surfside Pediatrics at (805) 643-7500.