What Foods Are Best for Children?
We cannot overemphasize the importance of nutritious food consumption for children, because of how pertinent it is to their healthy growth and development. Here`s a list of foods that are rich in nutrients that the children require.
18 Healthy Foods for Children
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, and they possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They prevent oxidative damage to children`s cells and promote healing.
Eggs are rich in proteins and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which enhance the growth of a baby`s brain. Children who eat eggs regularly have higher cognitive strength and abilities than those who don`t.
Fruits and Vegetables
Children love fruits, especially those that taste really good. Fruits and vegetables improve cognitive health, boost immunity, reduce the risk of obesity, promote eye health, reduce the risk of high cholesterol, prevent respiratory problems, reduce the risk of diabetes, among other benefits. They particularly improve digestion because they are rich in fiber. You may incorporate peas, plums, apricots, prunes, broccoli, and many other fruits and vegetable to their diets for regular bowel movements and healthy nutrition.
You can make sandwiches with white bread and whole grains to give your children nourishing meals rich in vitamins and minerals.
Blueberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins which children need to boost immune health and perform a number of other functions.
Cow milk is rich in calcium and protein which enhance brain development and bone strength. Children can have some cow milk, or they may have dairy in other forms.
Tuna is rich in protein and some other nutrients required for healthy growth and development of children. You can mix it with lettuce to make sandwiches, or just have children eat it with rice.
This nutty plant food is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which promote brain development. Ground flaxseeds are even healthier, as they enable the body to absorb maximum nutrients.
There are a number of legumes that are rich in protein. Children can have lima beans, black-eyed peas, baked beans, black beans, or chickpeas. They can also have cereal which is rich in fiber, hence aids digestion.
Nuts are super nutritious for children. Wondering which of the nuts to start feeding them with? You may start with walnuts, as they`re one of the healthiest kinds of nuts.
Yogurt contains healthy bacteria which keep children healthy. It is better to give them low-sugar and low-fat varieties of yogurt; you may also add plain yogurt to some fruits to have some yummy and healthy mix which children will enjoy as they get some nourishment.
Hummus is rich in proteins, fiber, and complex carbs. Children can use it as a dip to have with baked chips or baby carrots; they may also have it in sandwiches or wraps, as a substitute for mayonnaise.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats. It is a versatile fruit which improves children`s health in numerous ways. Giving avocado to children in their early years is essential for their growth and developmental needs.
Tofu is rich in vitamin B, calcium, iron, and protein which are required for the healthy growth of children. Tofu goes well with cookies, desserts, smoothies, and ice-creams.
Mangoes are rich in vitamin C, hence they boost children`s immune health, keep their teeth and gum healthy, among other benefits. You can add mangoes to desserts and smoothies.
Milk is rich in calcium, hence strengthens children`s bones and teeth. It also contains vitamin D which enhances the absorption of calcium. For a more tasty experience, you may make some chocolate milkshake, pineapple blossoms, or some other forms of sumptuous drinks with milk for children to enjoy and get some nourishment.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which enhance brain development and heart health. It`s also rich in protein which enhances the growth of children. You could serve the children some salmon burgers or roasted salmon with herbs.
Air-popped popcorn contains whole grains, and is low in calories and fat, making it healthy for children. You may add toppings such as cinnamon, mixed nuts, or pumpkin pie spice to air-popped popcorn.
13 Unhealthy Foods for Children
Having seen foods that children should eat for healthy growth and development, let`s take a look at what they should avoid eating.
Peanuts cause allergies for some persons. Asides that, the risk of children getting it lodged in their windpipe is high, and this may cause them to choke.
Macaroni, noodles, and other kinds of packaged pasta have more than the recommended amount of sodium per serving, hence unhealthy for children to consume all at once. Instead of consuming packaged pasta, children can consume whole grain pasta which is a healthier alternative.
Cream doughnuts and double chocolate-glazed doughnuts contain high amounts of artificial flavors, sugars, and other food additives which increase the risk of obesity, cancer, and tissue damage. They are not healthy for children.
Potato Chips and French Fries
Potato chips and French fries go through some deep frying, and this makes children consume high amounts of saturated fats with high levels of unhealthy cholesterol, hence increasing the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, respiratory disorders, and osteoporosis.
Hard Candies and Lollipops
Hard candies and lollipops are packed with sugar, flavors, and artificial colorings which are harmful to the teeth and cavities. They cause more harm to children who wear braces.
They`re filled with sugar-sweetened jelly, icing, and sprinkles which can be unhealthy for children. Why not give them whole-grain toast with all-fruit spread instead?
Hot dogs are linked to a high risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. They`re high in sodium and saturated fats, and they lack certain essential nutrients―all these make them unhealthy for children.
Cola, fruit punch, sports drinks, and other sugary drinks have high amounts of sugar and empty calories, hence they`re detrimental to the health of children, especially with excessive consumption.
The chicken nuggets you find in a number of fast food outlets are fried in oils that contain unhealthy additives such as dimethylpolysiloxane. This is unhealthy for children.
Uncooked Eggs and Meat
Uncooked and half-cooked eggs and meat contain a bacterium called salmonella which weakens the immune system when it enters into the bloodstream. Ensure children eat well-cooked eggs and meat.
Butter and Cheese
Butter and cheese are delicious, even adults love them; however, children should only consume them in small quantities because of the saturated fats and chemical pollutants which they contain―they are quite unhealthy for children, especially in cases of excess consumption.
Fruit snacks are packed with sugar, artificial colors, preservatives, and a number of unhealthy ingredients. They stick to children`s teeth and cause tooth decay if the teeth don`t get proper dental care.
Seeds of Fruits
Children should eat fruits―that`s healthy. However, with fruits such as plums, cherries, peaches, apples, and apricots that contain small seeds, the risk of choking is involved. What`s more? These seeds contain amygdalin which produces cyanide, a harmful toxin that is poisonous. Children who cannot take out seeds themselves should only eat such fruits under the supervision of an adult who can take out the fruits for them.