Monday, January 31, 2011

The Ideal Daily Diet for a Child

The ideal diet for a child is high in fibre, low in fat and has calcium, iron, and other vitamins and minerals that they need. Kids should avoid high-calorie and high-fat food stuffs. Ideally, a kid’s daily diet should include:
  • 1 to 2 cups of fruits
  • 2 to 4 cups of low fat or fat-free milk
  • 1 to 3 cups of vegetables – raw, cooked, or pureed into soups
  • Whole grains (whole wheat bread, oatmeal, whole grain breakfast cereal, etc.)
  • Legumes (beans, peas, etc.)
  • 1 egg

A kid’s daily diet should NOT include:
  • Fried foods. It is always better to bake, grill or roast food items instead of frying them.
  • Processed and packaged food items. These are often high in fat, calories, sugar and salt, and low in fibre.
  • French fries. They have been found to be carcinogenic.
  • Artificial flavours and colours.
  • Fast food, colas, chips, soda, chocolates, ice-creams, etc.
  • Plain Parathas, made out of maida (refined flour) which have zero fibre and nutritional content.
Be realistic when you set portion sizes for your child. He can eat only so much. Do not over feed him. Do not serve high-fat meat for more than once a week. Chocolates, cookies, and sweets should also be occasional treats. An occasional eating-out will not do much harm to your child. However, take care to make healthy choices while you are at the restaurant.

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