Switch on the TV and you’ll find a number of health advices and tips on healthy eating and nutrition for kids. This information is mostly misleading or confusing. Should you count calories or carbohydrates? Are potatoes and rice good or bad? Should you use margarine or butter? And what exactly are trans-fats?
Looking for clear answers? The answers to your questions regarding meal planning for kids lie on your plate. Whatever is on your plate will be in the mouth of your kid. Take a moment out and think whether your family’s plate is actually healthy or not.
Here are some important elements of meal planning for kids
We generally do not give much thought to portion size. Good food is healthy only if it is taken in proper proportions. A healthy plate for an adult would be about 9 “in diameter, while the average plate in a restaurant is about 12” to 15 “. Keep in mind that portion size matters for your kids as well. Children do not have to eat adult sized portions.
If your plate is full of nutritional food, it will be colorful with a lot of fruits and vegetables. Non starchy veggies have higher nutrition value, and generally contain less than 50 calories in one serving. Meal planning for kids can be difficult because children are usually picky eaters. Adults need to make sure that they are setting the right example. If you do not eat your fruits and vegetables, your kids will not eat them either. Make sure you add different fruits and vegetables to your meal plans, and eat them too.
Protein for growth
Since growing children need plenty of protein for all round development, a quarter of their plate should have foods rich in protein, like fish or skinless poultry. These foods should be cooked in a healthy manner so that the protein is not lost in heat. You can grill, bake, or broil these foods and drain the excess fat. Meats are not the only protein option- you can also try low fat cheese, tofu, and beans. A healthy protein serving would give them about 15-20 gm of protein, and maximum 5 gm of fat.
The best meal planning for kids would include foods low in fat, sugar, and sodium. Give your kids whole fruits rather than juice, and prepare vegetables without adding fats or salts. To make the veggies delicious, you can add lemon juice and olive oil, or sodium free spices.