Your key source for daily energy comes from your nutritional intake. It's the same concept for kids; children need fuel to carry them throughout the day. When you provide your child's next meal or snack, make sure you give them healthy options to teach them the right way to eat.
Smart nutrition choices helps your body grow, perform and heal. Good nutrition provides:
- Building blocks for growth and repair
- Vitamins and minerals
The food you choose to give your kids dictates how well they will perform at school, home and at play. Good nutrition means there is a balance of portion and nutrients.
Stray away from food extremes, such as: only carbohydrates, high protein, or low to no fat. Just like when you put expensive high octane gas in your car and you can feel the difference while driving, you can tell the difference in feeding good nutrition to your kids.
The main energy source for good nutrition should be complex carbohydrates. Think whole grains for kids such as oats, whole grain bread, and brown rice. Natural sugars like, raw organic sugar or Agave, should be used in limited amounts in homemade green tea, cookies or sprinkled on cream of wheat. Kids need fat for their development, so all nutrients are important.
Caloric value is a big part of good nutrition because all calories are not equal. You do not want to eat a bag of Doritos at 200 calories as a snack and expect to get the energy you need to get through the next couple of hours.
Kids have to be considered the same way when planning their lunch. They may want a sweet treat, but bake it yourself and give the sweet fruits that they can peel like kiwi, tangerines or pears.
You can send your child two fruit and a baked oatmeal cookie and have the same calories as a big bag of chips. Your kids will be better off nutritionally and get much more energy for a smart and active school day with the healthier options. You want to choose nutrient rich snacks and meals.
Baltimore Kids' Nutrition and Exercise Examiner Roxana Feenster is a personal trainer with an A.A.S. Degree in Health and Fitness Studies.
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