Infant nutrition

15 healthy eating habits for kids ages 2 to 5

15 healthy eating habits for kids ages 2 to 5

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Instill our children from a young age healthy eating habits It is an investment in the future for your health. We will be preventing them from developing diseases such as diabetes or having obesity and overweight problems. But how to do it? Have that list handy with the 15 healthy eating habits for children between 2 and 5 years old. The sooner we start, the better!

Preschoolers, between 2 and 5 years, are generally characterized by being enormously active, both physically and intellectually. At this stage they have much more capacity for movement than when they are babies and their mind is very awake, making enormous progress, especially in language, but, unfortunately, their interest in new foods is somewhat compromised.

In addition to respecting these 15 healthy eating habits that we will now list you, as parents we cannot forget that children should do physical exercise daily and, as far as possible, outdoors.

1. From puree to solid
From the age of 2, the diet of children should not include crushed foods except when they are on the menu of the whole family. Vegetable puree with meat, fish or chicken or fruit porridges must already, at this age, have passed into history. A separate chapter deserves bottles, whether made of milk or cereals, completely inadequate due to their implication in the increase in risks of cavities and obesity.

2. Set fixed number of meals
Meals, 5 or 6 depending on the hours the child is awake –probably also depending on their age- should be spaced about 3 hours apart, emphasizing two larger meals, lunch and dinner, but without skipping any.

3. To drink, water
Nothing to offer milk or juices with meals, much less carbonated or energy drinks, completely unsuitable for these ages.

4. Breakfast is a must
However, foods that are excessively rich in sugar, such as cookies, cocoa powder or industrial juices, should be avoided.

5. Snack and lunch, healthy
Avoid bakery and industrial juices, and above all, salty snacks. Preferably, breakfast and lunch should complement each other, providing between them, foods from the different groups: protein, farinaceous, dairy and fruits / vegetables.

6. The child should not eat late
Depending on what time you go to bed, dinner should be at least one to two hours before.

7. Adjust quantities
Lunch and dinner do not necessarily have to consist of three courses (first, second and dessert), since these children are still too young to eat enough of all and we can fall into the dynamic of "forgiving" the second course, which can affect your intake of protein and some minerals, such as iron. It can also happen that we end up forcing them to eat, with the negative connotations that this implies. For these children, either small portions or a single plate are the best alternatives.

8. The child should eat alone
At these ages the child must have sufficient autonomy to handle cutlery with enough skill to feed himself without help. Obviously, cutting a steak is not something they should do on their own, but prodding with a fork or taking a spoonful and putting it in their mouth are skills that they should have learned.

9. Listen to your son
The child must know when he is hungry and how hungry he is, and we must listen to him. This does not mean feeding him when he wants, much less, but it can help us to adapt meal times to the needs of his body, avoiding the dreaded snacks between meals.

10. The fruit, better between meals
There is no scientific reason that requires that the fruit be eaten at a certain time, but nevertheless, it is easier to arouse the interest of the child to eat it if it is offered outside of the main meals, either as a snack or at lunch. midmorning.

11. Always have water on hand
Young children are not reluctant to drink water, but they are not very constant, and when they ask for it, they are usually already in the early stages - not to be alarmed because these specific moments are not dangerous - of dehydration. Therefore, if they have water on hand, it is easier for them to remember before drinking it and even get into the habit of doing it frequently, something that is very good for their health.

12. Eat before going to sleep
If the child is hungry before going to bed, neither too sweet nor too salty foods should be offered. Preferably, at this time, the child should have a glass of milk, which will help them fall asleep thanks to its content of tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin and melatonin, known for their relaxing power.

13. Avoid juices and offer whole fruits
We must not only encourage the child to chew the pieces of fruit, but we must also ensure a good supply of fiber so that their gastrointestinal tract does not suffer.

14. Include yogurts in your diet
Yogurt is what we might call a superfood. Not only does it contain calcium and phosphorous for the growth of bones and teeth - so important at this stage - as well as vitamin D to fix that calcium to the bones, but it also supposes a contribution of lactic acid bacteria that help keep alive, healthy and activates the intestinal microflora. This microflora is nothing more than the bacterial population that lines the gastrointestinal tract and that constitutes the first line of defense of our immune system.

15. Foods with high nutrient density
Legumes, nuts, meats and fish or eggs, for example, are some of these foods. They are characterized by having a large amount of vitamins, minerals and trace elements concentrated in few calories and, because these little ones do not eat large quantities - because their bodies do not have high energy requirements - we can ensure that the contribution of micronutrients is not compromised.

You can read more articles similar to 15 healthy eating habits for kids ages 2 to 5, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.

Video: Childrens Nutrition: How to Get a Child to Eat Healthy Foods (June 2022).


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