With increasing levels of stress and pollution growing all around the world, the importance of a healthy diet increases manifold. With a good nutrition plan, you can overcome the struggles of a modern urban life and ensure that your health maintains the optimal limit all through the year. Healthy eating habits should be cultivated right at the beginning of life, which can help form a strong immune system in the body.
Diseases like obesity, hypertension, as well as, Type Two Diabetes are constantly on the rise amongst children from all corners of the world. As is established by most medical researches, one of the primary reasons for these is the absence of a healthy and balanced diet. So, what constitutes a balanced diet? A balanced diet is one in which all the food groups are incorporated in a way that makes it easier for the body to absorb and use all the minerals and nutrients that one needs for growth and daily functions. The food groups, would of course, vary with age groups and hence it is important to know the functions of each food group and how it can help your child to maintain an optimal physical condition.
Let us take, for instance, Proteins. Known as body building food, proteins can be found in a variety of fish as well as eggs and lean meat. Avoid red meat as much as possible. Besides these, proteins are also available in certain vegetarian sources, such as, nuts, soya and beans.
Fruits and vegetables are one of the most important food groups for children. These not only supply the body with essential minerals and nutrients, but also add to the fiber content of our daily meals, thereby helping in removing the toxins from our bodies. However, an important rule to remember is to avoid the fruits and vegetables which contain elevated levels of sodium.
Grains too should be an important part of a child’s diet. Keep in mind that it is important to avoid highly processed or refined grains as they often lack the vitamins and minerals that are essential for growth. Instead opt for healthy grains such as quinoa, whole wheat, brown rice and oatmeal. Grains, if healthy, too provide us with carbohydrates and fibers and are essential for our overall sustenance.
Dairy is of course one of the most popular food groups for children, thanks to the abundance of Calcium and Vitamin D in most of its products. Besides helping in the development of healthy teeth, dairy products also help to strengthen and develop bones. A good ploy is to help your child maximize the goodness of dairy by increasing the amount of fermented milk products in his or her diet. Kefir or yogurt make good replacements for milk while helping the body gain more probiotics which in turn help to develop their immunity.
A healthy diet would involve as many varieties of different food groups as possible. This exposes the child to different tastes and also helps in the inclusion of different vitamins, minerals and nutrients, which is also a wonderful way of helping them make healthy choices, not just in childhood, but all through life!