As your child graduates to being a first grader, he has to now meet the demands and competition of school life. Both academics and extracurricular activities are part of his daily routine. To have the required energy to complete these activities successfully, your child’s nutrition needs special attention.
What you need to know
Your kid will be needing 1200 to 1400 calories a day. This means a vast majority of calories have to come from nutrient dense foods like whole grains, proteins and dairy, fruits and vegetables. Also your child now develops strong food preferences. It may also happen that he refuses certain foods like vegetables/fruits. Explaining to your child why vegetables and fruits are important for good health and encouraging good eating habits will help him overcome this dislike.
Ensure your child eats 3 meals and 2 nutritious snacks daily. In case your child wants to have anything in between, keep fruits /vegetables in the fridge cut and handy. Avoid all kinds of junk food like pizza, chips, candy and cookies. If your child insists, limit it to once a month. Foods like pasta, noodles can be made more nutritious and healthy by including a lot of vegetables. Serving a wide variety of healthy options is the best way to remove the craving for wrong choices of food, though it takes time and reinforcement from the parent’s side.
What you can do
Another wonderful way to sensitize your child about good eating habits will be to have him participate in making meals wherein you can talk about the importance of different food items. Try easy recipes with your little chef like making sandwiches, salads. Involve him in setting the table. Make meal times pleasant and companionable Having meals together as a family, encouraging conversation and letting your child seeing you all having healthy food is the best way to ensure he learns good eating habits.