Dinner Ideas for kids

Essential nutrients and dinner ideas for kids | Dinner Book

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My today’s discussion is about essential nutrients and dinner ideas for kids which will help you to know what strategies you need to follow to ensure your kids healthy dinner. From my last article “Healthy Baby Dinner Ideas to Increase Moms Confidence” you got dinner ideas for your baby. Now you are going to have various ideas for your kid’s dinner that assure your kid’s health and mental development proportionately with their age.

Being a mother of two kids I know sometimes it becomes difficult to provide them balanced diet when kids develop their own choices about food and other things. Sometimes it becomes too troublesome to provide them a nutritional diet at dinner time.

To make our effort easy we need to have ideas about essential nutrients for kids.  Our effort does not end with providing them essential food elements at dinner time. We have to make sure that they are having their dinner in a proper way. So, how can we be confident that we are going through the right way for providing them nutritional dinner?


Content in this article

  1. Dinner Ideas for kids
  2. Essential Nutrients for Kids
  3. Few Words about Sugar
  4. Benefits of Family Dinner for Kids
  5. References

Dinner Ideas for kids

Dinner Ideas for kids

Dinner Ideas for kids

Friends! Hope you have already understand that, in this article I am not going to share any recipe for kids. Rather I am sharing some ideas about essential food element at dinner time, how you can provide your kids the proper nutrition and above all how you can help your kids as they feel better to eat their dinner without being bound to eat dinner. So, let’s see the necessary steps to serve our kids a healthy dinner.


Essential Nutrients for Kids

Kids need some essential nutrients for their healthy life long development. Here is the list of the nutrients.

  1. Protein: Every kid needs right balance of protein. Protein helps to break down food into energy, fights against infection and builds cells of body. So you can’t skip protein from your kid’s dinner. You can provide him protein giving him meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, beans and dairy products.
  2. Carbohydrate: This element helps your kid’s body to use fat and protein for building and repairing tissues. Carbohydrates come in several different forms (sugar, starches and fiber), but kids should eat more of the starches and fibers and less of the sugar. Breads, Cereals, rice, crackers, pasta and potatoes are the source of high levels of carbohydrates.[1]
  3. Calcium: It is essential for your kid’s healthy bones and teeth. Calcium helps for blood clotting, nerve, muscles and heart function. Milk, cheese, yogurt, ice-cream,egg yolks, broccoli, spinach and tofu are the source of calcium.
  4. Iron: Iron helps to build healthy blood in kid’s body. That blood caries oxygen to cells and all over the body. You can provide iron for your kids from red meats, liver, poultry,shellfish,whole grains, beans, nuts and iron fortified cereals.
  5. Folate: Folate helps to improve healthy growth and cell development. Whole grain cereals, lentils, chickpeas,asparagus, spinach,black or kidney beans and Brussels sprouts are the good source of folate.
  6. Vitamin: Vitamin A and Vitamin C are the most essential nutrients for kids. Vitamin A is essential for eyes, skin. It also works to prevent infection. Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, apricots, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, fish oils and egg yolks provide Vitamin A. So try to provide any of these at his dinner time for the fulfillment of the necessary vitamin A.
  7. Vitamin C: Vitamin C holds the body’s cell together, strengthens the walls of blood vessels, helps the body heat wounds and is important for building strong bones and teeth.[2] Strawberries, melons, broccoli, tomato, potato, spinach, papaya, cauliflower are the source of vitamin C.
  8. Fiber: Fiber helps tomove food through the digestive system.[3] Fiber helps to prevent constipation. It also reduces the chance of diabetes and heart diseases later in life. The source of fiber are whole grain breads and cereals, orange, bananas,berries,pears,green peas, almonds. You need to make sure of 25 grams fiber regularly for your kid.
  9. Fats: kids get proper and sufficient energy from fat. Healthy fat helps kids to fill up, better concentration. It also helps to improve their mood.[4]

You have to be smart and be aware of healthy and unhealthy fats before adding it for your kid’s dinner. The good fats are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Nuts, vegetable oils, peanut butter,almond butter and avocado are the source of monounsaturated fats. Salmon, herring, sardines and trout are the source of polyunsaturated fats. These fats decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.[5] If your kid is habituated with these your kids will be benefited in later.


Few Words about Sugar

Sugar is an important source of energy. We need to keep in mind that our kid gets the sugar from natural source of foods such as fruit and yogurt. “….giving them foods high in added sugar (like fizzy drinks, biscuits,cakes and sweets) odd up to lots of calories and little in the way of nutrients”.[6] American Health Association recommends less than 25gm of sugar per day for children ages between 2 to 18 years.[7]

Nowwe have a clear conception about what food elements are important for our kid’s dinner. But the point is that, what we should do if they are not in a mood to take dinner and refusing the healthy diets. Here are some tricks you need to follow. I am sure you will be benefited.

  1. Try To Be Ideal: We know, kids tend to follow their parents’ habits. If you are taking vegetables, fruits and other healthy foods at dinner time your kids will like to follow you. You do not need to give effort to build up their healthy eating habits.
  2. Variety of Foods: Kids like to feel they have the opportunity to choose their foods. Don’t stick on one item at dinner time. Try to provide several healthy options as he can choose at least one of them to eat.
  3. Try To Innovative: Try to make something new with healthy ingredients. Your kids do not like vegetables it doesn’t matter. Try to prepare a dish with vegetables mixing with other ingredients that he likes.
  4. Pay Attention on Serving: How you serve foods also matters. “A recent study showed that school-aged kids (7-10 years old) ate more carrots when they were served whole carrots versus when they were served diced carrots. One of the possible reasons may be that once kids started eating the whole carrot, they were likely to finish it, and so consumed more as a result.” [8] So try to serve him dinner in the way he likes.

As a parent, we all need to make our kids dinner time enjoyable. But how can we do this? Family dinner is the key to make your kid’s dinner time enjoyable. Family dinner does not only give enjoyment it plays a vital role in your kid’s upbringing. Let us see the benefits of family dinner for your kid.


Benefits of Family Dinner for Kids

  1. Family Dinner Develops Kid’s Confidence: Kids can express their views, their thinking with their parents in the dinner table. They come to know various topics from their parents’ discussion. The dinner table is the best place to exchange of views. By exchanging views kids will become confident to express their opinion, liking and disliking.
  2. Kids Become Good Reader: A study was published in 2006 conducted by Dr. Catherine Snow at Harvard University. She found that family dinner conversation have more significant effect on a child’s language skills than reading to him.[9]
  3. Kids Are Less Likely To Abuse Substances: “A study conducted at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital found that children who eat dinner regularly with their families are less likely to take drugs or suffer from depression than kids who don’t”.[10]
  4. Family Dinner Develops Kids’ Eating Habit: Kids who eat their dinner with family develop their healthy eating habit. They see how their parents are eating healthy foods at dinner time. As the kids tend to follow the parents they develop the habits of healthy eating even unknowingly.

So far, it is discussed what you need to do to ensure your kid’s healthy dinner. Here are some comments that you should not use for your kids.

  • “See, your (sister, brother, cousin) is eating it, why don’t you? “ Don’t comment such way. It can be interpreted him that you are comparing them as his brother or sister who are eating better than him. [11]
  • Never tell him “picky eater”. It may effects negatively.
  • Never force him to eat few more when he is not eating enough and you are not allowing to leave the table before finishing his meal. You can convince by saying that if he is not getting enough meal he will have to wait until morning for breakfast with an empty stomach.

There are so many comments like that I have shared. You have to think before passing such comments. You need to be the best friend of your kids not a teacher. Your friendly behaviour helps your kid to eat his dinner with pleasure.

These are the ways that you can follow to ensure your kids’ healthy dinner. I can assure you if you follow my Dinner ideas for kids, you will get better result to feed your kids a healthy dinner. Leaving now inviting you to be with me in my next article Healthy Dinner Ideas For Teens. That article will help you to have new ideas to make your teens’ dinner healthy and enjoyable.



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By Post : Aug 30, 2018

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