Posted on May 27th 2021
Importance of Nutritious, Healthy Eating for Children
Parenting is a full-time job, especially when it comes to keeping your little ones fed. Healthy lifestyles begin at an early age so it is important to feed our children healthy and nutritious diets from an early age. This is sometimes difficult, especially if you have a picky eater. The easiest way to ensure your child gets all the nutrients they need is by choosing healthy foods for them to eat. And snacks are a great place to start!
Kids love snacks, and eating between meals is important for your child’s growth and nutrition. Children need a steady supply of nutrients to fuel their brains and help their bodies grow, and snacks throughout the day are an easy way to supply the nutrients and energy they need.
Nutrition is a major factor that impacts a child's development. Without the proper nutrients, children may struggle to maintain focus and concentration. The relationship between nutrition, health and learning is undeniably strong. Introducing your child to nutritious, delicious foods early on helps them establish healthy eating habits. Teaching your children the importance of healthy eating is an important lesson they can apply throughout their life!
How Snacks Play An Important Role in a Nutritious Diet
When we say “snacks,” we don't mean the bagged potato chips or high-fructose corn syrup laden fruit snacks that line the shelves of conventional grocery stores. If you left snack selection up to your kids, they would be sure to pick these less healthy, processed snacks to munch on. Teach your children the importance of whole, natural foods. Healthy snacks should follow the same principles as healthy meals: whole foods that are nutritious, homemade, and minimally processed.
Planning ahead will help you be better able to provide quick, easy and healthy snacks for the kids. Plus, scheduled snacks give children a sense of control. Children who are left to graze all day often have difficulty figuring out when they are hungry. Scheduled snacks establish the idea that snacks are only available at certain times. This is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle in childhood and later on in life. Offering the right snack at the right time will play an important role in managing your child’s hunger while boosting their nutrition.
Below are a few quick and easy healthy recipes to try out with the kids.
Rainbow Fruit Skewers
These vitamin-packed skewers are a simple, colorful, and fun way to get kids to eat fruit. They’ll love helping you make them too!
- 7 raspberries
- 7 hulled strawberries
- 7 tangerine segments
- 7 cubes peeled mango
- 7 peeled pineapple chunks
- 7 peeled kiwi chunks
- 7 green grapes
- 7 red grapes
- 14 blueberries
Take 7 wooden skewers and thread the following fruit onto each - 1 raspberry, 1 hulled strawberry, 1 tangerine segment, 1 mango cube, 1 pineapple chunk, 1 chunk of kiwi, 1 green grape, 1 red grape and finish off with 2 blueberries. Arrange the skewers in a rainbow shape and let the little ones help themselves. For the younger kids, keep their brains ticking by encouraging them to add up the fruit pieces!
Carrot Hummus with Pita Dippers
Make your own hummus from chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil, or purchase a natural, organic brand from your local grocery store. This versatile dip is a great choice, and you can encourage your children to experiment with flavors by adding in chopped tomatoes, sliced onions, mashed avocado, pureed red peppers, or other nutritious veggies.
- 1 large carrot
- 1 tub hummus
- 1 lemon
- 2 pieces of pita bread
- Small bunch of coriander (optional)
Step 1. Peel and cut the carrot into chunks. Boil until very tender.
Step 2. Grate the cooked carrot. Don't worry if it turns mushy, this is what you want!
Step 3. Tip the hummus into a bowl, add the carrot and mix well.
Step 4. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.
Step 5. Snip the coriander seeds into little pieces using scissors, and stir into hummus.
Step 6. Serve with toasted pita bread.
Between the simple ingredients, fast prep, and no need to bake, these delicious Granola Bites are the best in every way. Plus, the recipe is perfect for customizing. Add whatever add-ins your family likes best!
- Ground Flaxseed or Chia seeds
- Dried cherries
- Peanut butter, or substitute your favorite nut butter/nut-free substitution
Step 1. Mix ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
Step 2. Scoop into balls using a cookie scoop, spoon or your hands. Place in an airtight container, with pieces of parchment paper between each layer if necessary.
Step 3. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two weeks or freeze for several months.
Committing to healthy eating is just one of the pillars essential to the foundation of a healthy life. It is equally important that exercise be a regular part of your little one's lifestyle. Consider enrolling younger children in a kids’ fitness class like those offered at Romp n’ Roll. Our play-based gym classes allow kids to work on various skills, build strength and most of all, have fun!