A set meal plan helps you deflect your kids’ cries for fast food and sweet snacks. You’ll streamline your shopping and ensure that your kids are exposed to a variety of foods. When planning then please consider that which we mention in this post.
What to include in the daily diet
Each days plan should include a balance of foods to ensure adequate nutrient intake.
– A child needs between 4 and 10 ounces of grains (at least half of which should be whole grains) a day.
– At least 1 1/2 cups of veggies daily to a max of 4 cups. Over a period of a week, the type of veg should include:
1 cup of dark green vegetables,
3 cups of red and orange vegetables,
1/2 cup of beans and peas, and
3 1/2 cups of starchy vegetables.
– 1 to 2 1/2 cups of fruit per day suffices.
– 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of dairy foods daily to support growing bones.
– 3-7 ounces of protein (focus more on the lean type such as fish and poultry) daily.
Here is a quick-fire version of what you can include for a 10-15 year olds breakfast – Whole-grain toast with nut butter and apple slices; oatmeal with berries and milk; scrambled eggs with diced bell pepper and 100 percent orange juice; or whole-grain pancakes with low-fat yogurt (with blueberries and maple syrup; my personal favourite toppings). Serve protein-filled hardboiled eggs with a whole-wheat bagel, or blend a smoothie using milk and frozen fruit.
Another quick-fire – Mini chicken wraps; a whole-grain pita with hummus; lettuce wraps ; peanut butter on whole wheat bread with bananas; or low-fat cheese with whole-grain crackers. Serve carrot and celery sticks, grape tomatoes, a handful of grapes, low-fat yogurt or almonds on the side or as snacks. Skip soda and juice drinks – serve water or smoothies instead.
Main suggestions would be to focus on cooking methods that pack lots of flavour without taking away from the foods nutrient value.
So grill and bake instead of frying; Boil and grill vegetables (add flavours by infusing them in marinate, or stock water); Spend time to plan, buy groceries and make dinners at home, explore options of family favourites and get creative, you can still have your baked potatoes but maybe reconsider fillings, you can still have oven baked pizza but consider the toppings, keep having rice but consider the type and the side dish.
We can’t take some of the joys of food away from a child who is still developing his/her tastes for foods, but we can provide versions that healthier without a loss of flavour and joy.
Finally, consider the Childs physical activity
If a child is physically active, they might need to be eating more, to maintain good energy levels, to avoid dehydration and to promote good continuous growth. Keep them drinking fluids especially if living in cold climates, and work on the calorie counts being at least between 1200-1700calories a day.