Nutrition and Children

Being a parent, it is very hard to compete against the highly unhealthy processed fast food fun meals to ensure that our children are eating a healthy balanced diet. Fast food is constantly being advertised on the TV, it is in our children’s recreational areas via other children, and it come in bright, exciting packaging which is accompanied by toys. The problem is, when children are visiting fast foods restaurants or eating ‘fun meals’ they are missing out on the healthy nutrients that should be filling their little stomachs.

Freshness and Wholeness

You should always make sure your child’s diet contains whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. To ensure their bones grow strong and healthy, they will also require a good source of calcium. Healthy sources of proteins include fish, eggs, meat, poultry, plant sources, and should be consumed on a regular basis for a healthy balanced diet. Foods such as these provide your child with the vitamins micronutrients and minerals, in fact everything our children need to build a strong, healthy body.

Glucose

There is absolutely no reason why your child should be eating large amounts of sugar. Sugar in a child’s diet is seriously bad for them and unfortunately is on the increase due to the highly refined processed foods available on supermarket’s shelves.

Some experts argue a child’s behaviour can be dictated by sugar in their diet, particularly in their activity levels, whereas others state that sugar intake does not play a part. It probably depends on the individual child.

When a child’s blood glucose level falls below the normal limit, there is a release of adrenaline, known as hypoglycaemia. There are many signs and symptoms that can arise as a result such as sweatiness, shaking and altered behaviour and thinking.

This adrenaline release occurs at a higher glucose level in children than that of adults. It is thought sugar itself is not the problem; it’s the highly refined carbohydrates and sugars which, due to their refinement enter the bloodstream a lot quicker causing rapid fluctuations in a child’s blood glucose levels.

Breakfast Fibre

By giving your child a high fibre breakfast such as shredded wheat, oatmeal, bananas or berries, their adrenaline levels will be kept at a constant level enabling them to maintain concentration throughout their morning. You should ensure that their lunch box is packed with high fibre foods such as whole grain breads, fruits enabling them to continue through their day without sudden changes in their blood glucose levels.

A child’s insulin control can also be affected by refined sugars. Insulin determines how much fat a child will store. Sugars are found in nearly all foods. They are often referred to with different names such as sucrose, glucose, dextrose, sorbitol or corn syrup.

Sugar is in almost everything we eat, especially if it is processed or refined food.

Labeling

When you look at labels in the supermarket, you will find sugar under a variety of different names which includes sucrose, glucose, dextrose, sorbitol, or corn syrup on almost every label. The more uncomplicated meals from good wholesome foods contain much less sugar and are therefore much better for those little tummies.

Fruit juice should only be taken in small quantities as well as it contains a lot of sugar. it is much better to offer your children whole fruit which is much easier to digest.

See Also: Nutrition in Chocolate