Every mother is always keen regarding the diet of her child. She wants a healthy and best diet for her child. Therefore, It is necessary for the mothers to know that which nutrients and what amounts of these nutrients are necessary and which diet plan is best for her child. In this article you will find an overview regarding the best diet plan for kids.
Nutrition for kids is not different when compared to adults. Both are based on the same principles. Equally adults and kids require the same types of nutrients. Similarly, both require vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and fat. But there is a difference in the amounts of the nutrients for both. Children require different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages.
So, here we will try to find the best combination of nutrients for kids as per their age. I will try to describe these nutrients separately for boys and girls at different stages of age. But before moving to the diet plan table, here are some points which are important for consideration.
Milk and yogurt should be a regular part of your child’s diet. We should always encourage the intake of fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Cheese and fortified beverages may help the cause. These can be the alternatives.
Include grains in the diet of your child. Wheat bread, popcorn, quinoa, oatmeal, and brown rice must be the part of the plan. In the same way we may include less refined grains like white bread, pasta, and rice.
Every kind of fresh vegetable must be the part of a weekly diet plan of your child. If you opt for packed or frozen vegetables then search for those which are lower in sodium.
Always include all kinds of fresh or dried fruit in the weekly plan of your child’s diet. Health physicians always encourage fruit and discourage fruit juice. Therefore always serve your child sugar free fresh fruit juice if your child insists for juice.
In case the child wants packed or canned fruit always search for the fruit which is available in its own juice packing. If you want to serve dried fruit to your child it must not be more than ¼ of a cup. Because one-fourth cup of dried fruit is almost equivalent to one full cup of fresh fruit. An excess quantity of dried fruit can lead to extra calories which are not good.
As we all know that excess of everything is bad therefore we should avoid excess amounts of fruits, both dry and fresh.
Proteins intake is a crucial part of a child’s diet plan. Seafood, lean meat or poultry, eggs, peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds are high in good proteins. Therefore these must be the part of the weekly diet plan.
Along with the above-mentioned considerations, there are some limitations whom we should observe.
Avoid Extra Sugar
Always avoid the added sugar products. Fruit and milk are not the part of this list as they are 100 % Natural. Always avoid brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, and others that are part of the added sugar list. Because of their devastating side effects mothers should strictly avoid soda drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks for their kids.
Avoid Extra Fats
Always avoid products containing high or saturated fats. As red meat, poultry, and full dairy products are the part of this list of these extra fat products. So, these should not be the part of kids diet plan.
Avoid Extra Sodium
Children of the present age eat a lot of chips and cookies which normally are very rich in sodium. Always encourage your child for fruits and vegetables and avoid these chips etc., if necessary, always check the ingredients table and look for products that are low in sodium.
Now, if you have some other questions about nutrition for kids or there are specific concerns about your child’s diet, then you need to talk to your child’s doctor or a professional dietitian.
Below is a table that shows nutrients to be taken in specific quantities daily age-wise and gender-wise.
best diet plan (gender and age wise)
best diet plan for girls and boys age 2-4 years
|Girls (Age 2-4)||Boys (Age 2-4)|
|Calories||1000 to 1400, depends on daily activity and growth level.||1000 to 1600, depends on daily activity and growth level|
|Dairy||2 to 2.5 cups||2 to 2.5 cups|
|Grains||3 to 5 ounces||3 to 5 Ounces|
|vegetables||1 to 1.5 cups||1 to 2 cups|
|Fruits||1 to 1.5 cups||1 to 1.5 cups|
|Proteins||2 to 4 ounces||2 to 5 ounces|
best diet plan for girls and boys age 5-8 years
|Girls (Age 5-8)||Boys (Age 5-8)|
|Calories||1200 to 1800, depends on daily activity and growth level.||1200 to 2000, depends on daily activity and growth level.|
|Dairy||2.5 cups||2.5 cups|
|Grains||4 to 6 ounces||4 to 6 ounces|
|vegetables||1.5 to 2.5 cups||1.5 to 2.5 cups|
|Fruits||1 to 1.5 cups||1 to 2 cups|
|Proteins||3 to 5 ounces||3 to 5.5 ounces|
best diet plan for girls and boys age 9-13 years
|Girls (Age 9-13)||Boys (Age 9-13)|
|Calories||1400 to 2200, depends on daily activity and growth level.||1600 to 2600, depends on daily activity and growth level.|
|Dairy||3 cups||3 cups|
|Grains||5 to 7 ounces||5 to 9 ounces|
|vegetables||1.5 to 3 cups||2 to 3.5 cups|
|Fruits||1.5 to 2 cups||1.5 to 2 cups|
|Proteins||4 to 6 ounces||5 to 6.5 ounces|
best diet plan for girls and boys age 14-18 years
|Girls (Age 14-18)||Boys (Age 14-18)|
|Calories||1800 to 2400, depends on daily activity and growth level.||2000 to 3200, depends on daily activity and growth level.|
|Dairy||3 cups||3 cups|
|Grains||6 to 8 ounces||6 to 10 ounces|
|vegetables||2.5 to 3 cups||2.5 to 4 cups|
|Fruits||1.5 to 2 cups||2 to 2.5 cups|
|Proteins||4 to 6 ounces||5.5 to 7 ounces|
I shall summarize my article by advising the mothers that they should choose whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, popcorn, oatmeal, or quinoa, or brown rice.
Similarly, mothers should limit refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice. Also, they must advise their children to eat and drink low fat or fat free dairy products. They must opt for milk, yogurt, cheese or fortified soy beverages for their kids.
Nations always stand and progress with healthy brains. Healthy brains are found in healthy bodies. So, if you want a healthier and progressive nation in the future, then feed your kids a healthy diet today.