When it comes to crafting a healthy diet for your child, focus on what she eats rather than how much. Subjecting children to a highly calorie-restrictive diet can have negative consequences, reports WebMD. To ensure that your efforts toward helping your child diet don’t have negative consequences, select an assortment of healthy foods to tempt his appetite instead of placing a cap on intake.
In Perfect Balance
Just as taking in too much fat can cause a child to gain weight, taking in too much of any food, no matter how nutritious, can prove unhealthy. When planning your child’s diet menu, ensure that it contains a balance of different nutritious foods instead of being dominated by one food type. To produce this balance, consider following the food pyramid eating suggestions as a reasonable dietary guide that describes how much of each nutritious food type children should consume each day.
Kid Pleasing Snacks
Many children’s after-school snacks consist of diet-wrecking, yet delicious foods like cookies and chips. Instead of cutting out snacking, replace these unhealthy foods with nutritious options. Swap the greasy chips for whole-grain pretzels and the cookies with apple slices to create an after-school snack that doesn’t undo their whole day.
Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables provide children with an array of healthy nutrients that keep their bodies functioning properly while not promoting fat development. Stock your fridge with a variety of fruits and vegetables, as your child will likely tire of eating the same ones over and over. Serve one fruit and one vegetable with each meal to ensure that your child eats these healthy food types. Dips, including nut butters, dressings, hummus and cream cheese, can make raw veggies more attractive.
Powerful Lean Proteins
Proteins are vital to your child’s bone and muscle development, reports KidsHealth. Instead of giving your child protein in the form of a cheeseburger or hot dog, select lean protein options for your dieting eater, including chicken, turkey and pork. Serve up a single serving of protein with each meal.
Whole Grain Goodness
Whole grains help your child’s digestive processes keep functioning properly. They are also harder for the body to digest, keeping your child full longer. Select cereals with whole grains as a healthy morning starter and replace your white breads with whole-grain options.
Healthy Drink Options
Many children take in excess calories and large quantities of sugar through the consumption of sodas and other sweetened drinks. Instead of pouring your child a cup of one of these less-than-nutritious drinks, encourage him to drink water, flavored teas, mineral water or reduced-sugar juices, as these drinks keep your child hydrated without adding inches to his waistline.