Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers
DAD.info | Family | Health | Your child's health | What is a healthy balanced diet for children?

What is a healthy balanced diet for children?

Cowie

Cowie

As a dad are you confused as to what to give your child to eat? Are you tempted to spoil the kids by going to fast food restaurants all the time?

As either the main carer or the weekend dad cooking may seem like a real challenge, especially if you are not used to it.  Don’t worry though, there is no reason for you to rush out and take cooking lessons.

There is no doubt that food home-cooked, from scratch is the best.  Often the worst chore isn’t the cooking itself, it’s trying to decide what to eat every night.  If so, a two week rota of favourite convenient meals could be the way to plan things.

Don’t worry about taking some shortcuts.  Buy in some jars of ready-made sauces, which can quickly transform simple ingredients.  Although these have some unnecessary sugars, once in a while they won’t hurt and they are better than reaching for the take-away menu.

Even a take-away every now and then isn’t a problem.  Once a week might be too often, both financially and nutritionally, but how about every month? This makes it a really good treat and something to look forward too.

Try and be time efficient.  For instance if you are making pasta with tomato sauce, make double and then use the sauce in a chicken casserole for tomorrow or for the pizza base you are making on Saturday.

Poach some salmon in the oven and have cold in sandwiches or in a pasta salad or make fish cakes or a fish pie.

Cooking does not have to be time consuming or an effort, just try to think ahead a bit.  The children will love cooking and may even get involved and be encouraged to experiment.

If you are a person who is organised in the morning think about getting a slow cooker.  You can throw everything in first thing and by evening the dinner is cooked.  You can even cook double and freeze.

Don’t be afraid of spices and herbs.  There is nothing worse than bland food.  Use mixed herbs, bay leaves, fennels seeds and chuck them in the sauce and simmer.  Add black pepper to those roast potatoes and use cumin and coriander when making a curry.  Ginger and garlic are good for stir fry which is another very simple meal to prepare.

Remember it is important that you are giving your children a balanced diet.  Toddlers typically have low iron intakes and many have a low vitamin A intake.  Vitamin A is found in fruit and vegetables and iron is found in primarily red meats.  Iron is found in other sources such as lentils, beans, fish, chicken but for to be best absorbed really benefits from being eaten with vitamin C.  So the more fruit and vegetables are eaten the better!

  About the Author:

Sarah Scotland holds a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition, Exercise and Health. she is an associate member of the Nutrition Society , and also belongs to ASO – Association for the study of obesity, SENSE (self employed nutritionists, support and enlightenment), and Sustain. http://www.wiseaboutfood.co.uk/

Related entries

Our kids are scared about climate change

Our kids are scared about climate change

The wall-to-wall coverage of COP26 and protests by Insulate Britain have got us thinking- how do we help our kids with climate change fears? We asked dad and psychotherapist Noel McDermott for advice on talking to our children about their climate anxiety. The current...

Dads’ Guide to Teething Problems

Dads’ Guide to Teething Problems

If your little one is sucking on their hand or fist, gnawing on their toys or seems distressed, then it's likely that teething is the issue. Teething usually begins around 6-9 months of age and can go on until children reach the age of 3. The first two teeth to appear...

How to help an anxious child

How to help an anxious child

The current world is an uncertain one for our kids. Lockdown has left them off school, educated by frazzled parents, separated from their friends, unable to enjoy their usual activities and in many cases struggling to sleep. Our children are aware of a threat they...

Latest entries

Fertility: How does miscarriage affect a man?

Fertility: How does miscarriage affect a man?

Psychotherapist Noel McDermott answers a tough question... How does miscarriage affect a man? Here Noel look at how loss is a natural process that needs support. Men won’t get any specific set of feelings and experiences after a miscarriage. Everyone's experience will...

Your Winter Blues Survival Kit

Your Winter Blues Survival Kit

If you find yourself struggling in the cold winter months, you're not alone. It's normal to find the grey days grim and depressing. However, if you find winter causes you to experience symptoms including persistent low mood, you may be suffering from Seasonal...

Pin It on Pinterest