Meat, eggs and fish: Once a day
- They will be the main source of protein and iron for the child.
- Animal proteins are of good nutritional quality, and will help to meet the growth needs of the child (muscles, bones, cells …).
- Iron will allow the body to increase resistance to infections and improve cognitive performance.
- The child must consume it once a day, at lunch or at dinner.
- However, the amount should not be too large (the waste generated by the digestion of these proteins solicits enormously the kidneys, which have not yet reached maturity). It will therefore be necessary to insist on quality rather than quantity.
- For meat, favor the least fat pieces (skinless chicken, poultry cutlet, veal cutlet, minced beef 5% fat, ham.
- For fish, offer at least 2 times a week, even the fattest
- For eggs, once a week, in all its forms (omelette, fried eggs, boiled eggs …).
- Delicatessen and fries to limit
Around 4/5 years: barely 50 g of OPV (meat / fish / egg), i.e. for example ½ steak, 1 slice of ham, and 1 egg.
Around 10/12 years old: about 100g of OPV, for example a “pave” of fish, 1 slice of roast beef, and 1 pipette of veal.
Milk and dairy products: 3 or 4 a day
They will be an important source of protein and calcium, essential for the growth and good mineralization of the bones of the child.
Calcium by vitamin D…)
The latter is essentially made by the body under the action of sunlight on the skin. It is therefore necessary that children take maximum advantage of the outside.
To cover all calcium needs (they will vary from 700 to 1200g / day), it is advisable to alternate dairy products: milk, yogurts, cheeses, dairy desserts (however, beware of products too rich in fat and sugar.
Here is some calcium Equivalents:
- 1 medium glass of cow’s milk
- 1 natural yoghurt
- 1 serving of cheese (30 g)
- 3 little Swiss natures
- 1 plain white cheese
Fruits and vegetables: At least 5 a day
- They are essential foods for the child’s diet because they are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- They are also low calorie and participate in the prevention of diseases in adulthood, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes…
- They can be consumed at any meal by varying choices, cooking methods and cooking recipes. They can be fresh, frozen, canned or juiced.
Starchy foods and Cereal Products: At each meal and according to the appetite
Consumed at all meals (breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner) and in quantities adapted to the physical activity of the child, this family of foods is important for the functioning of the muscles and the brain.
In the form of bread, or as an accompaniment to vegetables, they will provide energy that is gradually released into the body, thus limiting fatigue and nibbling.
The added fat: To consume moderately and privileging the quality
Just like for adults, these added fats are to be limited. It is advisable to insist on quality. We will therefore favor vegetable oils and raw butter. These foods will cover the needs of omega 3/6 and vitamins D / E.
It will also be vigilant on the “hidden” fats (often well appreciated by children): cakes, pastries, pastries, sweet or savory fries.
If children get used to eating “too much” fat, their eating habits could have bad repercussions on their health and weight.
Sweet products: Reasonably and not systematic
Sugars, sugary drinks, sweets, pastries, cream desserts, ice creams, sodas are sweet products. In dietetics, they are nicknamed “empty calories”: that is to say they have no child nutritional interest.
In addition, for children, they contribute, especially in the absence of regular tooth brushing, to the formation of dental caries and they are very caloric. Excessive consumption can lead to a risk of overweight and other diseases in adulthood.
It is recommended:
- Sweeten the dairy products moderately.
- Focus on fruit, fruit salads or unsweetened compotes for dessert.
- Keep pastries or pastries for holidays.
- From time to time, offer sweets, candy bars, cookies…
Of course water is the only drink recommended, at will during and outside meals. It is therefore not recommended to offer sweet drinks like sodas, syrups, fruit juices, nectars. They are very caloric and do not quench thirst.
Essential Physical Activity
Physical activity contributes to the child’s energy balance, to protecting his health (by reducing the risk of developing many diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, obesity …) and developing his self-confidence.
The frequency of this physical activity should be daily. It can be practiced at home, in the garden, at school, in sports club…
Some tips to “guide” the child’s appetite:
- Give meals and snack at regular times. Limit snacking outside of meals.
- Serve small quantities, better to add after the request of the child.
- Advise to eat slowly. The child must not be the first to finish, parents must lead by example.
- Distinguish a request for food from a request for affection. It must not compensate for the need for tenderness or comfort with food.
- Stimulate the awakening of taste: Vary, play, and cook with flavors and colors!