The Healthy, Balanced Diet for School-Age Children
Basically, when you plan for your grade-schooler’s meals, you need to consider 5 food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, protein foods, and dairy.
- Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that boost their overall health and immunity.
- Grains serve as their primary energy source because they are rich in carbohydrates. Grains are also packed with fiber.
- Protein foods, including lean meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, also offer other nutrients like zinc and iron.
- Dairy, on the other hand, is their primary source of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones.
Please note that school-age children need to have foods from all these food groups.
Additionally, having variety within each food group is also necessary: it ensures that your child is getting as many micronutrients they need for their optimum health.
A Reminder When Reading Food Labels
Parents must know about food portion sizes for school-age children because they cannot fully rely on “serving sizes” found on food labels.
You see, a serving size is the standardized amount of food in packages. For instance, when you buy a pack of cookies, the label may say that 1 serving is equivalent to 2 pieces of cookies. Portion size is the amount of food that they actually eat; it can be more or less of the indicated serving size.