Young children are often picky eaters, making parents wonder if they should be taking a multivitamin. But typically, healthy kids don’t need them. Megadoses of vitamins and minerals can even prove toxic and interact with medications. Food is a far better source for the nutrients preschoolers need.
Why are healthy snacks especially important for your children?
Healthy meals and snacks help children maintain recommended weight, avoid certain health problems, regulate mood, and focus their minds. Studies have shown that proper eating habits positively impact a child’s mental and emotional wellbeing. If you’re concerned that your child isn’t getting the necessary level of vitamins and minerals, definitely speak with your doctor.
Keep Your Kids on a Balanced Diet for Optimal Health
A multivitamin may be needed if there is a delay in physical or development growth, food allergies, restrictive diet, or chronic diseases. However, meals and snack times are a great opportunity to introduce some extra nutrients into the diet regardless. A balanced diet includes protein, carbohydrates, calcium, iron, B vitamins, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D. This sounds like a lot, but is actually easy to accomplish through foods that are both delicious and healthy.
Some Tips for Healthy Snacking:
- Avoid simple or refined sugars and grains that offer no bran, fiber, or nutrients, such as white bread, pasta, pastries, white rice, pizza dough, and many breakfast cereals.
- Replace soda, chips, and cookies with a plentiful supply of fruit, vegetables, and healthy beverages such as pure fruit juice, milk, and water.
- Nuts, trail mix, fruit smoothies, raisins, pickles, kale chips, and carrot sticks make excellent snacks between meals.
No matter what, don’t be afraid to get creative and always strive to set a good example. Establishing good eating habits now makes for a healthier future.