You know kids, they're always on the go. Being so active means they burn up a lot of energy, so if they are to grow normally they need different foods to us grown-ups; those that are high in energy and rich in nutrients, rather than the "low-fat high-fibre foods" which are more appropriate for adults. In fact, there have been cases where parents, thinking they were feeding their children a healthy diet, were actually under-nourishing them by giving them bulky low-fat foods. This has been called 'muesli belt syndrome'.
The key to healthy eating for kids...
...is to eat a wide variety of foods from each food group which means:
Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables — five child size portions a day. A portion size is generally the amount you can fit into the palm of your hand - it grows as you do.
Plenty of milk and dairy products. Yoghurt, fromage frais and cheese triangles are handy snacks.
Including some protein rich foods such as meat, fish, peas, beans, nuts and seeds, or meat alternatives such as Quorn.
Eating plenty of carbohydrate rich foods such as bread, breakfast cereals, potatoes, pasta and rice. Try to vary it.
It is ok for kids to eat treats such as sweets and crisps now and again, but just not too often.
Kids are highly energetic and as they only have small stomachs, they're bound to need a pit stop, in-between meals. Watch the sugar though, leave sugary foods and drinks to meal times and milk and water in-between.
Top tips for healthy kids:
Carry healthy snacks with you, in your bag or the car, so you're all prepared when hunger strikes.
Discourage your child from buying sweets or crisps on the way to or from school by giving them as little or even no money to avoid temptation.
Kids are fussy when it comes to food. Presentation is everything, so experiment with colour, texture and shapes.