Organic Generation – Kids guidebook
Be careful about the quantity and quality of the food you give to your child
Diet is the root of our health throughout each and every phase of our life, and is never more fundamental than during the first few years of life: it is during this time that we lay the foundations for a healthy body and reduce the risk of diseases. So that children can develop fully, they must follow a healthy diet and move around regularly. This also means adapting their necessary nutritional needs to the different stages of their life.
Nowadays nutrigenomics is also telling us that the health of our child not only depends on the quantity of food we give him or her, but on the quality too. Look out for fats, sugars, additives, preservatives, food colourings and pesticides.
As a child’s diet will only become increasingly influenced by the habits of their family and peers, those first experiences with food can have significant effects on tastes and eating patterns later in life. For example, mealtimes should never be rushed, but rather a relaxing experience that lays the foundations for a good relationship with food.
- Make sure that your child’s three main meals are balanced in terms of calories. Limit snacks to a maximum of two per day.
- When possible, introduce your child to a well-balanced complete dish, i.e. one consisting of protein, grains, fats (extra-virgin olive oil) and fibre, making sure to always eat fruit and vegetables that are in season.
- Make starch-rich foods at least once a day, such as pasta, rice or bread, preferably wholegrain if possible.
- Do not let your child eat salty foods (chips and crackers) or fizzy and sugary drinks, neither at nor between mealtimes.
- Increase your child’s consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes and nuts.
- Limit your child’s consumption of red, fatty and cured meats.
- Make fish for your child at least 2-3 times a week.
- Preferably use extra-virgin olive oil as a dressing.
- Avoid the excessive consumption of high-fat cheeses.
- Vary the food your child eats, taking care to avoid repetition.
- Read food labels carefully.