A child’s body is different from that of an adult. Since children are constantly growing and developing, they have specific nutritional needs and requirements which are different to yours. As their bodies grow and develop, their needs will continue to change.
Why is a healthy balanced diet for young children important?
It supports brain development
- Promotes physical growth and development.
Builds up their strength and immunity.
Gives them adequate levels of energy.
Minimises future health risks
Helps them establish healthy eating habits at a young age
As your child grows and starts to explore new tastes, he is also learning to say ‘no’. Even with your best intentions, it can be a challenge to make sure he consumes a well-balanced diet each day. Most children’s diets fall short of the recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals but there are plenty of ways to promote healthy eating that will lead to good habits later on in life.
In this section, we will offer advice about providing a nutritionally balanced diet, why family foods aren’t always a suitable choice for your child and how you can use foods to support their developing immune system. We also look at the importance of iron for healthy development and what to do if they’re refusing milk.
As a parent, your child will follow your lead, so it is important for you to lead by example when it comes to making healthy choices. Just by making healthy choices as a family, your eating habits can influence your child’s future health.