As a mom, I’m always concerned about my children’s diet and well aware that their dietary needs not only change as they grow older but also impact the growth and healthy maintenance of their bodies.
Hamish has always been a picky eater, by that I mean he is quite fussy in the foods that he will eat at mealtimes,and even though he eats 5 fruit and vegetables a day, he has certain textures that he simply won’t eat, like jelly,
custard, easy mix-up cereals, and most sauces.
He also prefers his food in small nibble-sized meals rather than in three large meals a day.
Because of this, feeding him can often be quite tricky for us to navigate and even harder to ensure that he is in fact getting enough nutrition.
I recently read an article by Dr. Ryan Shelton Zenith Labs, Medical Research Director, to ensure that I was
indeed feeding him a well-balanced diet to be a healthy 4-year-old.
Good nutrition has been quoted as the backbone to optimal health and so it is important for me to feed Hamish a
varied and healthy diet with an assortment of fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates, protein, and sublicense to help
his body grow and be healthy.
A healthy dietAccording to Dr. Ryan Shelton, a balanced diet is the best way to obtain your family’s optimal health.
This can mean making small changes in your shopping and feeding your family.
As a family, we try tointroduce 5 fruit and vegetables a dayand I find that the more colorful Hamish’s plate, the more inclined he is to eat whatever I’ve dished up, including broccoli and corn. Both of which he wouldn’t eat before.
For me, I find using cookie cutters to cut his fruits and vegetables into fun shapes or turning his plate into a fun
creation, like a face with his food has him more eager to try new foods.
We also reintroduce new foods that he won’t try again at a later stage or in a different manner.
For example, he did not eat pears so I bought dried pear pieces which he loved.
We also introduce seeds and other vegetables or
fruit added, pureed, or grated into meals that we cook. This way I know he is receiving the nutrients he needs without me fussing over him eating food he is determined not to eat.
Sugars occur naturally in fruits and some vegetables so we watch how much sugar we eat and only use a very small amount of oils or fats, as these should be consumed in moderation.
Other small changes that we have made to ensure we are all eating a healthy balanced diet are to drink more water, change white bread for whole wheat and to eat lean meats, and introduce more sustainable fish approved
by SASSI into our meals.
Eating 3 meals a day helps you to maintain your weight and stay healthy so I see that Hamish eats a small meal at each sitting.
Breakfast for him during school days would be breakfast bars, cereal, or yogurt and fruit. During the holidays or
weekends, I cook breakfast so he might have a cooked porridge or French bread, eggs, or omelets.
A typical lunch for him includes a whole wheat sandwich with a sandwich spread or cold meat and cheese.Followed by fruits.
He has a snack at school and I pack in an assortment of rice cakes, pretzels, savory snack biscuits, tomatoes,
cucumber, carrots, green peppers or cucumber, dried fruit, fresh fruit, cheeses, cold meat, or cooked chicken
Supper is always a cooked meal and we include at least 3 vegetables, a starch like rice or pasta or potatoes, and light meat.
As a whole, most other snacks are made up of fruits or vegetables and he is easy to give water to.
He still drinks quite a bit of milk to help with the calcium needed in his growing bones and teeth and we use a daily multivitamin for him to see that he has no deficiencies in his diet.
For me keeping him healthy and maintaining his nutrition is also a lifestyle choice for us so as a family we eat the same as he does so that he grows up accustomed to a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, and good nutrition.