Children: Eating Well & Healthfully

Diet is probably the most important factor in maintaining your child's immune system.

Whether you have a toddler or are raising a young adult, life is about living in balance, and everyone is different. However, good nutrition is the foundation of good health, and our nutrient needs change daily. These nutrient needs are usually dependent upon our genetics, physical activity, body size, gender, and growth rate.

Everyone must have four basic nutrients:

- Water – involved in every body function
- Carbohydrates – main source of blood glucose
- Proteins – essential for growth and development
- Fats – necessary for proper brain development, energy and growth

Most people should supplement these nutrients with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and food supplements. These items are key for a child's mental, emotional, and physical growth.

mels' Basic Advice:

Avoid refined, fried, unhealthy frozen, or fast foods
Avoid salty, sugary, high-caloric or empty foods
Eat fresh fruits and veggies, whole foods, and fiber
Eat Super Foods
Exercise daily
Get enough sleep

mels' Law

If you have to eat bad foods – foods bad for your health – eat an equal number of good foods to balance your diet.

Create a lifestyle for your children. Here are some suggestions:

- The night before school discuss with your child what he wants to have for lunch. If you are packing lunch, make it a family event and make the lunch together. If your child is buying cafeteria food, look up the menu online and discuss the food choices. Make an adventure out of it. What you want your child to have is a variety of whole foods. Avoid fried foods and anything processed. Think about alternative foods.
- At the same time you are planning your child's lunch, figure out his snack. Avoid sugary, salty, and refined or processed foods. Think about alternative snacks.
- Have a sit down breakfast with fresh fruits, whole grains, and juice. Avoid refined foods, frozen foods and sugary treats. If you child is a picky eater, try making him a cheese sandwich on whole grain bread.
- When your child comes home from school, have a healthy snack ready.
- Have a sit-down dinner and discuss your child's day…while serving a variety of fresh foods. Having pizza or an occasional fast food meal is not going to hurt you.

Toddlers to Middle Childhood

- Check out the Food Pyramid
- Avoid sugary treats, saturated fats, and high calorie foods
- Eat enough protein
- Fiber consumption should equal their age plus 5 grams
- Essential fatty acids are critical to proper development of nerve, eye, and most tissues
- Eat a balanced diet and take vitamins and minerals
- Eat iron-rich
- Eat whole grain snacks or healthy alternatives
- Have daily physical activity

Pre Teens & Teenagers

- Check out the Food Pyramid
- Avoid fast food, sodas, sugary treats, saturated fats, and high-calorie foods
- Have only low-fat to nonfat dairy
- Fiber consumption should equal their age plus 5 grams
- Essential fatty acids are critical to proper development of nerve, eye, and most tissues
- Eat a balanced diet and take vitamins and minerals
- Eat iron-rich and calcium foods
- Eat whole grain snacks or healthy alternatives
- Eat a handful of nuts daily
- Avoid smoking
- Exercise

On the Web: www.melslife.com