Q. How much fat is healthy for my child?
A. Fats should make up about 30 percent of your child’s RDI or RDA. Most of the fat in your child’s diet should be from sources of “good fat,” which are required for healthy bodily functions. Some healthy fats include: nuts, vegetable oils such as olive oil and cold water fish like salmon, ground flaxseeds and avocados.
Q. How many carbohydrates should my child consume?
A. For kids over 2 years old, a healthy balanced diet should include 50% to 60% of calories consumed coming from carbohydrates. The key is to make sure that the majority of these carbohydrates come from good sources and that added sugar in their diet is limited. Good sources include: whole grains, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
Q. What is protein and what are sources of protein?
A. Protein is essential for your child to grow and develop. It’s a part of every cell in the human body and helps to build and maintain connective tissues, bones, blood cells, skin, muscles, organs and DNA.
Q. How much protein does my child need?
This all depends on the age of the child. Approximately 10-35 percent of your child’s daily calories should come from protein sources. Children ages 1 to 3 should consume 13 g of protein daily. Children ages 4 to 8 need 19 g of protein daily and those ages 9 to 14 need 34 g. For girls ages 14 to 18, the daily recommended amount of protein is 46 g, while boys in the same age group should consume 52 g.
To see the specific values, look at the chart provided from health Canada. The USA has a similar chart
and the values are equivalent.
Look for a great reference chart on protein sources at the back of Munch, Yum, Grow Snacks recipe book.
Q. How much calcium do my children require?
A. Health Canada’s recommended daily intake (RDI) for calcium is: 700 mg for children ages 1 to 3; ?1000 mg for children ages 4 to 8; 1300 mg for children and teens ages 9 to 18; 1000 mg per day. For more information, see the calcium chart available at the back of the Munch, Yum, Grow, Snacks recipe book.
Q. What are EFAs?
A. EFAs stand for Essential Fatty Acids.
Q. Why are EFAs so important?
A. Essential fatty acids are fats that are vital to good health. They have many functions in the body. For more information please see the Glossary section in the Munch Yum Grow Snacks recipe book.
Q. What are DHA and EPA fatty acids?
A. DHA and EPA are both essential fatty acids. DHA stands for Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and is an omega-3 fatty acid. DHA is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in the brain and retina. EPA stands for
Eicosapentaenoic acid and is also an omega-3 fatty acid. Its main role is for inflammation but also important for brain function.
Q. How can I sneak veggies into my kids’ diet?
A. It’s funny how kids can point out even the smallest ingredient like an onion. Some tricks to include more veggies into soups, casseroles and pastas are to puree the cooked vegetables before adding to dishes. Dark green vegetables are the healthiest of them but you just can’t hide that colour from picky kids as easily. Serving finely chopped broccoli with some cheese or adding small pieces to pizza and lasagne may be another way. The idea is to keep it simple. Cauliflower is excellent to mash as potatoes.
Also, adding greens+ kids to shakes and recipes is a great way to add all those wholesome green veggies. See recipes that include greens + for kids. The idea is to keep it simple and fun. Serve kids a rainbow of colours daily. Making funny faces with lettuce and tomatoes and carrots for example is a fun way for them to try the different vegetables. Also, make dips to go along side. Check out the recipes in Munch, Yum, Grow Snacks recipe book for ideas on how to get extra veggies into your kid’s diet.
Q. What should I know about high fructose corn syrup?
A. We recommend choosing food sweetened with nature sugars instead of food sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Recent research shows a considerable correlation between high fructose corn syrup and obesity. Because of the way it is digested, high fructose corn syrup does not stimulate the natural response to handle this type of sugar which is the insulin secretion. This natural process is to tell your body that calories have been consumed. However, when insulin is not secreted, overeating is more likely. And this can result in weight gain over time. This is what occurs with HFCS.
Q. What are some tasty and healthy snacks my kids will eat?
A. Christine and I were asked this question so often that we decided to write a recipe book on snacks for kids. You will find over 25 great snack recipes inside Munch, Yum, Grow-Healthy Snacks for kids on the go that are not only nutritious but kids will love.