GOOD EATING HABITS WILL GIVE YOUR KIDS A HEAD START IN LIFE
Brought to you by Kellogg’s® Coco Pops® - Good habits for a healthier life.
Why are good eating habits so beneficial to children?
Your children will learn better in school, feel and look their best and have a better chance of a long and healthy life if you start teaching them good eating habits as young as possible and set a good example for them yourself. Focus on feeding your children foods that are rich in nutrients such as whole-wheat products, cereals, fruits, vegetables and milk with moderate portions of meat, fats and added sugar. Don't forget they should also drink about 6 glasses of water or other liquids every day too.
What should I be feeding my children daily?
All children need at least the lowest quantity of servings from each of the five food groups. A serving is about half a cup. Some children may prefer smaller portions than those specified, depending on their age, appetite, growth rate, size and activity levels.
• Milk and milk products
These are an important source of calcium to build strong bones and teeth. They also provide protein, vitamin A, riboflavin and phosphorus.
2–3 servings (a total of 500 ml a day)
|1 cup milk; 1 cup yoghurt; 30g cheese or ½ cup cottage cheese
||Milk; buttermilk; maas; cottage cheese; cheese and yoghurt |
* Note that children older than 4 years may now use low fat milk and dairy products instead of full cream variants.
200 ml of milk provides about the same amount of calcium as 30 g cheese; 500 g cottage cheese and 200 ml yoghurt
Milk blends are a mixture of skim-milk powder and non-dairy creamers; their nutritional value is lower than that of milk.
• Meat and meat alternatives
These provide protein, iron (for muscle formation) and certain vitamins. They help form healthy blood.
| 2–3 servings
||60–90g cooked, lean meat, poultry or fish; ½ cup cooked dry beans; 2 tablespoons peanut butter; and 1 boiled egg or 30g cheese [matchbox size]
||Meat, fish or chicken: Chicken and turkey (without skin); fresh and frozen fish; tuna and salmon canned in brine; pilchards; sardines, mackerel, etc. |
Legumes: Dried beans (soya, butter, sugar, etc.), dried peas, lentils and vegetable protein (soya products – soya mince/patties).
• Fruit and vegetables
These provide many important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C and folic acid, to keep eyes, skin and blood healthy. They are also an important source of fibre and help protect children during periods of illness.
|2–3 servings of fruit;
3–4 servings of vegetables
|Fruit: 1 medium fruit; ½ cup fruit juice; ½ cup sliced or cubed fruit or 50 ml dried fruit
Vegetables: ½ cup of any vegetable cooked or raw, or ¾ cup vegetable juice
|Fruit: All fresh fruit (dried fruit and fruit juices contain more sugar than fresh fruit, so do not give more than four portions (in total) a week; canned fruit should be limited to one portion a week) |
Vegetables: All fresh , frozen and dehydrated vegetables (limit potato chips, fried and glazed vegetables to once a week)
• Grains and grain products
These are a source of carbohydrates, iron and B-vitamins. They provide energy for children to grow, develop, learn and keep physically active. These foods also provide fibre, which helps to keep the digestive system working properly.
||½ cup children's cereals; 1 slice bread or ½ roll; ½ cup cooked oats, rice, or pasta
||Enriched ready-to-eat breakfast cereal (any of the wide variety offered by Kellogg's®), brown or whole-wheat bread, rusks and crackers, brown or white rice, spaghetti and macaroni, mealie-rice and samp; muffins made of whole-wheat flour; rolled oats and unrefined maize meal porridge.|
• Fats and oils
Fats, oils, fried foods and sweets are foods that contain mainly oils and sugar and should be used in moderate amounts. Be aware that fats and added sugars are found in varying amounts in all food groups.
45–50 ml or 45–50 g
|5 ml (1 teaspoon) margarine, butter, fat, oil, mayonnaise;
10 ml (2 teaspoons) salad dressing
15 ml (3 t) cream;
10 g bacon; 2 tablespoons peanut butter
|Soft margarine containing 50 per cent or more polyunsaturates, sunflower, soy, canola, olive and maize oil; soy spread. |
Limit the following to 4 portions or less a week: reduced oil salad dressing, butter, peanut oil.
Limit the following to once a week: mayonnaise, coffee creamers, cream and imitation cream, bacon, lard, white cooking fat and chocolate.
• Food supplements
Unless your child is allergic, has poor eating habits or has a specific medical condition that makes it impossible to eat a variety of foods, supplements should not be necessary if you follow the nutritional guidelines above.
Preparing lunch-boxes instead of buying food at school tuck-shops is healthier and more economical as a rule. Great lunch box additions are: apples, bananas, peanuts and raisins, cereal and milk bars, dry fortified kids breakfast cereal, whole-wheat crackers and cheese, fruit sticks, rusks, whole-wheat scones and bran muffins.
Suitable snacks are those that have a variety of nutrients, a low salt content and will not spoil your child's appetite for the next meal.
|20 g cheese
||160 mg calcium|
|175 ml fruit yoghurt
||250 mg calcium|
|250 ml malted milk*
||325 mg calcium|
|1 cereal and milk bar
||57 mg calcium|
|30 g biltong
||1.6 mg iron per 30 g|
|50 g packet raisins
||1 mg iron|
|30 g dried apricot bar
||0.9 mg iron|
|40 g iron fortified breakfast cereals
||2.5 mg iron|
*Children who don't like milk can eat cheese sandwiches, cheese and biscuits or yoghurt as snacks.
Most children also enjoy eating fortified breakfast cereals as a dry snack. Dried fruit sticks and cereal and milk bars are good sources of most B vitamins, such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate. Some fruit bars and cereal bars are fortified with vitamin and mineral mixture, including iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and pantothenic acid. Most of these snacks are also good sources of zinc. Dried fruit bars (0g fat per 20g) and cereal and milk bars (3g fat per 20g) are also nutritious and have little fat.
Try to limit giving your children snacks with a high fat content:
| 25g packet potato and maize crisps
|| 8g fat|
| 30g dried sausage
|| 8g fat|
| 50g chocolate bar
|| 15–29g fat|
| 5g crispy salt biscuits
|| 1.4 g fat|
| 60g 'vetkoek' or doughnut
|| 9g fat|
Too many sweets eaten between meals and with poor dental hygiene encourage tooth decay. Excessive consumption of fat laden foods and too little physical activity is a recipe leading to overweight problems which could lead to high blood pressure and diabetes later in one’s adult life. Obesity can also cause backache, knee and foot problems.
What should each meal contain?
Start the day the healthy way – with breakfast. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It should provide 25% of our children's daily nutritional needs. Even with a healthy breakfast, it is important to children to eat small frequent meals, including snacks, to sustain healthy growth.
Serving a children’s breakfast cereal with milk will provide almost a quarter of their daily calcium needs. Fortified [vitamin enriched] cereals make it easier to include a variety of nutrients in one meal, especially for children who are picky eaters. Kellogg's® has a wide variety of breakfast cereals fortified with immune boosting vitamins A and C and energy releasing B vitamins and iron.
Lunch can be a light meal consisting of a sandwich with a nourishing filling [tuna/pilchards/peanut butter/egg/chicken/lean ham] and a fruit or even some leftover food from the previous evening's meal.
The main meal is usually served in the evening when the family can enjoy it together. To save time in the morning, prepare your children's school lunch boxes while the evening meal is cooking.
To sum up:
• Give your children a variety of food
• Make starchy foods (bread, cereal, rice, pasta and other grain products) the main part of your meal
• Give your children plenty of fruit and vegetables every day
• Use fat sparingly
• Use salt sparingly
• See that your children drink lots of clean safe water
• Give your children healthy snacks