Feeding children: the importance of 5 meals a day

Source: Shutterstock

To fuel well, our organism, and even more so that of children, needs an intake of food at intervals that are not too far apart from each other. In particular, it is good to divide the daily diet into 5 meals a day, respecting timetables and breaks. The goal is twofold: on the one hand it ensures a constant supply of energy, both to the body and to the brain, on the other hand it avoids the creation of an empty stomach during the day, which would induce to compensate for the next meal, with the risk of exceeding. in the quantities and "mess" in the choice of foods.  

The right combinations

Nutritionists also recommend that, as far as possible, the main categories of foods should be present at each meal, namely carbohydrates, coming from cereals, which provide ready-to-use energy; protein, of both animal and vegetable origin - therefore meat, fish, eggs, cheeses or legumes - which are the essential building blocks for the formation of muscle mass and the growth of the organism; and then fruit and vegetables, rich in fibers useful for the proper functioning of the intestine and rich in various trace elements, such as vitamins and minerals, precious to keep the organism efficient, especially the growing one of our children.

How to distribute meals throughout the day

A balanced diet can be divided as follows: 


Not only can it not be skipped, but it must also be substantial. It should be borne in mind that, upon awakening, the body has recovered from a prolonged fast of 10-12 hours of sleep and certainly cannot afford to face the day without replenishing energy! More and more studies show that children who do one rich and balanced breakfast they are more attentive in school, while those who skip it have a harder time following lessons. A good breakfast can consist of milk or yogurt with biscuits or with bread or rusks and a little honey or jam; in addition, if the child likes it, a handful of dried fruit, such as walnuts or almonds, which improve satiety in the long term.

Mid-morning snack

At mid-morning what we ate for breakfast was disposed of and needed in a small supply, to continue the morning with a sprint and avoid drops in sugar and attention. What to feed him? Something quick and practical, which can be kept in the backpack and does not require a refrigerator, but at the same time nutritious. The choices are many and can vary from day to day: a piece of pizza, a packet of crackers, bread with cold cuts plus a fruit juice.


At lunch they can be consumed cereals, such as pasta, rice, spelled, barley, more proteins and vegetables: a single dish will also be fine, such as pasta with salmon and courgettes, rice with chicken and pumpkin morsels, lentils with croutons; to conclude, a seasonal fruit is perfect.

Mid-afternoon energy snack

The afternoon snack is used to "break" the fast between lunch and dinner, helps to maintain concentration during homework and provides the right energy if the child is planning extracurricular or sports activities. The quantities will depend on the activities planned for the afternoon, however even the snack must include a mix of various nutrients, but without weighing it down too much: ok for example to a savory snack with bread, croutons or breadsticks plus sliced ​​or cheeses, accompanied by a fruit or juice or fruit juice, or a yogurt with dried fruit, or even bread, tomato and oil. If you already know you have to go out, it is good to prepare the snack in advance and take it with you or use ready-made alternatives, which do not require a fridge and are easy to transport and consume anywhere. 


You can choose a protein food other than that consumed for lunch, accompanied by a side of potatoes and salad or by bread and cooked vegetables, plus a fruit. 

The importance of varying

To make sure that the power supply bring all the nutrients necessary for proper growth, it is good diversify the proposals during the week: the more varied the diet, in fact, the greater the probability of covering all the nutritional needs of children. Not only that: in this way the menu can be followed by the whole family and the meal will become a beautiful occasion for conviviality, in which to exchange not only portions of food, but also affection and emotions. Why don't we forget that a peaceful atmosphere is the healthiest food for a child!

  • healthy nutrition children
  • snack
add a comment of Feeding children: the importance of 5 meals a day
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.