Feeding children, what they should eat from 3 years. 10 tips from the nutritionist

Giving your baby good nutrition is essential for their health.

Ma in Del Paese in recent years childhood obesity has been growing continuously. Even among the 41 OECD countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), the country is in second place in the ranking of overweight children.

un example of a daily menu for a child aged 3 and over. Read the menu here

"It is essential to bring balanced meals to the table that include the right dose of cereals, vegetables, legumes, fish, dairy products and meat (especially white)" explains Ettore Corradi, director of the dietetics and clinical nutrition department of the Niguarda hospital in our city ​​which, together with dietician Maria Cattaneo, she prepared for mymodernparents.com

1 Milk is not a drink and should be limited to one cup per day

According to new studies, there is a correlation between excessive introduction of proteins of animal origin in the first years of a child's life and the onset of obesity in adulthood.. In particular, the proteins deriving from milk seem to be imputed.
So the advice is not to exceed in dairy products.
A cup of whole milk for breakfast is perfectly fine in the daily diet. Only if the child has weight problems is it better to choose partially skimmed. To avoid, however, the totally skimmed one.

Milk is a real food, so it should not be served during the day as a drink, or to help you sleep before going to bed (better a herbal tea or chamomile).
At main meals, cheese can be served 2-3 times a week and yogurt a couple of times as a snack; the important thing is not to offer yogurt on the same day as the cheese, in order not to create an accumulation of dairy products.

Read also: Breakfast is essential for children: it protects against diabetes

2 Tea and juices are very caloric and not very satiating. Fresh fruit is better

Sugary drinks are dangerous foods: there are those who drink them to accompany food or to quench their thirst, as if they were water, but in reality they have an important caloric intake. Especially sweetened tea is to be avoided: it's just water and sugar and has no nutritional benefit.

Fruit juices should also be limited as much as possible. Parents should not make the mistake of giving them to their children as a substitute for fresh fruit, in fact there is no comparison from a nutritional point of view, and in addition, the calorie intake must be taken into account. Think, for example, of a freshly squeezed orange juice: it is certainly healthier than juice because it is fresh and without added sugar, but it is still made up of two or three oranges and is therefore very caloric, even if it fills the stomach less than a whole orange.
Then a even the juice is only good in cases of very thin children who need to grow, otherwise it is better to opt for a portion of fresh fruit (an orange in wedges).

3 Children should be educated to eat vegetables

A preschooler should eat at least 50 grams of vegetables for lunch and as many for dinner. However, parents often give up on preparing vegetables because the little ones don't like them. Instead it is important to continue to serve them and try to educate their children to their taste.
The pleasure of eating vegetables is not instinctive, but cultural. Indeed Eating vegetables does not come naturally in children, perhaps because at the primordial level vegetables were related to poisonous plants. So it is an education process that it is the parent's job to do.
Maybe you can start by cooking a pasta with a vegetable sauce, serving raw carrots and fennel in pinzimonio ... If they are offered in a fun and tasty way, in the long run your little one will get used to the taste of vegetables.

Read also: Children who have problems with food: the practical advice of the psychologist from 0 to 16 years

4 And for a snack? Bread butter and jam

The packaged snacks are very comfortable: they can be put in the folder without problems, they keep for a long time, the children like them and if you read the ingredients, at least those of the most careful brands, they do not seem so bad. In fact, food companies in recent years have worked hard to make them healthier and less caloric.
But the problem, explains the expert, is not only that of the components, but also of satiety and consumption times.

Packaged snacks are quickly available and this risks leading to over-consumption behavior. For example, a packaged tart may also have the same components and calories as a slice of bread, butter and jam. But the consumption time is different: in the time that a child prepares and eats bread and butter, he eats 3 tartlets. And the level of satiety is also quite different. Bread, butter and jam will satisfy you with more than a tart with the same calories.

So the advice is to limit these products as much as possible, while dry biscuits, bread, butter and jam, yogurt (not every day, see point 1), crackers and fresh fruit are fine as a daily snack or breakfast.

5 Highly sugary foods should be limited to holidays

Once upon a time, cakes, puddings, chocolate were party foods and were eaten, when it was right, once a month. Today in many homes these foods are on the table almost daily. Eating very sugary foods every day risks creating a kind of addiction to the sweet taste which will be difficult to modify as you grow older. And today we know that excess sugar and fat is bad for our health.

Furthermore very fatty and very sweet foods make us lose control easily and without realizing we end up eating too much. An example? It is easier for a child to finish a whole packet of chips than to eat three plates of pasta (and they have nearly the same calories!).

6 Prefer white meat to red meat. Salami once a week

Meat can be served 2-3 times a week, preferring white meat (chicken, veal, turkey, lamb and rabbit). In fact, several studies have now shown that an excess of consumption of red meat can be harmful to health.

The cured meats, on the other hand, should be eaten no more than once a week. In fact, in addition to being easy to consume products, which increases the risk of abusing them, they have an excessive load of salt as a preservative.


Foods that children REALLY like

go to the gallery

What are the dishes that children really like? We asked the parents of the mymodernparents.com online community. Many classics: pizza, tortellini, pasta with pesto, white and ...

7 Legumes are an excellent second course

Don't forget to consume legumes 2-3 times between meals of the week: they are a real second course. Rich in vegetable proteins, they are a valid alternative to meat. Often they are not prepared because they take too long to cook. The advice is to prepare them in large quantities and then freeze them. Excellent recipes from a nutritional point of view, as well as for taste, are the ones that they combine legumes and cereals such as pasta and beans, rice and peas, spelled soup and lentils ...

8 Fresh fish must never be missing

Fish is another neglected food in many Del Paesene families. Instead it should be consumed 2-3 times a week. It is, in fact, a nutritious and low-fat food. You can begin to accustom the little ones with fish with a more delicate flavor such as sole or sea bass, up to educate them to a stronger flavor, such as that of blue fish (sardines, anchovies, mackerel ..), very healthy for its nutritional qualities.

9 Children have to play movement games

Children have to move as much as possible. There is no need to enroll them in gymnastics classes, preschool is enough let them play outdoors at least 2/3 times a week and organize the journey from home to school so that it is an opportunity to make him move, perhaps equipping him with a bicycle or a scooter, but it is also fine on foot.

Read also: Children, at least one hour of sport a day

10 The good example of parents

To educate a little one in good habits, feedThe example of parents is fundamental. It is useless to expect the little one to eat fresh fruit and healthy food if mom and dad gorge themselves on chips. So good nutrition must be shared by the whole family who gathers, at least for the evening meal, around the same table.

Read also: The healthy child eats like this

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Updated on 19.04.2022

  • food
  • what should a preschooler eat
  • proper nutrition of children
  • how much meat should a child eat
  • the child's healthy diet
  • 3-5 children years
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