Healthy Food

Healthy Food for Children From 4 to 12 Years Old: Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack.

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Adopting healthy lifestyles in childhood, such as healthy eating or physical activity, increases the quality of life in adults. Some recommendations to make healthy food for children 4 to 12 years:

I recently read an article about happiness among those of us who have children is higher than among those who do not. The author stated that it is because parents have to set an example, and we take healthy lifestyle habits more seriously. So I became interested in the subject. In this post, we will see healthy eating, healthy food for children from 4 to 12 years old at breakfast, lunch, and snack.

Healthy Habits Are Learned at Home

A correct diet helps prevent deficiency diseases and nutritional imbalances (anemia, growth retardation, learning, and behavior problems …) and reduces the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, some cancers …

Eating habits are acquired mainly in the family, through the models that boys and girls observe in adults; they are established after the second year, are consolidated around the age of ten, and persist, to a large extent, throughout life. They and they observe what we eat, what we buy, how we cook …

Together with good healthy food for children from 4 to 12 years old, it is very important to do physical activity every day and avoid sedentary life.

5 Intakes Per Day

Carry out 5 intakes a day: 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and 2 light meals (lunch and snack).
The balanced diet should distribute the energy intake throughout the day: breakfast 20%, lunch 10%, lunch 35%, snack 10%, and dinner 25%.


Have a full breakfast every day, including at least one food from each of the following groups:

  • Dairy: milk (best option) or fresh or low-fat cheese or plain yogurt or curd.
  • Cereals, preferably whole: bakery bread (best option), homemade pastries, breakfast cereals (neither sugary nor chocolatey, and better if they are whole). The bread can be served with olive oil, tomato, jam, …
  • When buying cookies and cereals, it is important to check the type of oil and the amount of salt and sugar on the label.
  • Fruits: whole, fresh, and in season. In the case of consuming juice, make it natural and freshly made.
  • Drinking water. Avoid sugary drinks (soft drinks, juices, commercials, …) due to their low nutritional value and the excess sugar they contain and energy drinks.
  • Avoid the consumption of processed meat (sausages, meatballs, hamburgers, nuggets …), as well as sausages, due to a large amount of fat and salt they contain.

Lunch and Snack:

Prepare small portions and vary each day.

  • Fresh and seasonal fruit, raw vegetables, (carrots, cherry tomatoes, …)
  • Dairy (milk, plain yogurt, fresh or low-fat cheese)
  • Bread sandwich (bakery, better wholemeal) with cooked ham, serrano ham, turkey or chicken breast, loin ribbon, fresh or low-fat cheese, canned sardines (in olive or sunflower oil), jam, homemade sponge cake … You can mix vegetables and fish: tomato with olive oil and Serrano ham; lettuce, tomato, and bonito, …
  • Natural, homemade, dairy and fruit smoothies or natural fruit juice: banana with milk, mixed fruit with natural orange juice, milk or natural yogurt.
  • Natural nuts (neither fried nor salty nor sugary).
  • Reduce the consumption of salt. In the child population, the amount must be less than 5 g / day
  • Reduce the consumption of sugar and sugary products. It is recommended not to consume more than 25 g of sugar per day.

Limit the Consumption Of:

  • Candies, sweets, cookies, ice cream, chocolates with fillings; pastry, bakery, and industrial confectionery products; ketchup, industrial table sauces, products for snacks such as “snack”, chips and the like. Due to their high content of saturated fats (coconut, palm, animal fats, …), sugars, or salt, they are products with high energy intake and low nutritional value. They should not be used as substitutes for lunch or a snack, nor should they be eaten between meals (they fill them up and do not eat the food they should eat at the corresponding meal).
  • Reduce the fried and increase the food cooked on the grill, steam, boiled, or roasted.
  • Accustom them to natural flavors, avoid seasoning dishes with industrial sauces due to their high salt content. do not regularly use sachet soups, sauces, purees, concentrated pills, …
  • Consume natural, local, and seasonal products. If possible from organic farming.

60 Minutes a Day of Vigorous Exercise:

Encourage, from childhood, the practice of regular physical activity appropriate to age (daily a minimum of 60 minutes playing, riding a bike, walking in the field, running, going up and down the stairs, …) and limiting sedentary activities to a maximum of 1-2 hours a day (television, video, computer, video games,…). Encourage your daughters or sons to dedicate part of the time to exercise, better if it is outdoors and in nature.

The Importance of Our Example:

They must see us eat everything, without excesses, they shouldn’t see us make strict diets. We as adults must be a model in healthy lifestyles: without tobacco and other drugs, doing sports, healthily using free time. Make them see that the prototype of beauty that is fostered (excessive thinness) is not synonymous with success or happiness; if we are overly concerned with the body and aesthetics, we will not be a good example.

Are you going to be part of the healthy movement? It’s time for you to show it to your kids!

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