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Healthy food for our children:  

From 4 to 6 years old

 

The nutrition of your 4 year old (and older) child is very important because he is growing and has specific nutritional needs. It is also the age when the dietary rules are put in place.
Their portion should always be smaller than that of an adult and this does not mean that it will not grow. Indeed, at this age, your child grows by 6 cm per year.

The recommended intakes for a child aged 4 to 6 are as follows: (everything obviously depends on their level of activity, their rate of growth, etc.):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For comparison: the average intake of an adult is 2000 Kcal for a woman and 2500 kcal for a man.

From 4 to 6 years old, your child is still learning good eating habits. Continue to gently instill in him the right points of reference : meals taken with the family, at the table, without television, and at regular times (no snacking between meals).
Enjoy this age again when your child still wishes "  to copy  "  his parents: taste the fruits and vegetables but also the fish in front of them.
They are old too, or they can participate in the preparation of the recipes. It will encourage them to taste their achievement.
It is important not to force your child to finish their meal. A child must have enough to eat. As long as its curve is increasing, don't worry.
And conversely, if your child has a very good appetite, don't put the brakes on food. However, prevention of overweight begins before age 6 because the cells that store fat have the ability to multiply until that age (and once these fat cells are installed, they will only increase). An overweight child should be monitored by a general practitioner or your pediatrician. They will monitor your child's BMI (body mass index). This index is calculated twice a year, by dividing the weight by the height squared.
Before the age of 1, the BMI should increase, then it should decrease between 1 and 6 years and then increase again.

Age

Girls

Boys

1240 Kcal

Four years

5 years

6 years

1360 Kcal

1600 KCal

1340 Kcal

1430 Kcal

1740 Kcal

A typical day for a child aged 4 to 6:

What to give to my child?

1. Fill up on vitamins: Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and therefore beneficial for the health of your child. The more colorful their flesh, the more vitamins they contain.
Offer her vegetables and fruit every day. Vary the colors: for example mix a green vegetable (green beans) with an orange vegetable (carrots for example). Your little one will appreciate his meal more.
You can choose from fresh or frozen fruits or vegetables. On the other hand, if you opt for canned ones, choose those without salt.

What if my child refuses certain fruits and vegetables?
- First of all, try to present them differently: soups, salads, etc.
- Cut them differently : julienne, tagliatelle, cubes, grated ...
- Mix them with vegetables or fruits that your child loves
- Serve them with a nice accompaniment : for your child to dip for example with a cheese sauce (children like cheese in general)

2. On the menu, you always need fiber: pasta, rice, bread, semolina, quinoa… These are starchy foods that will provide your child with the energy necessary for the body and the brain . They are also rich in nutrients like iron, zinc and folic acid.

3. Do not forget to supplement meals and snacks with calcium : milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. for the proper development of bones. They are good sources of calcium, because of the amount found in them and the body's ability to absorb it well.
If your child doesn't like milk, try playing with him: have a funny drink or a spinning straw so they can drink in a fun way. Add vanilla or cinnamon to soften the taste of the milk.

4. At one of the 2 main meals of the day, supplement your child's meals with proteins: Meat, eggs, fish to contribute to the development of muscles and body tissues. Proteins, like fruits and vegetables, affect satiety. In addition, proteins are an interesting source of iron, essential for the transport of oxygen in the blood.
Do not hesitate to mix your proteins with a food rich in vitamin C (the latter improves the absorption of iron). Example of foods rich in vitamin C: tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, etc.
At 4 years old, still avoid raw or undercooked proteins: such as fish (with sushi), eggs (uncooked cookie dough)  or even tartars, to avoid food poisoning.
It is important to vary your proteins: do not ban fatty fish (such as salmon or mackerel) which are rich in essential fatty acids (called Omega-3) and which are useful for the development of your child's brain, opt for for iron of animal origin (meat, poultry or fish) because it will be absorbed modes than iron of plant origin.

5. Do not forget about fats: this is a category that should not be eliminated because they are an integral part of a healthy and balanced diet, especially in a preschooler. In addition to providing a feeling of fullness, fat also contributes to the development of the brain, the nervous system and is useful for the transport of certain vitamins.

6. The child's hydration starts with water. Your child often forgets to drink because their priority is play, so it is up to you to remind them to drink regularly so as not to become dehydrated. Ideally, water is offered during and between meals. If your child is not keen on this transparent drink, add fruit to give color to the water (for example: strawberries). You can also offer him fruit juice (100% pure juice): do not exceed 150 ml per day. Limit the quantity of other soft drinks, cocktails…. that will not bring any benefit to your child's diet.

Precautions to take when feeding your child from 4 to 6 years old: Always serve small pieces
Fresh fruits: do not forget to remove the seeds, stone or heart of the fruit (for example: apple)
Round fruits: Cut them into pieces (e.g. strawberries, grapes)
Firm-fleshed vegetables: cook lightly and finely chop or grate them (carrots, celery)
Oilseeds: grind and add them to your recipes (for example nuts)
The fish; do not forget to remove the edges
Meats and poultry: remove the bones
 


 

 

Small examples of meals: Salmon with spinach served with rice, mushrooms and chicken with quinoa, rice with eggs, peas served with vegetables: carrots…, roast chicken and potatoes served with green beans, vegetarian pizza: with vegetables, peppers, mushrooms, don't forget the vegetable purees that children love (the more colorful they will be the more fun they will be), vegetable gratins with lasagna, beef and carrot shepherd's pie, salmon parmentier and peas, potato and fish flan, mushroom and rice omelet, tomato tortilla (potatoes, onions, tomatoes and eggs), tomatoes stuffed with beef 5% mg, potatoes hazelnuts with fish and small vegetables, ratatouille with turkey cutlet, tuna pasta, tomatoes and zucchini ...
 

 

 

Oatmeal and muesli bars
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup of oatmeal
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup of brown sugar
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
2/3 cup of raisins and a few chocolate chips
vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of flour
vegetable oil spray

Preperation:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Spread your oatmeal on a baking paper and brown them for about 15 minutes in the oven then leave them aside.
In a bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract. Add the oatmeal, raisins, chocolate chips and flour.
In a baking dish (spray the dish with vegetable oil beforehand) and arrange your preparation.
Bake until the top is golden brown, which is 30 to 35 minutes. Slice 16 bars and serve.
You can keep these bars for up to 2 weeks.
Easy and light recipes and… Bon Appétit! :-)
 

 

 


 

 

Pasta with small vegetables
Vegetables go much easier with pasta.

Ingredients: for a meal
Pre-cooked pasta
1 fresh onion
40 g peas
2 cherry tomatoes
1 half carrot
1 mini zucchini
Basil, thyme and 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Preperation:
Prepare your vegetables: peel the carrot and zucchini. Cut them into small cubes and the tomatoes too. Slice the onion. Blanch the peas in boiling water (for 2 minutes).
In a non-stick pan, brown the onion in olive oil and add the vegetables and herbs. Then add everything to your previously cooked pasta.
Easy and light recipes and… Bon Appétit! :-)

 

 

Broccoli and potato pancakes

  Ingredients
    ⁃     1 cup chopped fresh broccoli
    ⁃     1 cup of hot water
    ⁃     3 eggs
    ⁃     1 fresh onion
    ⁃     1 tablespoon of flour
    ⁃     1 pinch of salt and 1 pinch of pepper
    ⁃     1 peeled potato
    ⁃     Vegetable oil


Preperation:
In a bowl, combine the broccoli with the boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes and wring out the vegetable.
In another bowl, beat the eggs with the onions, flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Finish by adding the broccoli.
Before cooking, finely cut the potatoes and add them to the preparation. In a non-stick frying pan, heat some oil and cook your pancakes (3 - 4 minutes per side). 
Easy and light recipes and… Bon Appétit! :-)

In the next newsletters, we will see the feeding of a child from 7 to 9 years old, from 10 to 12 years old and beyond. Pampering your child starts with his food first, then pamper him every day thanks to his food.

Recipe ideas for a child aged 4 to 6:

For breakfast:

For lunch or dinner:

For the snack: