Child Nutrition In Winter – Vitamins, Vegetables And More

With the change of seasons, the human body, including the child’s, completely rebuilds its work. Winter is no exception, and in order for this “restructuring” to go well, the main thing when preparing a child’s menu is to take into account two particularly important features of the cold season.

First, today our kids are especially prone to colds and other illnesses. Sometimes a child coughs or blows his nose almost all winter long.

This is the fault of the reduced immunity: the lack of sunlight and the decrease in vitamins in the child’s diet (compared to the summer and autumn months) are at work.

Secondly, to stay warm in the cold, we need energy, which we get mainly from protein products. So what should a child’s diet be like in winter and how to create a winter menu for them?

Rules for winter baby food

In such cases, nutritionists advise following the following recommendations:

  • Make sure that the child’s diet includes raw vegetables and fruits, including salads;
  • follow the rules of culinary processing of vegetables and their storage conditions, this will allow you to take the maximum of useful substances from the “gifts of nature”;
  • add juices (peach, apple, lemon, etc.), cranberry, lingonberry fruit drinks, compotes (including dried fruits), as well as tea with lemon and raspberries to the baby’s menu;
  • make sure that the menu has enough potassium. It is most abundant in seaweed, prunes, raisins, peas, potatoes, oatmeal, green peas, beets, and black currants. Potassium-rich beef, cod, hake, mackerel, and squid fillets;
  • Pay attention to foods that contain a lot of calcium and magnesium (milk, cheese, nuts, cereals, cauliflower, etc.);
  • Cook vegetarian vegetable soups for your baby, to which we recommend adding herbs (dill, parsley);
  • fill the baby’s diet with “energy dishes” of meat and fish, as well as other protein foods;
  • Beware of giving cold foods to your baby (ice cream, drinks, etc.).

Essential foods in winter

Canned baby food

In winter, it also becomes one of the main sources of vitamins and minerals. The fact is that, for example, an apple loses almost one hundred percent of its nutrients 180 days after it is picked from a tree.

When canned, their losses are much less. Just don’t forget that baby food is suitable for kids from 1 to 3 years old.

Frozen foods

In winter, they are a lifesaver. After all, vitamins and other nutrients in fruits and vegetables are well preserved when frozen. In addition, freshly frozen products are easy and quick to prepare – 2-3 times faster than usual. In winter, it’s worth mentioning berries mashed with sugar, five-minute jams, etc. In such preparations, vitamin C is almost not destroyed, unlike jams and preserves. Black and red currants and raspberries are especially useful for kids.

But this is not enough!

Sources of protein for a child in winter

In winter, your child needs proteins (both vegetable and animal). Their main sources can be meat, poultry, and fish dishes; eggs, milk, and legumes.

Drinking for a child in the cold season

In the cold season, drinking will also have its own characteristics. Every day, the child’s diet should include a variety of teas and vitamin drinks, juice, compotes, jelly, and fruit drinks.

Tea. It should not be too sweet or strong, hot or excessively cold. Use natural tea varieties without flavoring additives.

Vitamin drinks. These include decoctions and infusions of medicinal plants and herbal teas. In winter, children simply need rosehip infusion, herbal preparations, as well as vitaminized herbal teas, which can be purchased at any pharmacy.

Juices. Fresh juices have all the advantages. Kids over the age of two can drink ordinary “adult” juices from packages, provided that they are of high quality and 100%.

Compotes and fruit drinks. For children, compotes made from fresh (frozen) fruits or dried fruits are useful. When preparing them, it is advisable not to add sugar. For example, raisins will add the necessary malt. When buying them, choose white ones – they are the sweetest. As for fruit drinks, give preference to cranberry and lingonberry. They can be seasoned with honey – both tasty and healthy.

Approximate winter menu for a child

  • Breakfast is an important part of the daily diet and in order to feed your child, remember
    no fatty or dry foods should be on the table in the morning (this also applies to spicy and salty foods);
  • sit the baby down for breakfast no earlier than 30-40 minutes after he wakes up.

For breakfast, it is best to prepare milk porridge: oatmeal, buckwheat, etc. In addition, the baby should get a protein product (for example, cottage cheese, egg), as well as some bread. There should be seasonal additions of vegetables or fruits on the table. Drinks should include weak tea.

The second breakfast. Avoid sweets and fatty foods that “interrupt” the appetite. You can offer children a small sandwich, fruit, and juice or rosehip decoction as a drink.

Lunch should consist of at least two dishes – a liquid (vegetarian soup or borscht) and a second. The second course should be based on protein-rich foods: meat, fish, eggs, or semi-meat dishes, such as cabbage rolls, meat, cabbage cutlets, and pancakes with meat or cheese. It is good to give vegetable puree (carrot, potato, etc.). For dessert, have fruit, jelly, or jelly. And finish the meal with a cup of compote or tea with biscuits – the choice is yours.

Dinner. We give the child milk, yogurt, fruit, cookies, cocoa, etc.

Dinner. When choosing food for dinner, pay attention not to serving a dish that has already been served that day (except for milk, bread, vegetables, and fruits). Boiled and baked fish, noodles or rice, boiled potatoes, vegetable dishes, tea – again, the choice is up to the mother.

And before going to bed, offer your child a glass of kefir.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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