Balanced Nutrition in Children

Balanced Nutrition in Children

Dietitian Gizem Gencyurek Yılmaz from Medipol University Pendik Hospital stated that studies have shown that children with unbalanced nutrition have shorter attention spans and have difficulty in learning.

Gizem Gencyurek Yılmaz, Dietitian at Medipol University Pendik Hospital, stated that studies have shown that children with an unbalanced diet have shorter attention spans and difficulties in learning.

Yılmaz, whose views were included in the statement made by the hospital, explained that providing healthy eating habits to school-age children will minimize the risks of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and hypertension that may occur in the future, as well as preventing the risk of obesity and contributing to their development.


Stating that most of the nutritional habits are acquired at school age and that families have a great duty, Yılmaz said: “It is very important for their development to set an example by eating healthy food with their children, prioritizing sleep and not allowing them to skip breakfast, examining canteens and cafeterias when choosing a school, and giving children the habit of eating vegetables. Since children are not conscious about nutrition, they want to eat what they want, not what they need. In this case, families have a lot of work to do. Healthy and proper eating habits acquired from school age have a positive effect on academic success. Studies have shown that children with unbalanced nutrition have shorter attention spans and have difficulty in learning.”


Emphasizing that making gradual arrangements will make things easier for both the child and the parent, Yılmaz said, “For example, taking ice cream completely from a child who consumes a lot of ice cream during the holiday period makes healthy eating steps difficult. Instead, adding homemade ice creams, dairy desserts or foods that the child likes to eat to his/her snacks from time to time will help him/her regain healthy and regular eating habits.”

What should be included in children’s lunch boxes?
Yılmaz noted that in order to encourage children to eat a healthy and balanced diet, it would be healthier to turn to different alternatives instead of putting the same foods in their lunchboxes every day, and listed the things that should be put in the lunchbox as follows:


“Make sure to include food/drinks from every food group. Include vegetables and fruits according to the season. Include nuts that are healthy fat sources for energy needs. The period between the ages of 7-14 is the period of the fastest height growth. Children in this period need much more calcium than other age groups. For this reason, make sure to include dairy products in their diet. Instead of ready-made fruit juices and lemonade, prefer home-squeezed fruit juices or milk. Do not buy ready-made products such as cakes and pastries, prepare them at home with whole wheat flour. If you do not have breakfast at home, you can have a whole wheat sandwich with cheese, toast and homemade fruit juice. If you prepare lunch at home, put a whole wheat sandwich with chicken and vegetables and buttermilk in his/her bag. For snacks, fresh seasonal fruit and nuts such as raw almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts can be preferred or homemade cake and milk can be a good snack choice.”

Yılmaz also emphasized the importance of water consumption and added that children should definitely be given water with them.

Meryem Lara Sarıusta

Hi, I'm Meryem. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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