Family Restaurants in Ottawa Weigh in on Nutrition for Healthy Active Play
Energy is the building block of life – we wouldn’t exist without it. But on a smaller scale, it’s what our bodies need to function. The more active we are, the more energy we need. Many parents tell you that their kids are always on the go. From arts and crafts to stimulating play to family fun in Ottawa and everything in between, kids require a lot of energy to maintain engaged in their daily activities. It’s true that we gain energy through the consumption of food, but more specifically, our bodies do so through protein, carbohydrates, fats, and nutrients. As family restaurants in Ottawa know, a healthy diet for children is one that provides a balanced yet proportioned ratio of these elements. Here’s a little more information about them and how they help fuel healthy active play:
Family restaurants in Ottawa know that protein is very important for children because it’s responsible for several functions including brain development, healthy bones, and growth. Protein is made up of amino acids and 9 out of 22 of these amino acids are essential, meaning our body needs to get them from food. While animal products like meat, eggs and dairy pack a definite protein punch, we can also find lots of protein in plant-based foods like beans, lentils, quinoa, and soy.
Carbohydrates get a bad rap, but unrefined carbs are actually the best source of energy for fueling our bodies. Simple carbs have fewer molecules, so the release of energy is quicker and shorter. Fruits are a good source of simple carbohydrates. Complex carbs have more molecules, so the release of energy is slower but longer-lasting. Some good sources of complex carbs include whole grains, starchy vegetables, and legumes.
We live in a society where “fat” is synonymous with bad, but the truth is that our bodies, and especially the bodies of children, require fats to move and grow. You may have heard that there are “good fats” and “bad fats”, and this is true. Similarly to carbs, refined fats (processed foods like chips, candies and cookies) are basically nutrient void – which means that while you may get flavour, you’re not putting anything healthy into your body.. Family restaurants in Ottawa know that the best kinds of fats for growing children are unrefined monounsaturated (avocado, flaxseed, nuts, etc.), polyunsaturated (salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, etc.) and healthy saturated (whole milk dairy, fish, poultry, etc.). A balanced diet should provide kids with just the right amount of fat to fuel activities and family fun in Ottawa.
Fruits and vegetables are the most nutrient dense foods, providing lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals. According to Canada’s Food Guide, children should aim for 4-6 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
Whether you’re dining at family restaurants in Ottawa or enjoying meals at home, it’s important to make sure kids eat a balanced and nutritious meal. A balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, fats and nutrients will help fuel dance recitals, karate classes, art sessions, family fun in Ottawa, and whatever else comes your kids’ way!