How To Give More Nutrition To Children

Imhealthist | Saturday 21st of November 2015 10:58:09 AM

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A healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet is very much essential for both physical and mental growth of a child. With markets flooded with junk foods such as pizzas, burgers, wafers and everlasting commercials, it really becomes very difficult to make them eat healthy food. Parents  should teach their kids at the early stage about the importance of healthy and nutritious food. Having, said that meal time creates tremors for the parents, as children revolt any nutritious food that is not tasty.

Energy Requirement:         

The daily requirement of calories differs on several factors, age, sex, growth, and activity levels. For a two to four year girl or boy, the energy requirement is around 1200 calories, where as the requirement of ten year old girl may be around 1800 calories. Again the source of calories is also very important and the intake should be as per the medically recommended quantities of proteins, fibers, carbohydrates, dairy products, grains, fruits, and vegetables. For instance, for a 1600 calorie energy requirement of a six year old active boy child, 4 ounces of protein, 2 cups of vegetables and fruits, 5 ounces of grains and 3 cups of dairy products are recommended.

What to Eat:  

A balanced and healthy diet of children improves the sharpness of mind and assists in overall physical growth. The balanced food should essentially contain –

  • Proteins: Sea foods, eggs, beans, lean meat and nuts
  • Fruits: Invariably every fruit is rich in one or other vitamins or minerals. Though fresh fruits are the best, frozen or canned are better options than the juices loaded with sugar.
  • Vegetables: Similar to fruits, vegetables also provide good intake of minerals, fiber, and vitamins. Green, red, and orange colored vegetables are very good for health.
  • Grains: Whole grains in the form of whole wheat, oats, brown rice should be preferred than any other form of refined grains.
  • Dairy: Low fat milk or curd, soy milk, yoghurts are very good for health. As a matter of fact, consumption of yoghurts loaded with fruits relaxes mind and keeps stress at bay. For this very reason, this food is advised by several pediatric nutritionists for children appearing for examinations. 

What Not to Eat:

An unhealthy food not only welcomes obesity and other related diseases such as diabetes, but also makes the child’s mind dull and increases the anxiety and stress levels. Following are few unhealthy options of food that needs to be limited:

  • Cakes and confectionaries
  • Aerated drinks, artificial juices
  • Pizzas, Burgers loaded with cheese and salts.
  • Solid fats
  • Deep fried snacks.

How To Do:

The real tough task of implementing the above suggestions can be made comparatively easier by following the suggestions mentioned below:

  • Eat together: Make the meal time fixed, as the thought of sitting together creates a comfort zone and children enjoy it.
  • Avoid restaurants: Home cooked simple foods are definitely a healthier option for the family and makes the child to realize the significance of food.
  • Cook together: Involving kids in shopping, packing their lunch, and preparing their meals go a longer way in changing the kids’ conception about food.
  • Teach them: Teach the kids to read the label of the processed foods and explain the bad effects of added salt, sugar, and preservatives.
  • Be creative: Whatever may be the meal, make subtle changes in the design, and shape to attract the kids.    

Kids prefer the food that is tastier; so make the home cooked nutritious food tastier. It is very difficult to attract a kid with handful of walnuts than with a pack of salted wafers. But the walnuts as part of toping of smoothies will definitely bring smile across the kids face. Completely stopping the tasty but unhealthy food to the children will increase the craving and the art is to restrict them slowly.