Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Are You Giving Your Kid Enough Nutrients?

essential nutrients for childHave you ever thought that diet coke, fantas, fruti, maggi, burger and pizzas have actually been replacing the real nutrient factor from the diet chart of your kid?? If not, then think over it now! And start working on it! My Health Guardian shares expert suggestions to enhance your nutrient quotient for your child! Read to know the best tips shared by Dr Shubhda Bhanot, Nutritionist and Dietician, Medanta- The Medicity, Gurgaon.

Serve foods rich in iron – Iron is present in foods basically in two forms, haem iron, found in flesh foods such as red meat, chicken and fish, and non-haem iron which is found in plant foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals, dried fruits (though, whole nuts are not recommended for children under five), and some vegetables like beans, spinach, parsley, broccoli, etc.
Children who do not eat enough iron containing foods may get tired easily, feel faint and pale, and are mostly uninterested in any play or activity. Moreover, iron deficiency kid may complain of headaches and often have small appetites and are also prone to various infections that affect their normal brain development and growth; so proper intake of iron rich food is must informs Dr. Bhanot. Try to feed your child iron rich food, and for this you need to be experimental as well as patient enough to tackle them with ease.

Mix and Match Vitamins – Common foods that are rich in vitamin D, C and A include milk and milk fortified foods, such as some brands of breakfast cereals, orange juice, and yogurt. Other foods rich in vitamin D include fattier fish, such as salmon and light tuna.

In addition to the food enriched with vitamins, also encourage your child to involve in outdoor activity as the body also makes vitamin D when exposed to strong sunlight, storing extra for future use.

Calcium not just for bones – For growing children, adequate calcium is must. It is very important for the bone growth as most of the calcium is stored in bones, but besides this, calcium also helps in maintaining the heart rhythm and managing blood clotting, and muscle function. If your child doesn’t get enough calcium in their diet, the body will steal it from their bones, thereby making your child weak and unhealthy. So try to incorporate nuts and seeds like almonds, pistachio, etc. and vegetables meant and fist to your child’s diet chart. Lentils are also a good source of calcium as well as high protein.

Shubhda Bhanot suggests daily calcium doses for children as per their age category.

  • Ages 1-3: Amount of calcium required is 500 milligrams
  • Ages 4-8: 800 milligrams
  • Ages 9-18: 1,300 milligrams

Proteins are essential– Proteins are part of every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies, therefore regular and adequate quantity of protein must be taken every day to keep the body fit and healthy. Children in different age groups need different amount of protein in their daily diet tells Dr. Bhanot. Toddlers in the age group of 1 to 3 requires 13 gram a day, those in the ages 4 – 8 need 19 grams, while children in between 9 years to 13 years require 34 grams. The protein need among teen girls and boys in the age group of 14 to 18 also differs. Girls ages 14 – 18 must intake at least 46 grams of protein while boys in the same age group must have 52 grams of protein in a day.
To provide sufficient protein to your child, give him at least 1 cup of milk with 8 grams of protein or encourage him to eat a piece of meat, dry beans or a cup of yoghurt daily suggest Dr. Bhanot.

Supplementation is important – Adequate supplementation is very important for the overall growth of children. Supplements are must as it helps the body to make up for what they miss from their diet. Various brands like Vestige, offers a good range of food supplements for children.

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Category: Good Parenting
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