Monday, October 1st, 2012

Eat, Drink & Grow,…give your kids enough nutrients

What disturbs a mother most about her child? Eight out of ten mothers will answer eating habits. Mothers love to fuss around their child with food. Growing kids need extra nutrition, we all know this. But the question remains, what is the right proportion. To resolve your problem, Guardian Health Chronicle consulted two eminent specialists Dr Rajeev Chabbra, Consultant Pediatric at Artemis, Gurgaon and Geetu Amarnani, Mumbai based nutritionist and dietician. Read to know what the experts recommend to enhance the nutrient quotient for your child. Also discover tips to solve the meal time woes.

Build up a healthy habit

Follow these guidelines to grow your child healthy:
• Offer five servings of fruits and vegetables a day
• Choose healthy sources of protein, such as lean meat, nuts and eggs
• Serve whole-grain breads and cereals because they are high in fiber
• Broil, grill or steam foods instead of frying them
• Limit fast food and junk food
• Offer water and milk instead of sugary fruit drinks and sodas. Restrict energy drinks and sodas to minimal.
• If your child eats non-vegetarian food substitute chicken or fish with legumes. To increase protein intake in growing kids 5 eggs per week is recommended.
• If a child is vegetarian good sources of protein are—paneer, cheese and legumes.

Resolve the meal time battles

To put a handle on mealtime woes, avoid dancing in front of prancing kids to shove a few morsels down their gullet. Do not use TV either to feed your child.

Take away the plate from the child, whether she finishes the meal or not. For this you need to be firm.

Besides these, here are few other ways:

=> For older child, involve them in menu decisions and allow her to experiment with food under your supervision. At times, kids love their own dished out items.
=> For younger kids give them a star each time they polish off their plate. Introduce them to new veggies and this can be done by shopping with them.
=> If your child is a food jag, remember, food preferences will surely change with time. However, you can influence him to eat new things by:

1. Preparing meals that are pleasing to the eye, with different colors and textures.
2. Introducing new tastes at early stages, especially mashed bits of foods like vegetables, legumes and rice or daliya, beginning at 6 months, in the form of baby food. Researchers have discovered that you can educate the palate of your child by starting early.

=> For children who avoid milk, try the magic of milk additives. Almost all brands contain milk solids, malt extracts, a sugar source (liquid glucose, dextrin, etc), flavouring, and are fortified with vitamins, especially B-complex vitamins and minerals, which are essentially required for proper growth and metabolism.

Be a nutrients-wise mum

Serve foods rich in iron such as red meat, chicken and fish, or plant foods like wholegrain breads and cereals, dried fruits and green vegetables like beans, spinach, parsley, broccoli, etc. Children who miss on iron get tired easily, feel faint and pale, and often have small appetites and are also prone to various infections, so proper intake of iron rich food is must

Mix and match vitamins – Foods rich in vitamin D, C and A include milk and milk fortified foods, orange juice, yogurt, and fattier fish, such as salmon and light tuna. ncourage your child to involve in outdoor activity as the body when exposed to strong sunlight, makes vitamin D.

Calcium is not just for healthy bones but it also helps in maintaining the heart rhythm, managing blood clotting, and improves muscle function. So try to incorporate lentils and nuts and seeds like almonds, pistachio.

Daily calcium dose:
• Ages 1-3: 500 milligrams
• Ages 4-8: 800 milligrams
• Ages 9-18: 1,300 milligrams

Protein must be taken every day to keep the body fit and healthy.

Daily protein dose:
• Age 1 – 3 years: 13 gram/day
• Age 4 – 8: 19 grams/day
• Age 9 – 13: 34 grams/day
• Teen girls of age 14 – 18: 46 grams/day
• Teen boys of age 14-18: 52 grams/day

Give your child at least 1 cup of milk and encourage them to eat dry beans or a cup of yoghurt daily suggests Amarnani.
Supplements are also must for overall growth of a child. Various brands like Vestige, GNC offer a range of supplements for children.

Remember, ‘All said and done’, your child will imbibe your eating habits. So, eat smart to grow a food savvy kid.

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Category: Good Parenting
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