Worried that your child is missing on essential nutrients? Confused about how to include healthy foods in their meals? Concerned about their nutrition not levelling up to their daily routine?
Well, put your worries at rest, we have got you!
When it comes to a child’s nutrition, let’s be honest it can get a little tricky as there are many aspects to look at, like nutrients to boost the immunity, build healthy bones, for optimal brain development and lastly enhance growth.
Let’s take a look at them individually.
Up your child’s Immunity Game!
The COVID-19 has surely awakened us to boost our immunity. Our immune system is the first line of defence when it comes to such viral or bacterial infections, there couldn’t be a better time or motivation to start building it up. Firstly, one must remember to eat clean and avoid refined flour (Maida) based foods packaged/processed/fried foods. Additionally, include foods like Amla (Indian Gooseberry), flaxseeds, turmeric, ginger, nuts and garlic in your child’s diet which are known to boost immunity. Getting in a sounds nightly sleep, staying active and not skipping meals are some other lifestyle factors that can up your child’s immunity game.
Build Healthy Bones!
Bone health is usually overlooked as their job is more behind the scenes. Nutrients like protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin D and C are essential for the formation and maintenance of bones. Include foods like citrus fruits, broccoli, chia seeds, dairy/soy products, banana and fish in your child’s diet to ensure a healthy growth in bones. Along
with diet make sure your child is also involved in adequate physical activity which is also
an important part of building strong bones.
During childhood, physical and mental development happens simultaneously. There are a few ingredients present in our kitchens that you can include in your child’s diet to aid in their mental development. Foods like eggs, fatty fish like mackerel and salmon, chia seeds, fibre rich carbohydrate sources like oats and whole fruits, walnuts and yogurt/milk are packed with essential nutrients for brain growth. With diet make sure they are involved in learning music, reading books of different genre and playing indoor and outdoor games/sports which would enhance their mental growth.
It is a clear fact that physical growth is one of the most important bodily functions for a child. Optimal growth is considered to be a harbinger of balanced and adequate nutrition, where nutrients function as the building blocks for the body. A balance of all nutrients are required but the ones which play a significant role in physical growth are protein, iron, calcium, good fats and zinc. Sesame and sunflowers seeds, cereal bran, eggs, dairy and soya products, almonds, walnuts, lean meat, etc. are some foods rich in one or more of the essential nutrients mentioned.
It can be challenging to keep a check on all the nutrients and get them to your children’s plates every day. It is during these formative years that children develop lifelong food preferences and hence it is important for parents to be creative and expose children to a variety of new and healthy foods.