4 Key Nutrients For Your Child
Gift your Child Healthy Living… Its shall last forever
You are what you eat and vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats are really important to our healthy living. And this is more so important for children who are growing and developing. The nutritional requirement for children is quite different from the adults and a lack of nutrients can put them at a greater risk of malnourishment.
Since children need more of the nutrients in their tender growing age, we’ve explained which nutrients are important for your child and why.
- Carbohydrates: They are a main source of energy for children. Adequate energy from carbohydrates is important as this spares the protein. Energy intakes of different children vary depending on their gender and their activity level. Carbohydrate also provides valuable fiber which is needed for health and normal laxation in children.
Tip: Include at least 2-3 fruits per day and opt for multigrain roti’s in combinations of wheat, jowar, bajra or ragi.
- Proteins: The requirement for protein is greater in children as they are still developing teeth, bones, muscles and blood. Children who follow strict vegetarian diet are at a greater risk for developing protein deficiency and should try and include protein rich foods like pulses.
Tip: Add chicken, eggs, beans, nuts and pulses in any form at least once a day.
- Fats: Many children consume too much dietary fat, which can lead to excessive calorie consumption and weight gain. It is important that children are given the right kind of fats like omega 3 from fishes.
Tip: Limit high fat snacks, pastries and candies, sweets, fried chips, colas, sugary drinks and ready to eat foods.
Also read our blog – 8 Ways To Make Kids Love Fruits and Vegetables
- Minerals and Vitamins: All micronutrients are essential for the growing ages of children for and their healthy living. Deficiency of any of these can cause impaired growth which may hamper their physical and mental function. Some micronutrient that require attention are:
a.Calcium: Calcium is needed for mineralization and maintenance of bone and skeletal structure in children. Inadequate calcium during this growing period can affect the bone health and cause osteoporosis in adult years.
Tip: Include 2-3 servings of milk and milk products like curd, buttermilk, paneer.
b.Vitamin D: Most famously known as a sunshine nutrient, it is formed within the body when skin is exposed to the sun. The main role of vitamin D is to assist in calcium absorption and deposition in the bones.
Tip: Encourage children to play out in the sun.
c. Iron: Iron is vital for the growth period in children. Rapid growth period in children is marked by increased hemoglobin production. However more and more children are suffering from iron deficiency which is caused due to this rapid growth, increased physiological requirements along with poor dietary intakes.
Tip: Introduce green leafy vegetables like spinach.
While we can educate, you all about the importance of nutrients, getting kids to eat them is another challenge in itself. Children are often fussy and selective about the food they eat which often leaves out nutrition from their diet. In addition, today’s children are greatly influenced by TV commercials and media taking them towards unhealthy eating habits. Therefore getting them onboard to healthy living a major task and requires efforts topped with some pampering. Here are some tips on how you can ensure proper nutrition for your child:
- A multigrain paratha, chapatti or puri can add all the nutrients you need in one single dish.
- Vegetables are often disliked so the best way is to mix up vegetables and roll out a paratha or fill up a frankie roll.
- Merge in the nutrients of fruits with a fruit custard or a fruit milkshake topped with fruits.
- Instead of ready to eat pastas and noodles, heat up your wok and season it with good health using whole grain pasta or noodles with colorful veggies and top it up with some cheese to delight your little one.
- Scramble some eggs and top it up on a whole wheat bread to make a wholesome breakfast at the start of the day.
- Pack some paneer in your child’s paratha or steam up an idli or spread out a mix dal dosa and procure the precious protein for your child.
- A handful of nuts or a few slices of tomatoes spruced up with some chaat masala are ideal for your child’s evening crunch.
So ensure that your child gets the essential nutrients from their early days itself so they have all the strength they need to embrace adulthood.
Healthy living is the best gift you can give to your children in their childhood.