Parenting tips: Here's how parents can create a health plan for developing child
Growing kids have high demands of both the process of development as well as they being active at play. This calls for a nutrition program that has adequate calories to take care of growth and energy expended during play time. Here's how parents can create a health plan for developing child
A developing child requires a balanced diet rich in minerals and vitamins for adequate development of body and mind and according to health and fitness experts, parents should make sure that the balanced diet is composed of correct proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. As childhood is a crucial growing stage of life, where the demand is more, it is important for parents to take care of nutrition for proper development of their child.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Puja Kapoor, Paediatric Neurologist and Co-Founder of Continua Kids, revealed what parents can include in a health plan for their developing child:
1. Protein - Foods rich in protein are eggs, beans, soya bean, pulses and various nuts and seeds.
2. Fruits - Encourage the child to eat a variety of fresh fruits, (rather than fruit juice). For juices, make sure it's 100 percent juice without added sugars and in limited amount.
3. Vegetables - Consume a variety of fresh vegetables, including green leafy vegetables. Canned, processed foods should be avoided.
4. Grains - Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat chappati, bread, oats, popcorn, rice. Limit refined grains such as white bread and pastas.
5. Dairy - Encourage your child to drink milk, eat yogurt, cheese for adequate amount of calcium requirement.
According to Dr Puja Kapoor, parents should aim to limit their child's calories from:
1. Added sugar - Limit added sugars. Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruits and milk, are not added sugars. Examples of added sugars include brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, honey and others. Check nutrition labels and choose foods with minimal added sugars. Avoid drinks with added sugars such as soda and various energy drinks.
2. Saturated and trans fats - Consume limited amount of saturated fats (these are mainly derived from animal sources of food, such as red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products). Try to replace saturated fats with vegetable and nut oils, which provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E also.
3. Sodium - The amount of sodium in diet should be adequate and not added. Encourage snacking on fruits and vegetables instead of chips and cookies. Always check nutrition labels and look for products which are low in sodium.
Sports Nutritionist, Mihira AR Khopkar, revealed, “Growing kids have high demands of both the process of development as well as they being active at play. This calls for a nutrition program that has adequate calories to take care of growth and energy expended during play time.”
She suggested, “A balanced diet that focuses on all key macro and micronutrients and meets their requirements, while preventing or treating deficiencies is an ideal health plan. The simple trick is really to include foods with different colours in the plan some-what like a rainbow diet! This will ensure your child is nourished with all nutrients from across food sources!”