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Healthy Eating for your Child

4 August 2020

Getting your child to eat healthy, as a lifestyle, can be a challenge, especially when their craving for junk food is high and when they prefer to eat only what they like. Since children continue to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally well into their teens, providing them with nutritionally rich food options becomes essential for their proper overall growth and development.

It is important to get children to eat healthy balanced food as excessive junk food may lead to weak immunity, making the child prone to infections. So, when planning your child’s meal, consider filling their plate with foods like:

So, when planning your child’s meal, consider filling their plate with foods like:

Cereals and Pulses
Cereals are a source of energy in the diet. Include a variety of cereals like, wheat, ragi, rice, oats, bajara etc. in your child’s diet. Protein-rich foods like dals and lentils, enable children to grow as it helps buildstrengthen, and repair muscles, tissues and aids in growth and development.

Fruits and Vegetables
Include a variety of fruits and vegetables such as green leafy vegetables, yellow orange fruits and vegetables . They are packed with Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants and Fibre.

Dairy
Milk, cheese, paneer and yoghurt are rich in protein and calcium that are essential for muscle and bone development and can aid the health and wellbeing of your child.

Vitamins and Minerals
Children and adolescents require ample vitamins and minerals in their diet for formationfunctioning, and development of body tissues as well as help fight infections. Foods like Nuts, Pulses, fruits, eggs, green vegetables, and fish etc. are rich sources of vitamins and minerals.

Eating healthy and nutritious foods can do wonders in building a healthy mind and body. It’s also imperative to try and avoid excessive use of processed food that is high in sugar because they do very little to nourish your child’s system. An under-nourished system is a weak system, making children prone to illness and infection.

If you can inculcate a healthy eating habit in your children during their formative years, it will enable their body to efficiently build organ tissues, muscles, teeth, bones as well as strengthen their heart. Here are some interesting ways to get your child to eat healthily:

  • Get them to help you cook: If your child becomes involved in choosing or preparing meals, they will be more interested in eating what they have created.
  • Include variety: Eating just one kind of healthy food is not enough, and can even get boring for children. So be creative when preparing meals – vegetable stuffed parathas, fruit smoothies, whole wheat cakes and pancakes, fruit popsicles, and vegetable upma are just a few options.
  • Make meal-time a family affair: Family meals give an opportunity to come together and bond. It helps in inculcating right eating habits in children and a chance for positive role modelling. It is seen that children who eat family meals tend to eat healthy and have a wide variety of foods.
  • Use their favourite ingredients: Some children love certain foods like potatoes or certain ingredients like cheese, try and incorporate these into their meal so they are excited to eat their food.
The information provided in this article is based on the writers personal experience and view.  Any recommendations  made about physical activity, nutrition source and benefits on this website should be  consulted with your paediatric/ health professional. The information you receive in our blogs, and other communication do not take the place of professional medical advice. Any recommendations made about physical activity , nutrition or diet on this website should be consulted with your healthcare professional

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