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Nutrition for Kids – Catch them young!

Updated: Jul 16, 2021


The future health status of your kid somewhat depends on the nutrition provided during school going years. This stage is the stepping stone to a healthy life and these formative years have a lasting effect on physical as well as cognitive health of an individual. Therefore, maintaining a balanced diet is extremely important for a healthy life ahead.


Your child’s nutritional needs

Growth during these years might be slow and irregular, but this doesn’t mean that the nutrition during this period can be neglected. They might have a lesser desire to eat, but both body and brain require energy to function properly. They need good amount of fuel to run around and do homework. And the protein needs along with certain micronutrients like calcium are high. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for both boys and girls in the age group of 7-9 years is 30g protein per day while boys and girls in the age group of 10-12 years require around 40g of protein per day. The good quality protein is usually derived from animal sources, but the quality of vegetarian diets can be improved by consuming cereal and pulse combination.


Healthy Habits for Life

Your kid’s food habits, likes and dislikes are established during this time. This is the time when your kid can develop habits on how they interact with their food throughout their life. Invest in developing these habits with better food choices.


Positive Food Culture

Food is the connection, belief and experience that promotes social and mental well-being. Parents are the role models for their children, therefore their dietary habits are highly influenced by the choices parents make. Ensure to develop a positive food culture in the family. Guide them to make independent food choices and get them involved in buying groceries.


A Good Start to an energetic day – Break that Fast

A good boost of energy is essential in the morning. Breakfast should provide one third of the day’s energy requirement along with other essential nutrients. Even if you are running out of time, you can still manage to prepare something healthy. Try to have mix of cereals, proteins and vegetables for that quick breakfast. A breakfast should be wholesome to kick start your kid’s day and you can do it without spending much time on making multiple items. You can just make a roll or a stuffed paratha with EARTHSPIRED’S NORTHERN SPICE FLOUR, which is a combination of millets with whole wheat and Bengal gram, seasoned with North Indian spices to make a quick and tasty breakfast.


Calcium to calcify young bones

You must know that bone mass development is at peak during these years. To meet the increased calcium requirement adequate amount of milk, green leafy vegetables, nuts and oilseeds should be incorporated…. Having a hard time while making your kid drink milk? Why force them?

Substitute plain milk with milkshakes, flavored yogurts and less sugary milk desserts. Legumes like chickpeas, soyabean, green leafy vegetables, and amaranth also contain good amount of calcium. Almonds and nuts in your shakes or salads not only provide essential fats but also calcium.


Sweet tooth needs special care

Your regular snack packs may have high amounts of added sugar. This can add to the empty calories while adding up to the cause of hyperactivity, mood disorder, obesity and type II diabetes in children. Avoid sugary beverages and sodas which have high amount of sugar. But you don’t have to BAN sweets. Make these sweets a special treat instead of a regular diet. If your kid has a sugar craving try to give them fruits which have plenty of natural sugars. Modify recipes with reduced amount of sugar, have more natural or unrefined sources for that sweetness. One can enjoy special treats but only check portion sizes. Cutting out sugar from your diet is not a healthy practice.


Fruits and Veggies are important

You might have heard, “add colors to your meal”. This is exactly what you need to do! Vegetables and fruits have antioxidants and phytochemicals necessary for immunity development. Fruit salad or homemade vegetable soups might be a good option for substituting a high caloric snack to a healthy alternative. If your kid leaves out vegetables in the plate, why not hide them in fried rice or macaroni or Bhel. SHRED, GRATE or BLEND and your kid will never know.


Regular physical activity

Do you find it difficult to make your child indulge in any physical activity? Easy access to mobile phones, online academic schedules and OTT platforms are leading to increased screen time and decreased physical activity. Limiting screen time is important and there may not be just one way. Encourage them to have sports persons as role models. Involve them in simple stretching while while watching television. When is the last time you played with your child? Make them learn your favorite childhood game.


Contributed by:

Harshita Negi

Student of Nutrition

Intern at Mrida


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