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Watch what your child is eating
Last Updated : Apr 29,2017
WATCH WHAT YOUR CHILD IS EATING!
Busy mothers tend not to pay much attention to their child’s diet. Here a few pointers on how to ensure children are getting the required amount of nutrients from their food…
Given their way, kids would love to grow up on a diet of junk food, chocolates and comics. As a parent, you’re concerned about more important things in life. Like what to cook for dinner.
Come evening and most of us are faced with the eternal dilemma: “What shall I cook for dinner?” Cooking healthy and nutritionally balanced meals is not a priority by the end of the day, and we may dismiss the thought as too cumbersome or too time-consuming. It need not be so! It is up to us as caring parents to ensure that while we do not impose extremes on our children’s eating habits, we provide them with tasty and nutritious meals that are good for them.
Remember, you cannot change your family’s habits overnight. While the family diet should be nutritionally sound, it should also fit in with your present way of life, and be enjoyable and easy for you and your family to live with.
GOOD NUTRITION FOR CHILDREN
Good health does depend on good nutrition – and that should start right from an early age. Children have two special needs:
FOOD FOR GROWTH
This is vital for your child’s proper growth for the following reasons:
It is required for the formation of new bone cells and their growth.
Any damage to the bone cell or tissue is repaired and maintained by protein.
It helps make haemoglobin, which carries oxygen and other nutrients throughout our body.
It provides energy when carbohydrates and fat are deficient.
Protein is found in foods like milk and milk products like curds, paneer, and cheese, non-vegetarian foods, eggs, cereals, pulses, dals and nuts. Giving a growing child just a single source of protein will have no effect; it is advisable to provide a combination of foods, such as milk and a cereal to make porridge, or rice and dal in khichdi.
This is a mineral that help build and strengthen bones and teeth. During childhood there is a rapid formation of new bone cells and teeth enamel. When new cells are formed, calcium starts depositing on them thereby making them firmer and stronger. Hence, give your child the required amount of calcium by including milk and milk products like curds, cheese and paneer, leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek, cauliflower, broccoli, sesame seeds, nachni, asparagus, pulses like soya beans, moong, matki, sprouts etc.
OTHER NUTRIENTS THAT AID IN THE GROWING YEARS
Vitamin C :
Aids calcium absorption from foods.
Maintains healthy bones, teeth and blood vessels.
Promotes healing of wounds and broken bones.
Include plenty of fresh fruits like oranges, sweet lime, pineapple, guava, amla and vegetables like capsicum, cabbage, broccoli and sprouts to ensure your child gets the required amount of vitamin C.
Works with calcium to build strong bones and teeth by making it available to bone cells.
Helps in bone metabolism process.
Enhances calcium absorption.
Aids in strengthening of bones and teeth.
Keep muscles supple.
Vitamin D is found in most non-vegetarian foods. However, our body can make its own Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, so ensure that your child is exposed to sunlight early in the morning.
• Helps in growth and development of bones.
Eating a well balanced diet comprising all the five food groups is enough to provide your child the necessary nutrients like phosphorous and magnesium.
FOOD FOR ENERGY
Carbohydrates, fats and protein are the three sources of energy for children. The need for energy foods is determined by a child’s rate of metabolism, rate of growth and how active he or she is. It is not unusual therefore for children of a similar age to have different energy food requirements. If children are particularly active and their energy food intake is inadequate, it can affect their growth because they don’t have enough nutrients to meet both energy and growth needs.
Carbohydrate – the energy giver
Of all the nutrients that a child should consume, carbohydrates are the most vital because:
They provide a steady supply of energy for both mind and body.
They prevent the protein from being used up for energy, allowing it to be used for the major role of tissue growth and maintenance.
So which type of carbohydrates should you give you child and how much?
There are two major types of carbohydrates in foods: simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates: Foods like table sugar, honey, glucose, refined sugars, milk and fruits (mangoes, chickoo, banana, etc.) are sources of simple carbohydrates (sugars). Too much intake of simple sugars is not good for kids; however sources like milk and fruits are better choices as they also contain vitamins, fibre and minerals.
Complex carbohydrates: These includes starches, i.e., cereals like wheat, brown rice, oats, rice, jowar, bajra, refined flour (maida) and their products like pasta, noodles, biscuits, bread, etc. Refined flour and its products are devoid of fibre hence it is advisable to restrict its intake. Instead include more whole grains and cereals in the diet as they help curb the intake of unnecessary calories (a major cause of childhood obesity), prevent tooth decay, and help introduce children to a variety of foods.
Fat – a concentrated source of energy
To meet your child’s increased calorie requirements, carbohydrates alone may not help. Fat too are needed, for the following reasons:
Fat is an important nutrient that provides ample energy, i.e., 9 kcal per gm.
It helps in the absorption and utilisation of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K.
It insulates your child’s body from cold, and provide cushioning and protection to vital organs.
It also helps to keep your child’s immune system functioning at its best.
How should I give fat to my child and does quantity matter?
Fat and oils play an important role in food preparation by enhancing food flavour, improving texture, and making the food palatable. No kid will ever say ‘no’ to food like French fries, chips, or deep fried tikkis but it is your duty as a parent to restrict this. Give your child some healthy fatty foods. Try Paneer Tikka, Hummus and Tomato Onion Raita
Along with a balanced diet, your child’s daily routine should also include plenty of play time. Even the healthiest foods can be stored as fat if your child’s day is all work and no play, turning him or her into a couch potato. Hence physical exercise helps children to be active throughout the day, improve coordination, grow tall, and eat better.
Here are 10 healthy recipes for kids.
Watch What Your Child Is Eating
Tikkas are authentic Punjabi
snacks that are prepared in the tandoor. A tikka is basically any vegetable, paneer or meat marinated in a highly flavourful seasoning and grilled to perfection.
Here large chunks of paneer have been marinated in tangy marinade made of curds, chaat masala, kasuri methi, ginger and garlic and then cooked in the oven
. Paneer tikka can be eaten as is with some chutney
or can be rolled into a rotis
and served as a Punjabi roll.
This refreshing drink has a nice texture, which is quite unlike any juice you have ever had before.
Coconut Water with Coconut Meat has a pulpy texture, and when served chilled, it tingles your taste buds with the mildly-sweet but electrifying flavour, which is unique to coconut water.
Chill the coconut water earlier, but blend the drink just before serving. Do not blend it and then refrigerate because it will lose its fresh taste and texture.
Some Filling Snacks
and a glass of Coconut Water with Coconut Meat is enough to recharge you after a tiring day.
A mellow combination of fruits makes this a pleasant and soothing smoothie that will rejuvenate you on even the worst of days.
Both pear and papaya are easily available fruits, so you can make this any time. Curd gives the smoothie a nice tang, while papaya gives it a vibrant colour and volume. Pear, on the other hand, gives a juicy sweetness to the smoothie.
Enjoy the Papaya, Pear and Yoghurt Smoothie immediately after preparation to enjoy its fresh taste and creamy mouth-feel.
It is a nice way to include papayas in your breakfast
. You will also relish other papaya based smoothies like the Papaya and Green Apple Smoothie
and the Papaya Mango Smoothie
Many consider red millet as an ideal food not just for elders but for growing kids too. It has a very balanced set of nutrients, and if prepared well it is very tasty too! the nachni and onion roti is an intelligent way of incorporating ragi in your diet in a way that appeals to all. Flavoured aptly with onions, coriander and green chillies, this roti tastes delicious if served hot right off the tava.
What makes this Indian cottage cheese preparation very special is the use of two onion pastes. One is a mixture of cooked onions with cashews, which imparts a unique creaminess to the Paneer Pasanda; and the other is a brown onion paste, which imparts a very rich and intense flavour to it. Ideal to be served at parties, the Paneer Pasanda is a wonderful accompaniment for all types of Indian breads as well as rice, especially the mildly flavoured ones.
This mouth-watering starter is made by grilling succulent mushrooms coated with butter, garlic and dill.
As the mushrooms cook, a very appetizing aroma arises from the grill pan – it’s buttery, garlicky and herby – so tempting that you cannot wait to taste it!
Grilled Mushrooms in Garlic and Dill is a fabulous starter
, which all your guests will love. You can also make it in the weekend for your family to enjoy.
Try other mushroom recipes like Sizzling Mushrooms
and Mushrooms Mushrooms Stuffed with Paneer
What a delightful snack to behold – and to bite into! The Malai Paneer Dill Balls is a dainty cold starter, made by coating succulent balls of paneer with finely chopped dill leaves.
The melt-in-the-mouth texture of malai paneer together with the irresistible taste of dill leaves, which is absorbed well by the paneer, make this a super-duper treat to the palate.
The dill leaves must be chopped very finely so that it coats the paneer evenly. The vibrant green of dill looks really awesome against the white background of paneer. Packed with good fat, this dish can be enjoyed as a snack or starter
Malai Paneer Dill Balls can be eaten immediately or stored in an air-tight container for seven days.
Homely and quick, this is a no-fuss recipe that you can make on any day. It is made with everyday ingredients and the all-time favourite vegetable bhindi. And most importantly, it tastes awesome!
Try serving it to your family and nobody will believe that it was so easy and quick. The Stir-Fried Bhindi with Peanuts has the rich flavour of bhindi, enhanced with the crunch of onions and the tang of tomatoes.
A garnish of roasted and crushed peanuts imparts a fabulous taste and texture to the bhindi, making it quite unique. Serve hot with phulka
Bhindi Do Pyaza
, Bhindi Mappas Stuffed Bhindi with Paneer
and Bhindi Sambhariya
are a few more exciting bhindi sabzi recipes.
Salads are an essential part of the meal, they are like a booster dose providing a burst of nutrients.
Here, the Paneer aur Hare Chane ka Salad provides a protein top-up for those who wish to make up lost muscle mass, maybe while recuperating from an illness or injury.
This low-cal salad also brings with it a good dose of fibre
and vitamin A
. For best results, use fresh hara chana when in season.
One of the most popular raitas in both North and South India, the Tomato Onion Raita combines the tangy taste of tomatoes with the sharp taste and juicy crunch of onions, to make a fabulous raita. A dash of cumin seeds powder, some green chillies and a garnish of coriander go a long way in making this raita totally irresistible. The South Indian variant includes a tempering of mustard seeds and red chillies, for a bit more spice! Enjoy this flavoursome raita with your favourite pulao, paratha or khichdi.
Hummus, the famous traditional Lebanese
spread, has a creamy chickpea texture. It tastes fantastic when served as apart of a mezze platter with Pita Bread
Hummus has a unique flavour of chickpea, olive oil and parsley. Very healthy to eat just with cucumbers or carrots and great for weight loss and Endurance Athletes
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