As a parent, you might be familiar with the struggle of making your fussy kid to have a spoon of healthy vegetables in dishes or to gulp down a glass of milk. But, at the end of the day, the nutritional needs of your baby are obviously a priority for you.
Nowadays, a child’s normal diet comprises of processed foods like biscuits, chocolates, candies, noodles, pizzas and burgers. This kind of foods harms the physical development of the kid at an early age, as they miss out important vitamins and nutrients.
A child’s diet plan should include four meals in a day, which should essentially be comprised of three food groups. The food groups consist of:
-Grains and cereals
-Fruits and Vegetables
Here we have listed out few essential nutrients your kids should eat:
Grains are an essential part of the meal. It offers nutrients and energy for the normal growth and development of a child. So, to include whole grains in your kid’s diet you can try high fibre varieties of bread, rice, pasta, noodles and oats.
Fruits and vegetables:
Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals and are also a good source of fibre. An ideal meal for kids should contain five portions of fruits and vegetables every day.
Fats and oil:
Fats and oil play an important role in brain development. Fat is used as fuel by the body and helps in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E and K. Eating the right amount of fat can provide the body with ample health benefits.
Milk and Dairy products:
Dairy products are an excellent source of Vitamin A, D, B1, B2 and B12 and are also a rich source of Calcium. It is very important to consume milk as a maximum bone growth is achieved during childhood. So, it is important to ensure that your child’s daily need for calcium should be met.
-Kids of age 2-3 years should drink 2 cups of milk daily
-Kids of age 4-8 should have 2 and a half cups of milk daily
-Kids of age 9 and older should have 3 cups of milk daily
Meat and beans:
Meat and beans are a rich source of proteins, Vitamin B12 and Iron, they play an important role in healthy eating. These nutrients are needed for a variety of functions in the body, therefore it is very important to include it in your kid’s diet.
An ideal sample meal plan for your kid:
A glass full of warm milk in the morning
Breakfast: Include more and more of whole grain foods like a sandwich made with whole grain bread slices, whole-wheat pasta, boiled egg with bread toast, poha with veggies, egg omelette with chapati wrap, milkshake with fruits and grains like oats or cornflakes etc.
Mid-morning snack: Include fruits in the mid-morning snack. You can make fruit salad and sprinkle some chat masala over it, or you can serve fruit salad with strawberry flavoured low-fat yoghurt.
Lunch: For lunch you can opt for either paratha or rice, coupling it with vegetables. And finish it off with a flavoured lassi.
Evening snack: Try to include dry fruits for evening snacking, you can even try veggies cutlet, rice flakes mixture etc. and pair it with fruit juice.
Dinner: Multigrain pulkas with dal fry
End the day with a glass of warm low-fat milk