No matter how much I harp about mom’s fitness, mom’s should travel, have a life etc, the fact of the matter remains that we (me too) are all moms first. I know for sure that it is only when our babies lives are sorted that we will start to think about ourselves. So many moms have requested me time and again for proper nutrition information for their kids. Many like me, are unsure and unclear of what is a balanced meal for our kids and I am yet to get my hands on a good nutrition information for kids. Yes, we all know that the above mentioned 5-6 food groups are important but we get confused on which food contains what food group.
LET’S UNDERSTAND THE PILLARS OF NUTRITION
MORNINGS ARE PRECIOUS!!
When the child gets up in the morning first thing we should feed him is fruit . Fruit contains important vitamins needed by a child and if taken on an empty stomach, it is absorbed fast and helps in fulfilling any vitamin deficiency. To start the day with an uncooked meal helps the child to fight against any infection. Along with fruit you can give him soaked nuts as almond are high in calcium, walnuts are best for his brain and some raisins will take care of his iron content. So a handful mix of these nuts will be great.
[note avoid banana in the morning first thing : Some kids can develop cough and cold by cosnuming a banana first thing in the morning].
Breakfast is the important meal of the day — many mothers are unable to feed their child healthy breakfast and they go to school with a just a glass of milk at times. If your child will only consume milk he will not be able to concentrate in studies in school as he will become hungry in an almost an hour when the milk gets digested. Most importantly, your child will slow down his/her metabolism which will lead to obesity in future. So, as a habit, include rich breakfast that is high in carbohydrate and proteins . Proteins will satiate his appetite and he will concentrate in studies.
Some Indian breakfast options are — paneer parantha, besan thepla, moong dosa, stuffed roti, egg parantha, veg dalia, veg dosa , paneer potato cultlet, soya flour dosa, oats idli, veg idli, veg upma, moong chilla, besan chilla.
Some Continental options are: vegetable wheat sandwich, cheese omelette, vegetable wheat pasta, wheat pancake etc.
WHAT TO PACK IN THE TIFFIN?
Mid morning meal can be light like a whole fruit or if possible best is veg juice or fruit juice. Vegetable juice of carrot and beet is best for vitamin-A and iron which will take care of his/her eye vision. It is best to include this from childhood in their diet, as it will help them in future. Fruit juice like sweet lime , orange will help the child to increase his immunity level and fight against any infection. They are highly rich in vitamin-C. But since the kids will be in school this time. It’s best to pack them a whole fruit. Don’t cut or peel the fruit to avoid oxidisation.
Lunch will include a complete meal of roti/bread or rice [ carbs] with seasonal vegetables and dal/paneer/non-veg/chick peas/soya i.e proteins. Try to include vegetable raita like cucumber raita, bathua raita, carrot raita, bottle gourds raita or you can eat yogurt. The more vegetable you include the healthier your child will be, as it will add vitamins in your child’s diet. If your child doesn’t like vegetables, you can use the juice of vegetables like bottle gourd, carrot, spinach to prepare a dough and make bread/chappatis /Parathas with it .
Note: Protein should be given to a child in all the meals as it builds new cells, helps in growth(height & weight), fulfills all deficiencies in the body. The child gains strength only with proteins.
MID EVENING SNACK
Milk is best option as it will fulfill his calcium requirements. Do not add sugar in milk, if at all required you can add some honey. You can also give him light snack before going to play with it .
Tip:[ to make milk calcium rich, make a powder of white sesame(til) and add in your child milk half teaspoon everyday ]
PRE DINNER/ SUPPER
Evening supper meal should include some vegetable soup and it should be different all days so that child gets all the nutrients. Intially, your child may not like the soup so try different vegetables and flavours. Identify his likes and dislikes. Soup has to be homemade for ensuring nutrition. He may not like it for first few days but if you will continue for a few days he will develop a taste for it. As we all know every habit takes about two weeks to form.
Dinner is last meal of the day so make him eat early as 7.30 pm and include carbohydrates like bread/roti/rice (include brown rice as its high in calcium iron) and dal/paneer/non-vegetarian food and vegetables.
If possible, add some herbs of special quality in your childs diet. All of these herbs will make your child digestion strong, increase his immunity and will work as a nector for your child’s life;
- Tulsi (holy basil)- 1 leaf daily ( increases immunity in the body)
- Amla(Indian Gooseberry)- 1 tsp juice (It absorbs more nutrients which are good for hair, skin and eyes)
- Coconut water – 1 daily (rich in nutrients)
- Honey – 1 tsp daily (Purest form of carbohydrate, gives instant energy)
Hope we have helped you out some bit here. We are also supplying a week long diet chart, with meal options that will be mailed to you if you subscribe to the blog. Bookmark us, we will keep getting back with more and more stuff for you guys.
Note: This article is contributed by;
With over 7 years of experience, Vidusha Prashar is a highly regarded Nutritionist and Dietician in Delhi and Mumbai. Best known for her scientifically designed program based on “Nutri-Genetics” i.e. the study of nutrition based on the genetic makeup (Prakriti) of an individual.
Having previously worked with top hospitals and dieticians, Vidusha is now based in Delhi and runs her private practice. Throughout her career, she has maintained a high profile working with Escorts Heart Institute and a list of elite clientele. For consultation and more information you can head to her site .