Food and Nutrition

A study of food and the ways it works on the human body is Nutrition. Nutrition includes the elements that are in food like vitamins, fat and protein from fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products.
Children often have their own unique needs of nutrients and consuming those nutrients is vital for the growth of the child to grow up healthy and strong!
The below article will guide you with some ways of providing good nutritious food, to tackle the issues associated with your child and eating habits.
"balanced diet" Nine nutrients that every child should be getting on a daily basis:
Protein-Protein breaks down food into energy, fights infection, carries oxygen and helps a child's body build cells. Foods containing high levels of protein include:
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Dairy products
Carbohydrates- The current diet trend is to “leave the carbs out” they are the most important source of energy. carbohydrates help a child’s body to use fat and protein to build and repair tissues. They are in many forms however kids should consume more of starch and fiber and less of sugar. Foods containing high levels of carbohydrates are:
  • Breads
  • Cereals
  • Rice
  • Crackers
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes
Fats-Fats are a great source of energy to kids. They are simply stored in child's body.Foods containing high levels of fats are:
  • Whole-milk dairy products
  • Cooking oils
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Nuts
Calcium-Calcium is very important in the growth of bones and teeth in children. It also helps in clotting of blood and functioning of nerve, muscle and heart.Foods containing high levels of calcium are:
  • Milk
  • Cheeses
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Egg yolks
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Tofu
Iron-Iron builds healthy blood which carries oxygen to cells to the body. Foods containing high levels of iron are:
  • Red meats
  • Liver
  • Poultry
  • Shellfish
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Iron-fortified cereals
Folate-Folate, is important for healthy growth and development of child’s cells. Lack of folate causes anemia. Foods containing high levels of folate are:
  • Whole-grain cereals
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Black or kidney beans
  • Brussels sprouts
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Fiber-Fiber helps in good digestion and regulates the bowel movements in the child. Foods containing high levels of fiber are:
  • Whole-grain cereals
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Kidney beans
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
Vitamin A- helps in good growth of eyesight, keeps the skin healthy and works to prevent infections. Foods containing high levels of Vitamin A are:
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash
  • Apricots
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Fish oils
  • Egg yolks
Vitamin C- fights off common cold, holds body cells together, strengthens the walls of blood vessels, helps body heal wounds.it also important for building strong bones and teeth. Foods containing high levels of Vitamin C are:
  • Citrus fruits
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Melons
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Papayas
  • Mangos

Fussy Children

When you have a new born baby it's a delightful experience for the first few months of the baby’s life. Feeding the small baby is very easy and satisfying. A child is not at all discriminating about the diet until the age of one post which the child ceases to be an easy child and begins to become picky about the food. The child develops likes and dislikes with food and feeding gradually may become one of the toughest times with the child.

A child develops dietary preferences, as they begin to realize that they want to eat their own way in which they assert their independence. Teething may also be a reason for a poor baby’s appetite. A child’s appetite changes from day to day.

Feeding the Fussy Child

When it’s time to feed your child and you have a fussy baby then it's more often a testing time of the patience of mothers.
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Believe in your child’s instincts

As parents we must remember that from many centuries we have managed diets successfully until the recent times when we were informed about the do's and don'ts of nutrition.
Trusting your child’s instincts and giving your child some breather when it comes to eating always works best. Most parents get anxious and worry that poor eating in the child will cause nutritional deficiency and development issues. However, all children there is some inner mechanism which works best to ensure that they have a balanced diet. It’s very rare that because of poor eating children get vitamin deficiency or malnutrition.

Never force feeding the child

Mealtimes should be a pleasant time for the child that a child must be looking forward to. If the child dislikes the mealtimes, then it will become a battlefield. In this state parents become very anxious and frustrated and force their child to eat. In most cases compelling the child to forcefully eat gives rises to eating problems and worsens the situation as it reinforces the dislike for food by the child.
Parents should make an effort to make the child look forward to mealtimes for every time. Give the child wholesome food that the child likes for a few months so that the child can overcome dislikes of the food and be less tense about the mealtimes. Gradually when the child gets confident and comfortable with the food you can try to reintroduce the food that you may want your child to eat. However, remember to reintroduce it slowly.

Most favorite food -Junk Food

It’s more complicated when the child choses a diet consisting of only junk food. Do not make her eat something that the child hates to eat. Give the child what the child likes for a few months and once the trust is gained slowly introduce the healthy food. If the child has left the food untouched don’t make an issue about that. Try again with different food next time. This will take more time but as parents one should have patience and accept that the child needs a little more time to get on to track.

Appetite of a bird

If the child eats small servings, then allow her to eat that smaller quantity of food. When the child sees more food on the plate the child might be discouraged at the beginning of the meal time as the child might think that she will not be able to finish eating so much of food. Serve less food than what you expect her to eat. If she needs more she will ask for more.

Spoon-feeding

A child of the age group 3 and above should be able to eat on their own. If not, you should never spoon feed but try and get the child to eat on her own. It's commonly seen that when the child is a fussy eater parents often spoon feed the child and get into the habit of spoon feeding. The child considers this as an expression of love and concern from the parents. If you are spoon feeding the child you can wean the child off the habit by serving her favorite food and then stepping out of the room for some time, giving an opportunity for the child to start to pick up the food on her own and begin to eat. When to step back to the room you may still have to feed the child back, here you can casually tell the child that you think she can finish eating the food on her own and applaud the child for the achievement. This will motivate the child to often eat by herself.
If a child is used to spoon feeding and when the parents decide that the child should eat on its own and stop feeding the child, most children feel hurt, become offended and fussier. Parents often give in at this behavior and restart feeding the child. By this the child learns to manipulate the parents and it becomes a bigger issue in future to deal with.

Persuasive tactics

A child should be eating the food because the child is hungry and it wants the food not because the parent is giving the child a toy or gift or a story or some goodies for eating the food. It is not advisable to link eating with telling stories, taking their children outdoors to distract them while eating or bribing in order to get the child to eat. Parents should not cultivate this habit.

Skinny Kids

Unlike the overweight and obese child having a skinny child is also as much a matter of concern for parents. Some skinny kids have a genetic tendency of being skinny. When the child is underweight it is associated with fussy eating, as fussy eaters seldom have interest in food and eat less and be underweight.
Parents often think that the solution to this skinny child is to feed the child with more food. This may not necessarily be true but some children will gain weight with more food. Be it genetically or a fussy eater parents should consult the doctor before getting into the conclusion.
Below are some ways by which you can get the child eat more than what the child eating now:

Type of eater the child is

It is seen that a skinny child eats very little food in whatever meal they eat. You can have multiple meals throughout the day. The food that is given should include all the nutrition that is required for the child development. Do not skip any meals. If you have to go out at the time of the mealtime carry the meal with you.

Quality of food eaten by the child

It’s a wrong notion parents think that if the child is skinny and underweight it's ok to eat junk food to gain weight. Always make sure you allow the child to eat healthy and nutritious food. Junk food only adds unwanted calories and makes the child unhealthy fat. While the growing years of the child you should give the child minerals, proteins, vitamins with several other nutrients.

Away from deviations during mealtime

While getting the child to eat it is a tendency for the child to often deviate from the focus of eating, it’s a psychological factor of deviating from the primary focus. During mealtimes make a rule for the entire family to be present on the dining table and leave the table together. Don’t allow television, phones and video games while eating the food. This also becomes a part of disciplining the child.

Trick the Eyes

Parents can trick the eyes of a child in many ways. Serve the food in an adult plate where the food served will look a small quantity and eat it full. For liquids use a big glass and half-way full so that the child gets the required amount of food and nutrition for the development of the child With some extra patience, one can get the child to increase the diet little by little with some wholesome finger foods.

Making the kids eat those Veggies

Children all over the globe avoid vegetables. Often you can see children making faces at the dinner table when made to eat greens. Parents always wonder how children always fall prey to junk food despite being given a healthy diet. It’s becoming essential for mothers to cook up innovative dishes to ensure that their child is eating healthy. Vegetables require to be disguised by baking in cheese or stuffed in breads or etc.…
Here are some suggestions to disguise veggies in your child's snacks

Parathas

Stuffing vegetables in parathas is a great way of eating vegetables. Children will not really know that the paratha is made of veggies and very few would turn up their noses at them. Aloo, Cauliflower, peas, carrots, cabbage, fenugreek, beetroot, radish and spinach taste really good. Especially when they are accompanied by lip-smacking sauces.

Grilled Sandwich

Sandwiches are usually children’s favorite. Instead of putting butter or jams try sautéed vegetables like carrots, beans, onion, and capsicum. You can add a little soy sauce, salt and pepper filling with a spoonful of cheese for a mouthwatering grilled sandwich.

Pulao and khichdi

Variety of vegetables can be boiled and added with rice in the form of pulao and the most famous Indian dish khichdi added with pulses and vegetables.

Pizza

Pizza is loved by most of the children and many toppings can be used on a pizza. capsicum, carrots, spinach, mushrooms, spring onions, corn, tomatoes etc. adding with cheese you can disguise the vegetables. Do mix and match with trial and error and try new toppings to see what your child likes or rejects.

Flavoured rotis

Some children will have smaller stomachs and parathas will be heavy on the stomach. You can make flavoured roti’s by adding veggies in the flour while making the dough. Spinach, fenugreek, raw grated cabbage, dill, fenugreek or methi, mint or pudina can be mixed into the flour and made thin roti’s which are very good and healthy.

Chutneys

Delicious chutneys can be made with vegetables. Chutney made with tomatoes, onions, carrots, mint and Coconut based work good on health.

Children and Junk Food

JUNK FOOD! quick, tasty, fashionable, convenient and unhealthy. Read on to learn how children get into the habit of eating junk food and the harmful effects of consuming junk food on their health and psychology.

In today’s world where life is undergoing breathtaking changes continuously. Children find themselves in the middle of a complex society where relationships, lifestyles are transformed into new ways and food is no exception. Junk food has taken the place of healthy nutritious foods.

Reasons for Damaged Eating Habits in Children

A time for steady growth where good nutrition is a must is between the age of 6-12. Children must learn what they eat, how it affects their growth, how they feel and behave. Food skills have become a child’s basic education for good health and survival. Parents spend limited time with their children because of the upswings in household, work life, stress on exhausting commutes. Mothers have very limited time to pass on good eating habits. Traditional food skills like enjoying a meal together as a family are lost and have been forgotten. Food now is more a sustaining part of life than a nourishing factor. Additionally, the supermarkets and commercial TV advertisements propagate a wide variety of junk foods with attractive packaging that are very tempting for children.

Junk food on kid’s health

Junk food is attractive to kids for a variety of reasons like taste, price and convenience. Children are at the age that they do not understand the effects on health which come from eating junk food. regular eating of fattening junk food may be addictive in many children. Thus leading to issues like obesity, chronic illness, low self-esteem, affecting the performance in school and extracurricular activities. Poor eating causes slow growth, decay in teeth, promotes obesity.
Most junk food contains colors added in them which are nonedible, carcinogenic and harmful for the digestive system. Doctors advise children with learning disabilities to stop eating food with artificial coloring. Chocolates, colas, flavored drinks and snacks are full of artificial coloring.

Psychology effects of junk food in Children

Eating junk food not only has physiological effects it also has psychological effects.
Unhealthy food habits provide poor nutritional elements to children which in turn gives them a sense of starvation both physically and mentally. They will lack the strength that need to make friends, play games and participate in sports and interact with family to feel good about themselves. An essential Indian diet that includes vegetables, wholesome chapattis and pulses give a feeling of contentment which are the stem from Good Health. Intelligently coping with the dietary requirements to increase their self -esteem and further growth of the child.
Children suddenly have moved towards the world of fast food and vending machines. Foods and drinks like Wafers, colas, pizzas and burgers are unexpectedly the most important thing.This needs to change and parents need to know and educate children about the havoc junk food is having on a child health.

Negative Impact of Fast Foods on Children

The approach towards food has evolved over the years and the liking towards the fast food has drastically increased. Children are attracted towards burgers, pizzas and colas constantly. The love for junk food, lifestyle of people and advertising have led to an increase in the food joints. These foods have more calories than what children can burn. The consumption of junk food has long term negative effects on the health. Parents need to keep in mind all the negative effects before giving in to the child’s demands.

Obesity

Obesity is one of the most common impact of constant consumption of fast food. Obesity is caused due to the accumulation of more calories in the body than it burns. Children with obesity consume more fats, more sugars, carbohydrates and more calories and consume less fiber, fewer vegetables and fruits. The increased secretion of dopamine due to constant consumption of fast food increase in the child’s demand for more junk food.

Diabetes

Consuming more junk food is one of the major reason for diabetes in children. Soft drinks and sodas are very high in sugar where children are unable to break down the sugar in the body. Consuming sugar in excess contributes to unhealthy weight gain. When there is excessive weight gain from consuming these high calorie sugar food products it gives rise to childhood diabetes. Such children will have type 2 diabetes and unstable blood sugar levels later on in life.

Heart Problems

Consuming fast food constantly increases the saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium which are linked to several heart problems due to high fat and cholesterol in fast food. Children consuming more fast food may develop a risk of high blood pressure, heart diseases, high cholesterol, strokes and heart attack. It also causes increased body mass index, lower levels of good cholesterol, clogging of arteries, leading to serious damage on life.
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Illnesses

Eating junk food constantly provides less nutrition that the child requires for a healthy development causing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, prediabetes, bone and joint problems and sleep apnea. Increase in content of sugar due to junk food causes variations in a child’s blood sugar levels, making them irritable and sleepy most of the times. There are chances of risk involved for depression in children due to lack of antioxidants in their diet. If a child gets these during the childhood these physical conditions will go into the adulthood becoming a psychological and social problem in a child.

Poor Academic Performance

Consuming too much junk food gives high sugar content which decreases the energy levels and lessor concentration in children. Thus a child’s diet plays a significant role in child’s academic performance.

Lack of good nutrition

Junk food lacks in healthy fiber and vitamins. The artificial taste of junk food is addictive and replaces healthy foods. Children who consume junk food more often have nutrition deficiency.
Hence to give a child good mental and physical development parents should provide children a stomach full with a diet comprising of proteins, vitamins, healthy carbohydrates and fats, with low salt and sugar. Selecting from poultry, fish, vegetables, fruits, milk, dairy products and whole-grains to make up child’s daily diet.

Tips to feed picky eaters and underweight kids

Some kids both young and old have some food that they refuse to eat who are picky eaters due to which they become underweight. Find some tips to deal with picky eaters and how to deal with children who are underweight.
Feeding children can be very challenging from making tasty and healthy food to spending hours together in the kitchen to make a dish.
With picky eaters you may land up hearing ‘I will eat later’ ‘I am not hungry’, you will simply worry as they will remain hungry because of the stubbornness. Parents have to carefully tackle the situation irrespective of what kind of food the kid wants to eat. Many studies reveal that with 8-10 tries the child will begin to like the food you are trying to introduce. You can serve it as the side dish until they start liking it.
Tips to inculcate good eating habits in children:

Don’t make eating a competition by comparing

Parents often say “look at your friend he is eating those veggies why can’t you” this comparison between the child friend makes the mealtime like a competition and the child will begin to build in negative feelings towards the dish, even if the child liked the dish. Never compare your child with anyone and force your child to eat the food just because your child friend is eating it. Every child is different so give the child some time.

Try not to give options

During mealtimes you should try and avoid giving more options to eat. All family members should be served the same dish. No family member should be given special preferences in what they want to eat and have few healthy food items on the menu. If you are giving preferences in dishes that one of the family member wants, your child will learn from others hoping to get something of his choice to eat. So try to eliminate this. Your child should eat what everyone in the family eats.

Set an Example

Always set an example to your child. Kids learn from what they see. How are your own eating habits? Are you a fussy eater? It can be hereditary. It could be that you don’t like a certain vegetable or a dish, your child also may not like it. If your child notices that it is acceptable to not eat what is placed in front of you. The child comes to a conclusion that it is okay to have preferences for certain foods and to reject other food.

Active participation in planning and preparing Meals

Parents can begin to get their child participate in grocery shopping! You can give them a choice to pick the vegetable they think you should be cooking. By this they will know that they have a vegetable served for a mealtime. Allow kids to help you in preparing the meal, arrange the table, wash vegetables and fruits or anything to keep them involved in the activity. By this they will also learn to help and they will know what efforts goes into preparing a meal.

Food not a means for a reward or punishment

To get their kids to do something parents often use rewarding kids with chocolates or punish by withdrawing the favourite food. This behaviour should be avoided as food should never be used to shape a behaviour. These don’t work in the long run.

Avoid intake if drunks around mealtime

Many kids often drink liquids and fill their stomach during the mealtimes and refuse to eat. Drinking sodas and other juices can cause dehydrating and nutritionally not good. Hence drinking juices is not good before the mealtime.

Eat together, make mealtime fun time

Interest towards good food can be contagious. Adults are role models it’s is very essential that all family members eat together and display good dinning manners.
Make a mealtime fun filled time. Give a sheet of paper and few crayons to divert the attention to make the child look forward to mealtime. You can also read story books. Don’t focus all the time on force feeding the child may refuse to eat the food. Allow the child to have freedom to choose the food and the quantity. Serve in colourful dishes, cut different shapes and sizes arrange in creative pattern may interest the child in food.

Take into account their appetite

When the child says he is not hungry believe in it, do not force him to eat. It’s ok for the child to sleep on an empty stomach if the child does want to eat. When the child says he is not hungry forcing, threatening or bribing will kick star power struggle as the child will realize that if he refuses not to eat not only he gets the undivided attention but also more leverage to ask for his favourite food. Offer a snack in the same food after a little time if he wants to eat. The child will start to respect his own appetite and ask for meals without struggle.
Always remember to be patient and firm with the child to get him to eat what is prepared and is healthy. Even if the child has skipped a meal don’t offer any kind of food outside the routine and stick to a daily routine.
Picky or fussy eating habits don’t change overnight, slowly and steadily work towards the goal that can ensure the child grows up with healthy and lifelong healthy eating habits!

Tips to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Today you get to see many parents worried about obesity in their child. Obesity can cause serious health concern in children. Its best to deal with it before it’s too late. Take a look at few tips to avoid childhood obesity in children. Having a balance in life is the key to healthy living and there is a need to bring awareness on protecting children from the unhealthy food. Parents should always remember that the habit you inculcate in the child in a tender age will be for life.
A guide to prevent childhood Obesity. Its best to start early to guide the child to stay away from the numerous health issues prevailing these days.

Healthy eating habits in children

A child starts developing the eating habit right from the time you introduce solid foods.so when you start introducing good healthy food remain consistent throughout. Watch out for the portion of the food served to the child. Cultivate the habit of eating fresh fruits and vegetables regularly. Encourage the child to drink lots of water. Limit the use of salt and sugar, avoid all unhealthy foods such as sodas, carbonated drinks, chips and bakery products.

Sufficient rest in children

Getting sufficient and good amount of rest is one of the most important factor along with eating a healthy and nutritious diet for children. Research show that children who do not sleep well with the required amount of sleep often have the tendency to be overweight. So ensure you get the child to gets the recommended hours of sleep for the age.

Outdoor Physical Activities

Playing at least 1 hour in an outdoor activity is very essential for the child on a daily basis. Encourage the child play in the playground, swimming, bicycling or any other activity in which your child is interested in.

Be a Role Model

The prime most important step to prevent childhood obesity is by preparing, serving and eating healthy food at home. Children often follow what they see and observe what their parents do relatively than what their parents ask them to do.
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Let the child make some healthy decisions in life

Encourage the child to understand why it is important to eat healthy and inculcate healthy eating habits. When you involve the child in planning and preparing food make a big difference.

Educate and warn the child about the harmful effects of unhealthy eating

Educating the child about the harmful effects of unhealthy eating is extremely important if your child is adolescent. Teach the child that drinking sodas and carbonated drinks are high in sugar content that may cause serious health issues. And food like chips, pizza, burgers are all high on fats causing heart related problems.
If your child is overweight avoid teasing the child. Additionally, let the child know that you are there for her support and will help. Motivation and support can encourage your child to follow good eating habits.

Causes of Weight Problems in Children

Various factors cause a child face problems related to weight.

In the recent study children with weight and obesity problems have become a matter of great concern. If this is not controlled from the very beginning they will cause many health related serious issues and diseases. Consuming foods with low nutritive values, inadequate calorie intake and overeating without burning those calories cause obesity and overweight. Various factors cause overweight and obesity. Some of which are discussed below.

Poor Diet

Nagging while eating is very common in children. It is very essential that parents ensure that the child is getting proper diet. A paediatrician can be of help in giving a proper diet chart for your kid. Foods with high calorie should be avoided and foods with a higher nutrient content should be added to the diet of the child. All junk food should be avoided as much as possible.

Heredity

Family history plays an important role in child’s physique. A family with most members who are obese may not have a normal or thin body type for the child.

Convenience Foods

With the busy schedule of work and home most parents depend on convenience foods for their children. canned, frozen, instant are few categorise of food which are the culprits of weight problems. These foods are zero in their nutrient values but are very tasty and parents choose to offer these to their children to keep then happy that they don’t create much fuss. Every time the child is hungry parents hand over a snack which is unhealthy. These foods are very tasty and kids always overeat thus causing obesity. Parents don’t understand the health hazard that these foods will cause in the coming years.

No Physical Activity

Nowadays children spend most of their time in virtual world of computers, tablets, mobile phones and video games. Playing outside in playgrounds and outdoor activities are limited. As a result, this is causing weight gain in kids.
Parents should take initiative to provide opportunities for their children to get some physical activities to help them maintain healthy mind that is essential for a child’s growth.

Psychological Factors

When children are in depression they tend to eat more than the required quantity. During the growing years its very common to be depressed and due to boredom children tend to eat more than usual and become obese. It is the responsibility of the parents to release that they have to provide a healthy and stress free environment for a healthy life.

Guiding children to deal with and prevent obesity

Parents should set up a good nutritional habits in children while they are maturing emotionally and physical so that it can be in them for future as well. A child’s health and their weight has been brought into lot of attention in the recent studies. When a child is clinically overweight or obese parents find it extremely difficult to guide them to lose weight. It is very important to help your child understand the importance of having a healthy body for better life. Here are few tips.

What is healthy eating habits

There are no set rules to follow a healthy eating. Below are few tips to guide to help you provide your child and family healthy eating habits.
  • Serve plenty of vegetables, whole grain food and fruits to your family.
  • Closely watch out for the portions that your serving. limit to a reasonably sized portion.
  • Choose low fat or no fat options available in the market for dairy products.
  • Use oil and sugar in a limited or balanced way during preparation of food.
  • Make sure all family members consume standard amount of drinking water daily.
  • Avoid consumption of tinned and packed food as much as you can.
  • Minimize eating outside.
  • Minimize sweetened and carbonated beverages.

Tastier Healthy Food dishes

Despite taking care of limitations one can make the healthy food items tastier so that your child enjoys eating. Making few changes in the meals you prepare in a little different and tastier way may make the children satisfy their taste buds and also lose some weight with healthy food.

Avoid Unhealthy Food

If your child is overweight and you are helping the child to lose some weight then at present you cannot eat unhealthy food. One can enjoy everything in moderation. Offer healthy foods as a choice rather than calorie-rich foods, high fat and high sugar food items. This does not mean that you just can’t eat a bite of your cravings, you can allow sometimes.

More Physical Activities

Vigorous physical activity or a sport will help the child reduce fat and weight quickly. Hence encourage the child to enjoy physical activities or dance which will make them feel energetic and feel better with physical activities.

What Should a Parent Do?

Parents play an important role in all aspects of life. If your child is obese, parents should balance the intake of calories through food and drinks. Along with the food the kids also need to get some physical activities in order to burn those extra calories and maintain normal growth. Restriction is not the only way to stop overweight, you should remember that your child needs to grow normally.
You can also get guidance from a health care provider for ways to reduce the child’s weight.

Help Children Develop Healthy Eating Habits

In the growing years children need adequate and healthy amount of calories for good development and growth. Parents should enable the child to learn healthy eating habits. Prepare their favorite dishes in the healthiest way possible way.

The Balanced Diet- A Good Breakfast

Breakfast is one of the most important meal. It means breaking an overnight fast. If the child starts the day with well-balanced meal which can make a difference in health and academic performance. Research show that a child who begins the day with a balanced meal can make a difference in health and academic performance. Children who eat breakfast perform better in school, more energetic, have better concentration, perform better in academics. It is also seen that they have fewer behavior problems.
If you eat a good breakfast like Fruits, cereal,egg omlettes, yogurt which are healthy ,it sets a good beginning with great energy levels.
Not eating breakfast causes many health issues like: -

Memory

Children who start the day with healthy breakfast and wake up at the same time every morning is to be physically active, have sharper memory and reflexes than those who skip breakfast.

Metabolism

Metabolism increases with consuming heavy breakfast, by this you will burn more calories.

Fatigue

Eating a healthy breakfast gives a relief from fatigue and more renewed energy to cope with the school, play and relationship at home.

Immunity

It boots immunity and improves health in a long term.

Bowel Movement

A good healthy breakfast helps in regulating bowels which helps is overall health

Heart Attack

Not but the least Heart Attacks. Many studies and statistics have shown that blood clotting cells are stickier in the morning before breakfast hence most heart attacks occur during morning. People who eat a wholesome breakfast have less chances of early death.
Reap the benefits of good health for lifetime by inculcating good healthy eating habits for a long and better health.

Feeding mistakes often done by parents

Feeding is one the most challenging times for a parent and feeding difficulties in children are evident when it is prolonged mealtimes, refusal of food, stressful mealtimes. These are some of the factors which are responsible for development of poor appetite in children which leads to unhealthy eating habits in children. With so much information on child nutrition it’s expected that parents are so confused on the nutrition factor that it is easy to learn about a few common feeding mistakes which are done by parents. These mistakes done in the formative years of childhood give rise to problems in adulthood.
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Force feeding

Forcing a child to eat does not help in children. Force feeding a child makes the child hate mealtimes and gradually develop dislike towards food. Force feeding always reduces appetite. Avoid as much fuss as you can when your child refuses to eat any dish. Approaching it in a positive attitude can give you better results.

Portions served

Most parents think big portions of food means good health and good growth. Nutritionists say that over feeding leads to digestive problems and lack of appetite which in turn leads to unhealthy weight gain and lack in nutrition. If a parent wants to serve the children with snacks, then that can be before mealtime. You can inform the child that the child can eat till the stomach is full and don’t pressure them to finish the plate.

Food Choices made by the child are ignored

Parents often ignore that some food that they make can be disliked by your child or may find it too salty or spicy to eat. Give them that preference of having their food in line with their taste buds than adults.

Be little considerate when your kids tell you that they do not like eating a specific food. When you show that you care they will also reciprocate with good appetite and love.

Giving Up Fast

When a child is introduced to food the child is prone to refuse it or dislike and have a liking towards changing food preferences. Rejecting food should not be assumed as the banning of the food item from the meal then it should be reintroduced after a few days again.

Nutritionists say for a food to be accepted a minimum of 20 exposures is the ideal for fostering the acceptance of that particular food. Approach the child with the positive way allowing the child to play around with food as this is the best way to get it accepted and eaten.

Providing Unsuitable Snacks

Parents often give snacks in between thinking that is a healthy way to provide nourishment to the child however they don’t realize that is the big feeding mistake that they are doing.

Cookies, cola and pastries are unhealthy snacks that become an addiction which are high in sugar and fat content then it will be very difficult to wean them away. Avoid giving unhealthy food.

Nutritional Deficiencies in Kids

Child rearing is indeed one of the most challenging aspects of one’s life. Often every parent put in their best efforts in providing good food to their children. In Spite of that some children suffer from nutritional deficiencies. There are few signs of deficiencies that may look normal but just to make sure that they are not symptoms showing any deficiency in the child.
  1. Frequent illness
    Children fall sick often due to low immune systems. Providing food which has all nutrients required for a healthy development of the child can reduce the episodes of being sick and improve the immune system. Try to use traditional ways of cooking and choices of foods.
  2. Mental Weaknesses
    Anxiety and depression in the brain among kids causes mental weakness which are due to nutritional deficiency. Amino acids are important for the right functioning of the brain, giving the child more protein will help in mental weakness.
  3. Restlessness
    Children are sometimes hyperactive and restless which can be a sign of poor digestion thus making it harder for the body to absorb nutrients. Some research found that using food color can cause restlessness in kids. Processed food should be avoided as this causes hyperactivity. Foods like papaya, yogurt and fiber rich food which help in digestion might also help.
  4. Obesity
    Obesity can be due to nutritional deficiency as not eating proper food increases unhealthy weight. Children are satisfied when they eat properly balanced food. Foods that include animal products, milk, butter, cheese, fruits, vegetables and properly prepared grains will help in good development.
  5. Dry Skin or Hair
    Deficiency in Vitamin A, D, E and K2 have dry skin and hair that shows that your child is vitamin deficient. You can give the child some supplements or high quality fat soluble diet to improve the child's skin and hair.
  6. Speech Problems
    Delayed speech can be a heredity but if it’s not then it indicates that the child may be having Vitamin B12 deficiency. Food foods like dairy products, eggs, pork, fish, chicken meats may help in speech problems.
Skin Care for Newborn
  • 7. Crowded Teeth
    Crowding of teeth is usually related to heredity but this occurs due to nutritional deficiency. This can be due to improper dental spacing and consumption of more processed food. Giving food with rich fats, animal protein and properly cooked carbohydrates can give good spacing in teeth.
  • 8. Dental Cavities
    Children who lack in consuming minerals and fat soluble vitamins develop cavities. It is not because of consuming excess sugary products or candies.
  • 9. Reduced Energy Level and Unclear Brain
    Iron deficiency in children gets tired easily and also gets sick and has an unclear brain. Give foods like meats, nuts, seeds, vegetables, legumes and dried fruits which help in iron deficiency in a child.
  • 10. Pain in Legs
    Calcium deficiency slows down the development of the child’s body and causes body pain. Also you can add calcium rich food items in the diet on a daily basis.

What can I do to Improve my Child’s Health?

Having perfect health in a child and wellness through natural and healthy eating habits can develop a child’s health. Along with eating healthy children should also have outdoor activities that will enable a child to have good sleep and a better lifestyle. Various factors contribute to a child’s health, one must ensure to keep away processed food and provide real and traditional foods so that the child’s nutritional levels are satisfied also. Try to prepare food at home and make it nutrient-rich and delicious. Supplements are back-ups and there is no substitute to a real whole food diet. Nutritional deficiency can obstruct sufficient growth and development in a child and have a significant effect on her overall health.
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