Pile on nutrition on your child's plate and make it look yummy yet healthy, say experts.
Sujetha Shetty, nutritionist and diet expert at online fitness platform Gympik, and Gulneer Puri, dietician at tele-medicine platform Doctor Insta, suggests how
» Grains: Choose whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa or brown bread. Whole grains are good sources of Vitamin B and fiber which fill your child's tummy and help improving digestion.
» Protein: Proteins are the building blocks which are important for maintaining and repairing tissues, making haemoglobin, improving immunity, and helping muscles grow. The sources of protein include seafood, eggs, lean meat and poultry, legumes, peas, beans, soy products, unsalted nuts and seeds.
» Fruits: Including fruits and vegetables in your child's diet is one of the major difficulties you might have already faced. Encourage your child to eat a variety of fresh fruits. Let fruit juice be the last option as the juice takes out the fiber that comes from the whole fruit. Also, fruit juices come with loads of added sugar that only contribute to empty calories sans nutrition. If your child drinks juice, make sure you make it at home without adding sugar.
» Vegetables: Serve a variety of fresh, colorful, seasonally and locally available vegetables. Aim to provide a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy and others every week. It's difficult to convince children to binge on vegetables as they require a lot of munching and they lack tongue tingling taste.
» Dairy: Include low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese or fortified soy beverages in your child's diet. Try some innovative ideas and recipes to incorporate dairy in their diet as these are some of rich sources of calcium which is essential for better bone health.
What to avoid
» Added sugar: Help your children get habituated to natural foods and beverages. Limit their consumption of processed foods, chocolates, bars, breakfast cereals and candies that contain corn syrup, brown sugar, corn sweetener and caramel.
» Saturated and trans fats: These are the unhealthy fats that come from foods such as full-fat dairy products, red meat and poultry. Try replacing saturated fats with Vitamin E and essential fatty acids that are found in vegetable and nut oils, sea foods etc. Healthier fats can also be found in nuts, olives and avocados. Avoid the consumption of trans fats by removing foods containing partially hydrogenated oil.
Summer is the time when children go out in the scorching heat to play. Make sure that children don't skip their meals in between fun and feel hydrated. In order to prevent that, concentrate on giving those certain foods which have a cooling effect on the stomach like watermelon, curd, mint and Gulkand.