We as parents are always worried – whether our child is showing proper growth pattern? Whether we are giving proper food to our children? What is good nutrition for child growth? Are we looking after our child well?
We often go through various growth charts to check if our child is growing properly or not. Moreover many times we start comparing the growth of our child with other children. Some children grow very fast, while others are late bloomers, so there is no need to compare our children with others.
Role of Parents
As parents we have important role to play for proper development of our child.
Develop proper habits
We must ensure that our child develops proper habits from the beginning. We should try to feed the baby at proper intervals as advised by the pediatrician. Gradually try to ensure that the child develops proper sleep pattern, and toilet habits too.
ensure proper NUTRITION
Follow the chart and advice given by the pediatrician or dietitian of the child. Generally, mother’s milk suffices for babies up to 6 months. After that gradually start giving lentil soup, rice starch, fruit juice and such light liquid feed to baby in addition to mother’s milk. After one year, the child can eat almost same food as the parents. Gradually, according to the capability of the child to chew the food properly, try to ensure that the child eats a variety of nutritious food at stipulated time.
Ensure proper physical and mental activity
Try to involve the child in age appropriate physical activities. With growing obesity in children it is necessary to develop interest in various activities that involve locomotive activities. Apart from that, in order to develop mental skills, play various games involving exercise of brain.
Proper nutrition for child growth
Nutritious and healthy diet is of utmost importance for the proper development of a child. There are amazing changes in a child during first year of life. Weight of child might triple in an year, and length may increase by about 10 inches. After first year, growth of a baby slows considerably, but the child keeps growing and developing slowly, sometimes in spurts till puberty. During these formative years a child needs proper dietary intake to stay healthy and grow properly.
As parents we should help our children to learn healthy eating habits. They need balanced diet, so that they have sufficient amount of minerals, proteins, and vitamins needed for their growth. They should eat food from all food groups — fruits and vegetables, food grains, milk or its alternatives, and meat or its alternatives. Ideally children should be given fresh, whole and unprocessed food. They should eat fresh fruits, freshly prepared home cooked food and take milk and dairy products, unless specified by a doctor.
Good nutrition for child growth. (Picture source)
Types of essential food items
Vegetables and Fruits:
These provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fibers. Try to include at least one dark green and one orange vegetable or fruit every day in their diet.
These are important source of carbohydrates that produce energy. Try to include whole grains in the food.
Milk and milk products:
These are source of calcium and vitamin D for bone growth. Apart from milk, other alternatives that can be included in the diet is soy and soy products.
Meat and legumes:
They are sources of protein and iron. Try to give variety of meat, fish, or poultry. Lentils (dals), beans, dried peas are important source of proteins.
Vegetarians and vegans should include butter, vegetables and legumes in such a way that they provide proper nutrition for child growth.
Try to give variety of food so that the child gets interested in eating healthy food. In fact if possible adjust the timings of your meals in such a way that you all sit together and have meals. This helps the child in inculcating good eating habits, and meal time becomes family bonding time as well. Make it possible for your child to eat independently. Cut large pieces into small and manageable pieces. Mash food to prevent choking for very young child. Do not worry if it seems that the child is not eating enough. If his/her weight and size is age appropriate, he is probably eating enough.
Sometimes despite all efforts the children do not grow according to their age. This may create anxiety in parents and inferiority complex in the child. You can try health supplements such as Horlicks Growth+ that is designed specially for children in age group of three to nine, who are lagging behind in height and weight. According to the company, it has been clinically proven to show visible growth in children within six months. It contains whey protein, and also contains essential amino acids, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Zinc that are important to help children catch up on height and weight.and provide good nutrition for child growth. It can be added to hot or cold milk, otherwise to hot or cold water and given to children as a supplement, in addition to regular meal of the child. It is not a replacement to regular meal.
- Please read all the details given on the product before using it. Use your discretion and consult the doctor about this product.
- The author is not a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. This article is written for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Content should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.