Importance of Nutrition in Raising a Healthy Child
Nutrition is important for all but it is more significant for a growing child. Read on to know how you can make your child enjoy nutritious food. There are various useful tips and guidelines that will help you develop good eating habits in your child.
Nutrition is important for all age groups of people. But when it comes to growth of children, it has great significance as it helps in nurturing and developing their internal as well as external systems. Above the age of five, children need special attention as these years are very demanding and it creates a base of lifelong health.
Young children need nourishing food along with plenty of water so that they get energy to grow, move along and learn new things. However, it is a difficult task to make children eat healthy food. The main reason behind is the TV commercials that present tempting fast food items in front of them. There are few things that are important for you, as a parent, to do. These tips will help your child develop a solid base of healthy lifestyle.
Role of Nutrition in Wholesome Development of Child
Childhood is the time when actual development of child's body takes place. Therefore, it is extremely important to make sure that the child eats right to support the growth and development of his body. In fact right nutrition also plays an important role in the development of child's intellect. Providing right kind of diet during exams can help child to score good marks in exams. Hence, right nutrition can help child to achieve more in life. Have a quick look at their per day calcium and calorie requirements.
Per Day Calorie Requirement
Between 0 to 23 months
900 for both genders
Between 2 to 3 years
1000 for both genders
Between 4 to 8 years
1400 for male child and 1200 for female child
Between 9 to 18 years
1800 for male child and 1600 for female child
Requirement Per Day
Between 1 to 3 years
Approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups of milk
Between 4 to 8 years
Approximately 2 1/2 to 3 cups of milk
Between 9 to 18 years
Approximately 3 1/2 to 4 cups of milk
How to Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Children have their own preferences when it comes to eating. The challenge for you is to make your healthy food appealing and tempting. For this there are some steps that you should take.
Analyze your child's taste. This is very important. This will give you an idea to what way should you present the food in front of your child so that he wants to eat that nutritious food.
Do not try to teach your child about nutrition when he is eating. Try to make the food according to his taste. For example, if you find that adding a little bit of tomato ketchup makes him like the food you can think different ways of adding it.
Children have great fascination for cartoon characters and want to become stronger and smarter like them. You can give their examples while offering him a plate full of nutritious food items.
If you have regular family meals, children will observe everyone eating and develop good eating habits.
If you cook meals at home it will help a lot to make the child like and prefer home made food items. Also, a mother can understand better what her child likes to eat.
Try to keep your refrigerator and your pantry full of nutritious things and avoid keeping calorie snacks.
When eating their meals, children should be allowed to choose what they want to eat. Keep a bit of variety on the dining table and observe what he does if he is left to choose what to eat. This will help you in next day's meal planning.
Do not ever bribe or award your child for eating well with chocolates or calorie cookies. This will spoil all your efforts.
Nutritious Food Vs Fast Food
Parents are aware that children need essential vitamins and minerals for healthy and proper development of their bones and growing muscles. Today, fast popularity and deep attraction for junk food or fast food has made most of the children obese. This in turn results in many kinds of diseases that were not seen in early age.
You need to make your child aware of the drawbacks that these junk foods have on their health. For this you need to include some steps in your day-to-day life.
Let the children decide the menu based on healthy food.
Do not completely ban fast food.
Make your child play outdoors especially in the morning sun for at least 15 – 20 minutes.
Make sure the child receives his daily nutrition completely.
If you follow the guidelines and help your child develop good eating habits at an early age, his life will be a healthy one. Good habits are taught at home and as soon as possible.
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- The Indiaparenting Team