It is a must to include foods from all groups in the diet of children and provide them a balanced diet. Read on to learn more about the importance of a balanced diet.
A child should have well balanced diet to prevent him from infections and diseases. A balanced diet has all the nutrients required by a child in correct proportions for a healthy growth. Here is a guide on balanced diet.
What is a balanced diet?
A diet which contains all the nutrients e.g. energy, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals etc. required by a child for the proper maintenance of health and optimum growth is termed as a 'balanced diet'. Dals and beans have high contents of protein and a small amount of fat. Bread is rich in carbohydrates but poor in proteins.
What does the child need in his diet?
It is important that a child's diet should be both good in quality as well as adequate in quantity. If his diet is deficient in nutrients and energy, it can adversely affect his weight gain and body growth. The child's diet should supply him with proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in adequate quantities.
How do I provide a balanced diet?
Your child would receive a proper balanced diet if he eats a meal consisting of food items like: chapatis, bread, rice, breakfast cereals, maize, potatoes, dals, beans, poultry and meats, milk, cheese etc. It is important to mix various kinds of foods so that his requirements of nutrients would be met. It is important for you to ensure that your child eats food in adequate quantities. Considering a child's small appetite, it is advisable that his food should be rich in nutritive value and that he should eat more often during the course of the day.
What is anaemia?
Deficiency of iron in young children causes anaemia. Dark green vegetables and meats are rich in iron. Iron is also found in chapatis, breads, eggs, dals, nuts and beans.
What is the importance of a balanced diet?
Children who have a balanced diet do not cope with deficiency of nutrients. They grow in a healthy manner. Their height and weight increase at a stable and a normal rate. Such children are always alert and active. A balanced diet is also very important to help children do well in academics and extracurricular activities. When children get all the nutrients their focus and attention span is improved. They develop strong body and develop immunity to the common illnesses.
What are the effects of having a poor diet?
Poor diet can lead to deficiency of nutrients in children. Deficiency of nutrients can be responsible for the deficiency diseases. Such diseases can not only affect the physical health but also the emotional health of the children. Anaemia, scurvy and rickets are some of the examples of diseases that are caused due to deficiency of essential nutrients. Such diseases can also impact their academic performance.
Due to poor diet children may not get the nutrients that are essential for the proper growth and development of their brain. Vitamins and minerals are important for helping children develop a strong immune system. The lack of immunity boosting vitamins and minerals in the diet may cause children to fall ill frequently. Their bodies many not develop the right way because of the improper eating habits and poor diet.
Not only a balanced diet, but also it is important to have a proper eating routine for children. They must be given nutritious food from time-to-time. Along with a balanced diet children must also exercise regularly for staying healthy and fit.
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- The Indiaparenting Team