The number one worry of all mothers universally is – “Has my child eaten enough?” This is irrespective of how old the child is. Once you are a mother, your prime concern becomes making your child eat properly. I am very sure most moms out there go through that "last morsel" syndrome. “Just this last spoon” is a common statement heard again and again. It is not just the quantity of food. Every mom wants the best for her kid. What goes into the mouth is important too. Once the baby crosses the 6 month milestone, he/she begins his journey into the food world. And the mom worries start. How to make sure my baby eats fine and follows a healthy, balanced diet?
One quick tip - start young. Right from the weaning days, include lots of veggies and fruits. Puréed apples, bananas, papaya, carrots, are all healthy weaning foods. As the baby grows, slowly include rice, chapatti, daal into their foods. My pediatrician said by the time the baby is 1; she should be eating what we eat.
When I started my daughter on semi-solids, I included at least 3 veggies a day. Well cooked rice with veggies (salt is optional) and ghee was blended into a fine paste and fed to her. The different vegetables gave variety to flavor. Apple or pear with rice can also be given for a sweeter version. We included one vegetable at a time to make sure she is not averse to any. This helped so much. She still loves her vegetables and always asks for second and third servings!!
The best advice given by doctors is to follow a rainbow diet. Veggies and fruits of all colors - tomato, carrot, capsicum, beetroot, green leaves, broccoli, apples, banana, grapes, oranges - all of it have their own pack of nutrients and are highly essential for growing kids. At least two vegetables a day is recommended. Yes, it is tough to make them eat it all. That is when you put on your innovative chef cap and try to include them in their daily foods.
In today's world of instant snacks and fast foods, one cannot avoid junk food. However, there are so many healthier versions for most fast foods. Try baking instead of frying. Also, vegetables/fruits can be included in these fast foods and made much healthier! Garnishing any dish with grated carrot/beetroot, adding pomegranate seeds to chaat items are few quick ideas to ensure some fruit/veggie goes in!
Brown rice is healthier than white rice, wheat flour is better than Maida. Use less oil while cooking for kids. Ghee is a better option. Also, ghee helps the body to absorb the nutrients in the food. Milk or milk based products provide calcium, so two glasses of milk per day are recommended. If the kid is fussy about milk, try adding a fruit to make smoothies. Curd/yoghurt, paneer, cheese, tofu are good options as well.
Offer fruits as at least one snack option. 3-4 varieties can let them choose what fruit they want to eat. To make this a habit, start eating fruits yourself. It is healthier for you and you instill healthier habits for the kid. Dried fruits like raisins, almonds, figs are excellent snack options as well. Appreciate them each time they choose a healthier snack.
Home cooked meals are any day healthier than outside food. You know what ingredients go into making the dish. Eat-outs cannot be avoided. When you do have to eat out, ensure the place has good kid-friendly menu. Opt for healthier versions – Replace sugary drinks with fresh fruit drinks, fried stuff with baked, ice-cream with flavored yogurt!!
However, do not completely limit the bad stuff. A little of bad is actually good. Too much of restrictions will just want the kid to go against you when he can. Occasional sweets, French fries or pizza is still ok (pizza can be made healthy btw with lot of veggies and fruit toppings). They also need to be taught the repercussions of how these foods might affect their health.
Always have at least one meal together as family. When they see you eat the vegetables, they try to follow the same. If you don't fuss about food, they will also learn to eat what is put on the plate. And yes, you also get some much needed family time together as well!
Following these basic guidelines can help you encourage your kids to eat right and maintain a healthy weight. The food a child eats in their early years can influence their dietary habits later in life, so it is important to instill good habits and a healthy relationship with food from an early age.
Thanks for the important information.
Very very nice ideas showered at one place
Important information given to us
Good. Luck all. Family
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