- Avoid rewarding kids with sweets, candies and chocolates
- Families should eat healthy food because kids do what they see
- Include a colourful variety of foods on kids' plate to make it appealing
Kids nutrition: The kind of your nutrients that your child is taking begins at home. Parents have take the responsibility that their kids eat a variety of foods to get sufficient carbs, protein, fats, omega-3 fatty acids and other essential vitamins and minerals. If your child is a picky eater, this task may be a little challenging. However, with a few tips and tricks like-making your kids' plate filled with colourful foods or feeding them when they are actually hungry, making them eat without any distraction-can help kids consume a healthy and balanced diet. Along with a proper diet, physical activity is also important for kids' growth and development. Minimum of 60 minutes of play time is important for children.
Nutrition tips for kids: Guidelines for pre-schoolers
In one of her recent videos on Instagram, nutritionist Nmami Agarwal talks about nutrition guidelines for pre-schoolers. She gives the following tips to take care of nutrition intake of children in this age group:
1. Kids in their pre-school age can eat what rest of the family eats. It is thus important that the family eats healthy, home-cooked food most of the times. Your child will always follow your footsteps. If you eat foods like instant noodles or roadside junk food in front of them, they are likely to develop cravings for the same.
2. Do not feed junk food or unhealthy food to your child. Doing this will make your child develop a palate for these salty and processed food; and the time will soon come when your child hates everything that you cook at home.
3. In order to enable kids to eat healthy, Nmami shares a 'my plate' design. This can enable parents to include a variety of foods in kids' diet in a balanced way. My plate is a design which is divided into 5 categories of food groups. It includes fruits, grains, vegetables, protein and dairy. "Eating 'my plate' way essentially means filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Fruits are dedicated a slightly lesser space than vegetables. The other half of 'my plate' needs to be filled with grains and proteins where more space is given to grains and lesser space is given to proteins," says Nmami while suggesting that the plate should be filled colourful foods. This will not only add variety to the plate but also make the food look more appealing for kids.
4. The fifth category in 'my plate' is dairy. Dairy products like milk, cottage cheese, buttermilk, yogurt and cheese are important for kids nutrition. Dairy products are rich in calcium and Vitamin D which is required for strong bones.
5. Speaking of grains, they include foods made from oats, barley, rice and broken wheat.
6. Kids' protein intake can be managed by giving them eggs, fish, chicken, lentils, pulses, nuts and dairy.
7. The 'my plate' need not be followed for breakfast and lunch as children may not be too fond of eating fruits and vegetables during breakfast or lunch time. At this time, you can give kids vegetables tikkis or kebabs, or make paranthas shaped in interesting styles for your kids.
8. Avoid rewarding your kids with sweets, candies, junk food and chocolates. Instead, try to spend more time with them or go out for playing with them as much as you can.
9. Try to feed kids at the same every day and try to give them small and frequent meals. The latter will help in bridging the gap between healthy eating and unhealthy cravings.
10. The 'my plate' style of eating can be followed by adults for following a well-balanced diet.
Set an example for your kids for healthy eating to help them nourish and grow in the most sustainable way.
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.