Children being fussy eaters is an oft-heard complaint of parents, especially those with kids in the 5-10 years age group as by then they would have developed definite food preference. If you have young children at home, you must be familiar with the struggle of making your child gulp down even a glass of milk; sneak in healthy vegetables in dishes and push them to eat fruits; blackmail them into eating another serving of rice or an added chappati. This struggle includes efforts to maintain the hydration level in your kids.
As with growing age, it becomes a bit difficult to convince your child to eat healthy. Moreover, apart from keeping a check on the nutrition intake, it is also more important to ensure that they are engaged in sports and other physical activities including daily walks.
The global prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity has increased from 4.2% in 1990 to 6.7% in 2010. And this trend is expected to continue and may reach up to 9.1%, or around 60 million children in 2020. In developing countries, the problem is more worrying as the combined prevalence rate was estimated as 6.1% in 2010. It may reach 8.6% in 2020.
In terms of nutrition, for kids it works on the same principles as for adults. Everyone needs the same types of nutrients — vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Children, however, need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages, depending on their body weight. Preference for junk food and social effect also increases in this age group, leading to serious health issues and majorly to obesity.
1. Firstly stop dependency on sweets
The higher intake of soft drinks, bakery, and refined products leads to increase in carbohydrate or carbs load in the diet. On the contrary, the carbs intake majorly from the complex sources like whole wheat, rice, millets, in order to increase the fibre content in diet, helps to boost the metabolism.
2. Take part in extra curriculum activities
Few kids in this age group start avoiding games and other extra-curricular activities because of pressure to attain good marks in studies. Just sitting and studying for longer duration leads to poor digestion because of weak bowel moment. This further leads to serious gastric issues at an early age.
3. Include fruits and vegetables in diet
Kids avoid carrying extra tiffin in the form of fruit or salad which is very much needed for a healthy body. Missing out on required intake of fruits and vegetables has many health consequences.
4. Drink plentiful water
While engaged in physical activities whether sports or dancing or any other joyful activity, children often forget to drink water. It is advisable to add water breaks or reminders in the form of lunch breaks. This will help in developing habit of consuming water or any other form of liquid whether juices or buttermilk or other healthy nutritive drinks at intervals.
4. Adding nutrition in the lunch box
Lunch box is a good opportunity for parents to provide interesting and nutritive food that would appeal to young children. This could be in the form of atta with stuffing of pulses, milk or milk products, eggs, tofu for increasing the protein intake. To make this important meal palatable and help children develop healthy eating habit, parents should provide varied fare as a routine.
In general, as per the recommended dietary allowance kids between the age group of 5-10 years require 1500-1700 kcal — 1.1-1.3 gm of protein/ kg of body weight, 30 gm of healthy fats, 600 mg of calcium and lastly good amount of iron/ vitamin D and ascorbic acid supplement in their diet, preferably through natural foods.
Healthy recipe for you:
-Slice a banana into 1 inch sections.
-Use a grapefruit knife to cut out the center of each banana slice.
-Fill the hole with peanut butter or press blueberries into the hole.
-Sprinkle both types of sushi with pomegranate arils.