The growth of your children is directly related to the food you provide them. The initial years are very important as it will decide the future of your child’s health. Lack of necessary nutrients can lead to malnutrition that will cause serious diseases or even lifelong health hazards. You need not spend a lot on the purpose of your child’s growth. There is no need to buy costly health drinks or health supplements. Instead of that, you can convert your everyday meal into a nutrition-packed diet. Just avoid giving them fast food and make their favourite food at home. Here is food for children’s growth and development that will surely help you to prepare your diet chart.
Milk and Dairy Products
Milk is a very important item for your child’s growth years. It contains proteins, vitamin A, phosphorous, and calcium that will build their muscles and make their bones strong. Vitamin A will brighten their eyesight. Give your children full fat cow milk to provide the extra energy unless they are overweight. You can serve plain milk with cereal or cookies or make milkshakes or smoothies. You can also serve it in the form of paneer, cheese, yoghurt, and custard.
Not only in protein and vitamins but eggs are also rich in choline-an essential nutrient for brain development. It will provide your child with all the essential amino acids for proper growth and development. You can simply boil them, scramble or fry them or make omelettes of them. You can also add them to rice, soups, noodles, gravy, and porridge. Also, you can make custards and pancakes with it.
The outer skin of the grains is rich in fibre that will keep your child’s digestive system healthy and prevent constipation. You can use brown rice and brown bread instead of white rice and white bread. You can also serve your kid wholegrain biscuits and cereals in breakfast.
Pulses or Lentils
Pulses are the other essential food for children’s growth. For vegetarians, pulses are the prime source of protein. But pulses do not provide much amino acid which is required for growth. To recompense this it should be taken with cereals and milk products. Soya beans are extremely good in this case as they have essential amino acids apart from calcium and iron.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts like cashews, almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, and macadamias are rich in proteins, fibres, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. You can add seeds of pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame into your child’s meal. Try to use ground nuts and seeds to avoid chocking. Avoid salted nuts and buy unsalted versions as salted nuts have high sodium content. You can use nuts in your cake or add it to the cornflakes. It will add crunch and flavour to their meal. You can spread peanut butter on bread and biscuits or use it as fillings and toppings of your cake.
Meat is among the main sources of animal protein. It has iron that improves the immune system and supports brain development and function. You can use beef, chicken or pork and make a hundred of tasty dishes with them. You can make chicken patties or meatballs. Steamed black pepper chicken and lemon garlic chicken are best as it does not require much oil and spices. Also, they are comparatively light for your child’s digestive system.
Like meat, fish is also a good source of animal protein. It helps to build healthy bones and muscles. Oil-rich fishes like salmon, sardines, and tuna contain omega-3, which improves eye, nerve, and brain development. You can bake fish or make fish-pie, fish balls, or fish cakes. You can also cook sushi or chilly fish for refreshing the tastes.
Fruits and Vegetables
These are the main sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibres, and phytonutrients in our body. Carrot, tomato, papaya, pumpkin, and sweet potato are rich in beta carotene that is converted into vitamin A in our body. So, it is a very necessary food for children’s growth as it repairs body tissues, improves vision, and skin. Also, Broccoli has the nutrients to optimize eye development. You can cut vegetables in cubes and grilled them in a stick with fish or meat or paneer and enjoy a bonfire with your kid in the garden. Fruits can be used along with ice creams, cereals, and cakes.
These easily accessible foods are very much compulsory for your child’s growth years. Try to balance all the essential nutrients in our kid’s diet. They cannot eat much at a time so the small portion of their food should have everything in it.