Feeding a child healthy foods is nothing short of a struggle for parents. You need to add taste enhancers in the milk of your child so that he or she drinks it. You need to sneak in veggies here and there in your child’s favourite food. Also, you need to use multiple blackmailing methods to convince your child to eat foods that are good for his or her health. Furthermore, you also have to keep an eye on the water intake of your child. So, having a child food chart in hand, telling you about the healthy foods for your child, makes the work a lot easier.
What Really Lacks
Nowadays, parents are very busy. They don’t have enough time to look after the diet of their children. Because of this, processed foods like sandwiches, chocolates, noodles, and pasta sneaked into their diet. These foods prevent children from having proper growth and cause various gastrointestinal problems. Actually, by the age of 5, the growth of the brain of a child gets completed and the physical development begins. So, taking proper food becomes very much important.
How Much Milk Your Child Should Consume in a Day?
Many parents depend on milk to fulfil the daily nutrition gap of their child. But, it is important to know how much milk is adequate for your child. Here is a chart that will indicate how much milk your child should consume in a day.
|Age of the Child||Quantity of Milk per Day|
|2 to 3 years||2 cups or 480 millilitres|
|4 to 8 years||2½ cups or 600 millilitres|
|9+ years||3 cups or 720 millilitres|
When you are choosing the milk for your child, always look for milk that is fat-free or low in fat. It will be good for your child.
Nutrients Your Child Should Consume Every Day
It is essential for a child to take four meals a day for proper physical growth and development. The diet should consist of the right amount of veggies and fruits along with other essential nutrients. Here are some of the important nutrients you should include in the child food chart:
Vegetables and Fruits
Both these two food items are packed with nutrients that are essential for your child’s physical development. By consuming vegetables and fruit in the proper amount, your child will have minerals, vitamins, water, fibre, and many other important nutrients. So, you have to keep an eye on your child’s consumption of vegetables and fruits.
There is no doubt that grains are a very vital part of your child’s diet. It offers both energy and vital nutrients for your child’s physical development. So, it is better to include a range of whole grains that are high in fibre content such as oats, rice, bread, etc. Try to avoid refined grains because they contain a high amount of sugar and saturated fat.
It is a no-brainer that having milk can prove to be very beneficial for a child. Apart from that, various dairy products can be a useful source of Vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, and D. Also, dairy products are a great source of calcium. Therefore, it will boost the bone development of your child.
Oils and Fats
One cannot forget to include essential oils and fats in the child food chart. Fat helps the body to absorb important vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Also, it plays a very important role in the brain development of the child. Yes, fatty foods can cause various health issues but eating proper fats will benefit your child’s development. Consuming oils from avocados, nuts, fish, and various liquid oils like corn, soy, canola, or olive oil will be good for your child.
A Sample Child Food Chart
The need for food for your child’s body might be different from the need of another child. So, you have to customise the child food chart according to the need of your child. Taking the help of a nutritionist is very much advisable. But, here is a sample chart (ideal for children between 5 to 12 years) that will help you design the food chart for your child.
|Meal||Foods to Include|
|Wake Up||Low-fat milk (Warm)|
|Breakfast||Whole grain bread and vegetable omelette, and an apple|
|Mid-Morning||Fruit salad and yoghurt|
|Lunch||Lean chicken with veggies, a whole grain food, and a juice|
|Evening||Almonds, mixed fruit juice, and a cutlet|
|Dinner||Mixed vegetable, dal, paneer, a multigrain food.|
|Bedtime||Low-fat milk (Warm)|
Finally, now you know how important it is to create a child food chart and how you can create it. But, you should always take the advice from a nutritionist. Remember, proper food and nutrition is the key to your child’s growth and development. So, never ever compromise on it.