What does healthy nutrition for children mean? Eating patterns built during infantile age serves as a basis for life. What we eat early on shapes our overall health along with metabolism and our brain. As far as children are concerned, you might only require making a few small changes to enhance the nutritional profile of your child and ensure a lifetime of healthy as well as pleasurable eating habits. After all, nutrition has an important impact on all aspects of childhood growth, development and health. This includes:
• Maintaining a healthy body weight
• Avoiding health problems related to surplus body fat
• Gut health and brain development and behaviour
Carrying surplus body fat is in no way a healthy sign and it sets the stage for both childhood and adult diseases. For instance, around 70% of obese teens mostly suffer from cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Once a body becomes overweight at a crucial developmental period, it’s very difficult to change. Good habits such as health and physical activity established in early life certainly has positive effects for years to come.
What role does Nutrition plays in being overweight?
Which kids are at most risk of being overweight or obese? Those who primarily consume calorie dense foods; thus a proper planning taking into consideration the nutritional requirement of the child, is essential to lessen the risk of being obese or overweight. An experienced child nutritionist or a dietician can play an important part here.
What’s the Socioeconomic Status?
Poor child nutrition is indeed a complex social problem, as it’s tied to geography and economics. For example, in industrialized countries such as the US or the UK, the kids eating low-quality, energy dense foods are more likely to be poor as these foods tend to be cheaper and are easily available. On the other hand, in developing countries where poor children still eat conventional diets and local agricultural staples, it’s the rich kids whose families can afford to have energy dense foods.
Ways to enhance your child’s nutrition
Being a parent, you try to make some healthier choices for yourself and your family, and it’s then that the problem of right childhood nutrition can seem overwhelming. This is when you start thinking where to begin? You can begin with some simple basics:
• Opt for whole, minimally processed foods and explain to them gently the dangers of processed foods that are particularly marketed keeping children in mind
• Make sure fruits and vegetables are a part of your child’s daily diet
• Instead of relying on vitamin, mineral and protein supplements try getting nutrients from a varied, whole foods diet
• Help your children regulate their appetite and hunger signs with mindful eating
• Encourage active participation in planning of meals
• Do not force feed them or use food as a reward or piunishment
• It’s important to adopt healthy habits yourself, so that your children have a role model for their own behaviour
Ensuring that your child has a good and balanced diet and he/she gets all the nutrients from it is the sign of a responsible parent. However, due to lack of time or any other reason, parents often don’t pay heed towards their child nutrition which lays the foundation towards a good life. Nevertheless, consultation from an expert nutritionist can also be a good option to go by.
Keywords: weight loss in mumbai, child nutritionist
By: Arati Shah
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