Do you know that 43% of Indian children are underweight? On the contrary, India also has the maximum percentage of obese children in all the developing countries! Most Indian children suffer from nutritional deficiencies and this leads to various health problems such as anemia, vitamin B 12 and vitamin D deficiencies which cause several problems in children.
Since this is a nationwide concern, we have brought you some simple diet tips for kids from India’s leading nutritionist and dietitian, Rujuta Diwekar:
1) Stop Using a High Chair
Rujuta says that maximum parents like to make use of a high chair to feed their children. This isn’t a very good practice. Instead, you can sit on the floor with your child and feed him/her yourself. This way, your child will show more interest in the food and it will also help in the proper development of your child’s pelvic bone. Sitting on the high chair for too long poses an obstacle to the development of the child’s pelvic bone. It poses problems when the child grows up and he/she may experience pain in the lower back and problems in the spinal cord. Rujuta says many adults are unable to sit on the floor as they have always been sitting on chairs, while children who sit on the floor will never face problems in sitting on a chair.
2) What kind of utensils should kids eat with?
Rujuta says that you should never serve food to your child in a plastic bowl or on a plastic plate. Always use bone china, glass or stainless steel utensils because even good quality plastics can cause various diseases.
3) Never Categorize the Nutrients
Rujuta advises mothers not to categorize the nutrients and differentiate them in front of kids. One should never say things like, “You must eat daal since it gives you proteins” or “drink milk as it will give you calcium”. It is important to understand that more than eating the protein, your child should also be able to digest and absorb it. So don’t force feed daal to your child, instead give him/her rice with ghee, khichdi, curd rice and dry fruits to supply the required nutrients.
4) Encourage Children to Play Outside
Encourage children to play outside and indulge in physical activities. She says that a minimum of 90 minutes of play is essential for a growing child. Doing so helps to absorb the nutrients from the food the child eats and it helps in avoiding any kind of deficiency.
5) Is Milk important for Kids?
There are many myths about milk. Rujuta says if your child likes milk, make him/her have it. Organic cow milk is the best but if you’re not able to get it, you may give buffalo milk to your child. If your child doesn’t like milk, don’t force him/her to drink it. Neither do you need to give almond milk to your child because it is not considered to be apt for kids. She says that almond is prepared by unnatural methods and is processed and so this milk is not good for kids. Never mix any kind of commercial powders to milk; instead you may add nutmeg, saffron, turmeric, or powdered dry fruits to milk and give it to your child.
6) No Phone, No TV while Eating Food
Keep your mobiles away and turn off the television when your child is eating food. If your child is stubborn that he/she will eat food only while watching TV/phone, then set aside a few minutes of TV viewing time. Once that stipulated time is over, turn off the TV and feed your child but this should not become a habit because it hampers the mental development of your child. According to the child’s age the TV viewing time should range from 10-30 minutes and not more than that.
7) Make your Child Sleep at a Fixed Time Everyday
Follow a routine at home such that your child should be in bed before 10 pm each night. Older kids can sleep by 11 but not later than that. This is only possible if the rule applies to each member of the house. Keeping awake till late adversely affects the physical and mental development of your child and also leads to various problems in the digestive system. Also, ensure that you don’t install a Television set in your child’s room.
To know more, watch the full video below:
Image Source: www. Public Domain Pictures.net, www.pixabay.com, www.wikipedia.org, www.maxpixel.net, www.naturalon.com, www.flikr.com