For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS  
For Daily Alerts

An Expert’s Guide For Parents: Nutrition For School-aged Children

Children who are fed healthy foods grow up loving healthy foods. As parents, we make sure we do the best under our capacity for the wellbeing of our child. And when it comes to foods, we will try to always provide the most nutritious meals. A healthy eating pattern is the same for a child as it is for adults although some nutrients differ in quantities.

Remember to start by setting a good example at home with your own eating habits. Because children follow what they see and not what they are told.

Many children are incredibly fussy and will refuse food many times before they will eat and enjoy it, so do not be discouraged - keep offering healthy meals with a lot of variety. A child needs strong bones and teeth, healthy digestion, oxygen-rich blood, and healthy nutritional habits that they can carry on till adulthood and further. Investing in early childhood nutrition has incredibly high returns [1][2].

Boldsky's nutritionist Mahima Setia provides an insight into the topic of nutrition for school-aged children. Listed below are some nutrients the children need in a good amount.

Array

Protein

Dairy, eggs, nuts and seeds, meat, fish, lentils and legumes are all protein-rich foods. Have a variety of lentils and legumes in rotation to get all amino acids for better protein assimilation. Dairy, nuts and seeds should be a staple every day.

Foods To Eat When You Have Food Poisoning

Array

Calcium

Milk and milk products are a good source of dairy. However, some children are averse to them and its completely fine. Ragi, amaranth puffs/flour, Fox nuts are a good source of calcium. All nuts have a good amount of calcium. Include green leafy vegetables at least 3 times a week. Chia, sesame and sunflower seeds are also rich in calcium.

'We Will Survive This Together'; Doctors Respond To COVID-19

Array

Iron

For a balanced diet, try rotating iron sources and encourage toddlers to eat a wide variety of foods. Nuts and dried fruits are good sources of iron. Include figs, dates, prunes, apricots, cashews, pasta and almonds. All lentils, beans, eggs and fish have a high content of iron.

40 Fruits Rich In Vitamin C

Remember to team the iron-rich foods sources with a vitamin C rich food to enhance the absorption of iron.

Eg: always squeeze lemon over lentils, legumes and have an orange, kiwi, melons with nuts.

Array

Antioxidants

These should be part of the children's diet to help them fight the toxins they invite inside their bodies through free plays, touching unclean surfaces, being exposed to viruses and bacteria's constantly. Including seasonal and fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure they get their daily dose of antioxidants.

Ayurvedic Immune-Boosting Drink For Cold, Flu And Monsoon Illnesses

Array

Fibre And Water

Lastly, all health is made in the gut. Thus, a clean gut is of utmost importance if we need that all the above nutrients to be absorbed and used by the body. Children tend to drink less water; hence we can include lemonade's, coconut water, Raw mango drink, buttermilk and plain water. For good fibre, include small portions of salads in their meals and whole grains and lentils.

10 Health Benefits Of Drinking Warm Water

Array

Ghee or coconut oil (cooking medium)

It is best to use ghee or coconut oil as a cooking medium for children. They help in raising the child's immunity [3].

Foods That Boost Immunity In Kids

Array

Sweets/fried/excess salt/refined foods

It is best not to store these foods in the house. It is detrimental to everyone's health and highly addictive in nature. Indulging in such foods once a month as a treat or change is fine but it shouldn't become a habit.

As parents, we should strive to provide a lot of variety rather than quantity. Small portions of food multiple times will ensure that the child gets a diverse set of micronutrients and absorbs them efficiently.

Array

An Ideal Meal Plan Sample

An ideal (sample) food plan for children would be :

  • Waking up - Milk/any fruit/nuts and seeds (presoaked)
  • Breakfast - Whole grain-based like poha/upma / idli dosa sambhar/parantha
  • Mid noon - Veg juice/coconut water/fruit
  • Lunch - Roti + green veg + dal/sprout + curd + small portion salad
  • Evening - Milk/nuts and seeds(presoaked)/dhokla /cheela
  • Dinner - Rice + dal + salad + veg
  • Bedtime - Haldi milk with cardamom
Story first published: Thursday, July 2, 2020, 14:02 [IST]
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Boldsky sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Boldsky website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more