Before becoming a mommy, I would often hear friends and colleagues discuss the difficulties they faced cooking for their kids or while making them eat and ensuring that they include all kinds of fruits and veggies.
At that time, I always wondered why parents fuss so much about their kids’ diet, and used to think that I would not force my kids to eat things that they don’t like, and allow them to eat what pleased them. Little did I know about the responsibilities that comes with being a parent.
The moment we start planning a child, our research starts, and more than just research, it is that protective instinct of a mother that just gets into action. We automatically start looking after our diet and nutrition so that we can make sure we are healthy when we give birth.
Why Early Nutrition?
While in school we all learnt about the importance of a balanced diet and how each nutrient is important in its own way. Same way it is important that your child understands the benefits of healthy foods so he/she becomes capable of making healthier choices too.
Our children experience remarkable amount of their cognitive growth during their first 5 years. During those years, they are not only developing physically but also mentally. From just lying down to sitting to crawling to walking: From being a few inches tall to growing a couple of feet tall, mentally, from learning to recognize sights and sounds, to being able to respond to them, to questions of the whys and hows of the things, they observe around them. And correct nutrition is the key to assist this growth in all children.
How to Ensure that Your Kids Receive the Correct Nutrition?
It is important for us as parents to know what correct nutrition means for kids. Correct nutrition does not only mean having a balanced diet, but this also includes the number of meals a day, the timing of meals, appropriate hydration and most importantly activity-specific nutrition.
Understand their likes and dislikes within each food group
Many kids are fussy eaters and fuss about certain types of foods, so you need to understand their likes and dislikes within each of the food groups. For e.g In the protein group, your child may not like eggs, or pulses but like chicken. Similarly they may not like milk but like cottage cheese or buttermilk. Dividing food into groups and figuring out their choices in this way will help you plan meals better. There could also be ingredients that they don’t like but these vital foods can be camouflaged. My daughter doesn’t like eating her veggies, but mashing them into a paratha dough, she doesn’t even know what she is having and enjoys it.
Include Seasonal Produce
Make sure to always include all seasonal fruits and vegetables in their diet. Try not to opt for canned or stored ingredients whenever possible. Local produce is always preferred to ones imported from other regions.
Supplement Their Diet When Needed
There are times, especially during the summer when all your efforts to ensure appropriate hydration may have the effect of improper eating. Too much water or liquid consumption coupled with the rising temperatures are often to blame for this.
At such times I supplement my kids diet with PediaSure. Often parents are worried about physical growth and wonder whether PediaSure can help your kids grow right. PediaSure has 37 vital nutrients – that aid height & weight gain, support immunity and brain development. It has a high quality protein content that also helps with visible growth in 90 days.
Keep Them Hydrated
Hydration is also very important. Make sure children have enough water. You can include buttermilk, coconut water, and fresh fruit juices with their meals to make sure of this
Try these tips and tricks and you will surely notice visible benefits in your child’s growth in their early years.