Nutrient-Rich Daily Meal Plan For Your Child
As part of our special focus on Nutrition Week, we serve you with an exclusive ‘food plate’ that caters to your child’s daily nutritional requirements.
By Shiny Lizia M
Is planning your child’s ‘nutrient-rich’ daily meal giving you sleepless nights? After all, a well-balanced nutritional diet holds the key to your child’s physical and mental growth. A balanced diet offers adequate amounts of all nutrients in right proportions. But, in today’s hectic life, we often don’t pay much attention to this very important requirement. Interestingly, all it requires is a smart combination of the four basic food groups in a child’s daily diet:
- Cereals & pulses
- Vegetables & fruits
- Milk & milk products, meat and fish
- Oils, fats, nuts and oilseeds
The food your child eats must also comprise of non-nutrients such as dietary fibre, antioxidants and phytochemicals. The quantities of food needed to meet the nutrient requirements vary with age, gender, physiological status and physical activity.
Flip over to discover nutritional requirements and meal plans you can use for each age group.
Non-nutrients: what are they, why do we need them?
While non-nutrients are not mandatory for the body to function, they still play a vital role in helping us maintain good health. They are compounds produced either by the body or absorbed from the food we eat.
My child's healthy food plate guide
Whether you are serving food at home or packing the food, use this table as a guide to customise your child's nutritious food plate.
For ease of measurement, you can use measuring cups or measuring spoons. If you want to be sure, you could invest in an electronic kitchen weighing scale.
200 ml – 1 measuring cup
15 ml – 1 measuring tbsp
5 ml – 1 measuring tsp
- You can interchange 30g of pulse with 50g of egg/meat/chicken/fish for ages one and above while working up your meal plan.
- For infants, introduce egg/meat/chicken/fish around their ninth month.A quarter cup of egg or meat/fish in the form of soups and broth can be given.
Sample Meal Plan
*From toddlers to preteens, rice in the lunch can be replaced with roti twice a week. Lunch can also be part roti and part rice as per preference.
About the author:
Written by Shiny Lizia on 25 September 2018.
Shiny Lizia is a Chennai-based nutritonist.
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