Does your child love gorging on junk food? Here are some tips to help parents fulfil the nutritional requirements of young children
By Sherly Ganesh
Does your child love gorging on cheese burgers and potato fries? No wonder! Most children gobble up chocolates, pizzas and sandwiches but say ‘no’ to healthy and nutritious food.
Therefore, it is essential to inculcate healthy eating habits in children early on, as a balanced diet is vital to ensure proper growth and development. Explaining the nutritional value of different food items to children while eating or shopping for food is a good way of keeping them away from junk food.
Also, children belonging to different age groups have different nutritional requirements. Usually, most parents are either confused or have little knowledge of the dietary requirements of their children.
Mentioned below are some tips to help parents fulfil the nutritional requirements of children aged 0–5 years.
Until babies are 4–5 months old, breastfeeding is the ideal way of providing nutrition. Not only does breast milk fulfil their nutritional requirement but also boosts their immunity. Any transition to other sources of nutrition should begin only after a baby is 6 months old.
Although babies can be breastfed until they are 12 months old, breast milk can be supplemented with pure fruit juices by the time they are 6 months old. Also, it is better to feed a 6-month-old baby from a cup instead of a bottle.
The following chart outlines the daily nutrition requirements of children who are 2–5 years old.
For more information on diet and digestion in children, read the following article.
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The author is a nutritionist at Columbia Asia Hospital, Bengaluru
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