An improper and imbalanced diet leads to nutritional deficiencies in children. Here's how you can deal with your child's protein and mineral deficiencies.
By Dr Santha Narayanan
Long term deficiency leads to osteoporosis. Though osteoporosis is the disease of the elderly, today’s young adults who do not expose themselves to sunlight and work long hours in AC rooms also suffer this. Excess of calcium leads to constipation and loss of appetite.
Dairy products - milk, cheese, yoghurt, salmon fish, green-leafy-vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, calcium fortified foods, ice creams.
An important component of every cell in the body, protein is needed to build strong structures in the body (bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments), to rebuild body tissues and to produce enzymes.
Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) It is a manifestation of chronic under-nutrition, consuming food with insufficient protein energy or both. Both Marasmus and Kwashiorkor come under the PEM category.
In Marasmus, the body utilizes its own tissue for energy and appears skeleton like. Children also have:
Breast-feeding a baby up to six months is the best way to prevent childhood malnutrition.
Dairy and egg products, meat, fish, grains, nuts, beans
Iron is essential for the child’s growth and development. It moves oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and helps the muscles to use and store oxygen.
Children at risk of facing iron deficiency are:
Untreated Iron deficiency in children can cause physical and mental delays in areas such as walking or talking.
Lean red meat, seafoods, all kinds of beans, greens, tofu, broccoli, drumsticks, brussel sprouts, nuts and dried fruits, egg yolk.
(Dr Santha Narayanan is a practising paediatrician from Chennai.)
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