This is a sample menu to meet your four-year-old’s dietary needs.
By Parama Gupta
Your four-year-old child needs increased amounts of calories to stay fit and healthy. Being a school-going child, his active lifestyle demands a lot of energy. To make sure that he feels energetic throughout the day, you need to ensure that he has a balanced diet.
Here’s a day’s sample menu that will provide your child with all the necessary nutrients he requires and sustain his interest in eating.
Time: Within half an hour of waking up
Non-veg option: Omelette sandwich
Health benefits: Milk is rich in calcium, which is necessary for the normal functioning of all the body cells. It is a great source of energy.
Eggs contain the following nutrients: choline, a vitamin B variant, which is a great memory booster, vitamin A and proteins necessary for the child’s growth. (Note: If you want to include an egg recipe in your baby’s diet plan, make sure your baby is non-allergic to eggs.)
Whole grains provide several necessary nutrients such as fibre, minerals, vitamins, proteins and antioxidants.
Cornflakes are a good source of folate, which is important for the formation of new cells. Other benefits of cornflakes include improvement in carbohydrate metabolism and cognitive functions. They are also very rich in iron.
Time: Two hours after breakfast
Health benefits: Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and contain good quantities of other essential minerals.
Whole grain pasta is good for health as it provides carbohydrates and fibres along with essential minerals.
Time: Two hours after the mid-morning snacks
Options for side dish: Methi matar paneer/beans sambhar
Health benefits: Methi leaves are a rich source of iron and have all the goodness of green leafy vegetables.
Paneer is packed with proteins and other minerals.
Beans are a source of proteins and other important nutrients.
Time: Three hours after lunch
Health benefits: Apples are rich in fibre, carbohydrates and minerals that help to harden bones and give energy.
Time: Three hours after evening snacks
Options for side dish:Moong dal fry/ carrots and peas
Non-veg options: Fish curry
Health benefits: Moong dal is a very good source of proteins.
Carrots are a good source of vitamin A that is essential for improving the child’s eyesight. Green peas provide vitamin K and other important minerals.
Rice or roti provides carbohydrates.
Fish is packed with a lot of essential nutrients. It is primarily a source of protein and contains several essential minerals. It is good for the child’s growth, brain development and eyesight.
This is a sample diet. You should consult a dietitian to draw up a personalised diet plan for your child.
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