Doctor’s Take on Children’s Nutrition
The health of children is always a matter of worry to their parents and family members. It is very essential to develop healthy eating habits in babies and toddlers so that they grow up to be healthy and fit children. Health children are the ones who are always happy.
Just like an adult, every child is different and unique in every aspect. The diet chart of each and every child differs as per their food habits, personal preference, growth etc. A balanced diet is a must, as it provides appropriate nutrition and there is no one better to explain that to you other than an expert child nutritionist or a child doctor.
Nutrition as Per Age
- Infants: For infants who are 4-6 months old, breast feeding and infant formulas feed in bottle are the best nutrition. They should be fed every 2-3 hours. For infants of 1 year age, milk, solids and semi solids along with rice cereal are the sources of nutrition. Rice should be cooked and made into paste. Egg yolks, strained meat and vegetables can be included but stringy and crunchy food should be avoided.
- Toddlers: Toddlers can be given food that is cooked at home for the family. The baby should be given at least 3 meals with 2-3 snacks included every day. Do not give the child junk food or dishes that are too spicy.
- Variety of food is a good idea, as the child gets all the nutrition contained in different types of fruits, vegetables, animal products and whole grain products.
- Children preferring milk is good for calcium intake but limit dairy products to 500mls daily. After 2 years, stop giving whole milk and use homogenized milk that are skimmed and low in fat content.
- Include food rich in proteins such as cheese, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, peas and dry beans.
- When your child is below 2 years, fat need not be restricted but above 2 years, low and saturated fat and checking the cholesterol is necessary for proper nutrition.
- Limit the food containing high salt and sugar levels.
- Limit the intake of beverages and colas along with processed food.
- The body of a child requires iron and calcium for growth and that should be abundant to the child. Include the food in the diet of the child that has iron and calcium to meet the child’s body growth requirement.
The children below 4years of age should not be given hard and round food that the child may have difficulty in chewing. Choking is one of the high risk factors when it comes to children below 4 years of age and hence it is very important that you take proper care not to serve foods that may be a problem for your child. Foods such as grapes, popcorn, hot dogs, raw vegetables, hard candy and nuts are some food items that should not be given to children (below 4 years), as they may cause choking problem.
If you need more assistance or have any other trouble regarding allergy etc, you need to check with a child specialist or a child nutritionist!