As a parent, it can be disheartening to watch your child’s peers growing healthier, taller, and stronger while your child can’t seem to catch up. Your concern often leads you to wonder if your child’s growth is a little slower than usual. Usually, a child’s growth is measured through a variety of nutritional assessments. These take into account diet, medical history, body composition, and physical examinations (like measuring the height, weight, chest circumference, etc.).
It is essential to ensure that your child receives all the necessary nutrients for their overall growth. If you are worried about your child’s growth, here are a few things you should know.
1. You must Include All Food Groups In Your Child’s Diet:
There are five food groups in total and these are extremely important for a growing child. These include proteins, carbohydrates, milk and dairy products, fruits and vegetables, fats and sugar.
Proteins: Meat, nuts, fish, and eggs as well as beans, lentils, pulses, and soya all contain proteins. Proteins are said to be the building blocks of the human body, and they help to mend, repair, and increase the muscle growth.
Carbohydrates: Starchy foods such as pasta, rice, oats, potatoes, noodles, yam, green bananas, sweet potatoes, etc. all consist of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are essential in providing our bodies with energy. A healthy diet should include about three servings of carbohydrates a day.
Fruits And Vegetables: Go for fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. They provide loads of vitamins, fiber, and chemicals called antioxidants that work towards keeping the body healthy. Your child needs to get at least five servings of fruit and vegetables on a regular basis.
Milk And Dairy Products: They provide your child with essential vitamins like B12, vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium to keep their bones and teeth healthy. Milk and dairy products include milk, yogurt, butter, ghee (clarified butter) and cheese. Children should get at least three servings of dairy and dairy products a day. Supplementing your child’s diet with health drink powders like PediaSure Health And Nutrition Drink Powder for Kids Growth is also a great idea to make up for any nutritional loss. PediaSure’s milk powder contains 37 nutrients, which helps to support height & weight gain, immunity, & brain development. Enriched with vitamin C, calcium, protein, iron, zinc, and much more, this delicious health drink powder provides your child with all the essential nutrients they need to sustain healthy development. You can read more about PediaSure and pick your pack right here.
Fats and sugars are a subgroup that contain butter, margarine, cooking oils, salad dressings, chocolates, etc. While they give us a lot of energy in the form of calories, they do not provide with substantial amounts of nutrients and should thus be eaten in moderation (4).
To understand more about food groups and how to encourage a balanced diet, click on this link to PediaSure’s expert video clips that explain how to encourage good eating habits in your child.
2. Limit Excess Trans Fats:
Trans fats are unhealthy amounts of unsaturated fats that are present in some foods (especially junk food). These types of fats are often hidden in certain foods like creamy, cheesy, or buttery sauces or dressings. Excessive consumption of these types of food can lead to obesity and other eating disorders. In the long term, it can lead to cardiac disease, hypertension, and others. While banning these types of food outright might not be the right solution, limiting your child’s intake by monitoring their eating habits and food intake could help. For example, you could allow your child to have a packet of chips if they’ve eaten healthy for the entire week as a reward.
3. Nurture Healthy Eating Habits:
You need to ensure your child follows healthy eating habits like washing their hands before and after a meal, not watching TV or mobile during mealtime, eating the right proportions at the right time, three square meals a day along with two healthy snacks in between.
4. Make Sure To Read Packaged Food Labels:
Reading food labels will help you in comparing and finding food items with good amounts of vitamins, fibers, and protein, thereby reducing the amount of fat, sugar, and cholesterol in your diet. Thus, you’ll be able to make healthy choices for the food your family consumes.
5. Inculcate And Adhere To A Feeding Schedule:
Make sure your child understands the importance of eating their meals on time every day. The best way to do it would be to sit down with your child yourself and eat with them. Children often tend to follow the habits of those who surround them, and if the entire family sits at the dinner table and eats together rather than on a couch with the TV on, your child will also understand why this is an excellent habit to adopt.
In the end, it is up to you to monitor your child’s growth and ensure they receive the right nutrients that they deserve. PediaSure has released some really important videos that offer interesting tips on how you can encourage all of the above habits in your child and help him. Click here to take a look.