All You Need To Know About Nutritionally Rich Diet For Your Little Ones

All You Need To Know About Nutritionally Rich Diet For Your Little Ones

Barkha Chawla

Your baby's diet plays an important role in their overall growth and development. Having a nutritionally rich diet will make all the difference that's required and will help your kid's body to absorb the macronutrients and put them to good use.

Making the kids healthy has become a struggle for the parents. Constant exposure to junk food via social media, peers, and ads on TV doesn't help in developing healthy eating habits.

We reached out to Dr. Khushboo Garodia, a Homeopath, a Trichologist, a Clinical Hypnotherapist, a Nutrition Counsellor with a Specialisation in Sports Nutrition. she is also a mom of 2 toddlers. She fondly calls herself the Wellness Doctor, because she works on the holistic wellbeing of an individual. Instead of just managing the symptoms topically, she tries to dwell deep into the subconscious mind and focus on balance to help cultivate wellness. We asked Dr. Khushboo to share her expert advice on the importance of a healthy diet for your kids and an interesting recipe that she shares from her collection. Read on to know what she shared with us!

Dr. Khushboo Garodia 

What Is A Nutritionally Rich Diet And its Importance When We Start Solids For Kids

Feeding your little one right, when introducing solids is extremely important for their growth and development. Also introducing good eating habits helps them set up good eating patterns for life.

It helps in building their immunity against various infectious diseases. It ensures the proper development of their brain, bones, and other vital organs. Eating the right food can improve a child’s activity levels, attention, and cognitive functioning.

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Foods That Should Totally be Avoided For Kids

Eating right is all about balance. There is no need to add salt or sugar to your child’s food in the first year.

  1. Sugar-laden drinks (such as colas, soft drinks, flavored milk, and packaged juices) contain added sugars. These drinks are different from fresh fruit juice. Children younger than 24 months old should avoid added sugars.
  2. Caffeinated drinks, such as soft drinks, tea, or coffee, should be avoided for children younger than age 2.
  3. Foods high in salt (sodium), such as most packaged foods, canned foods, and processed meats should be avoided.
  4. Raw milk and unpasteurised cheese must be avoided, as these may put your child at risk for harmful bacteria that can cause severe diarrhea.
  5. Avoid packed flavored yogurt as it has artificial color and added sugar - cause allergic reactions in kids or possibly trigger hyperactivity.

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Facts We Didn’t Know About Child Nutrition

  1. Honey is supposed to be a highly nutritious food but it can be extremely dangerous for toddlers younger than one — irrespective of the fact that it’s raw or even highly processed. A toxic bacteria contained in honey can cause an illness called infant botulism that affects a child’s underdeveloped immune system and can lead to muscle weakness and breathing difficulties.
       
  2. Avoid giving white bread and jam to children. It causes a major spike in blood glucose levels. White bread itself causes a high spike in blood glucose, and when the jam is added to that the spike is extremely high. Once the sugar-high subsides, the children can be extremely tired and will opt for foods that can again shoot up blood sugar levels. This can interfere with their normal routine, initially, they will be jumpy and halfway through their day, then suddenly get very sleepy and tired and may not be able to focus on things at hand This can also leave them irritable and cranky. This, in the long-run impacts the pancreas negatively leading to severe health problems.
  3. The Healthiest drink your child needs when growing is water - not Milk. So many times we force our kids to have milk because that’s how our parents raised us. Remember- Never force your child to have milk if he/she does not like to drink it. Force-feeding milk by adding the malted powder in it is not only negating the benefit of milk but also harming your child in the long run. If your child does not like plain milk then do not force them to have it - let them be. If it's the calcium you are concerned about, add ragi or til to their diet.

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Foods That Help Build Immunity

  1. Rice - the BCAA ( branched-chain amino acids) in rice promote protein synthesis and metabolism of glucose which gives the immune system a needed boost.
  2. Nuts - rich in proteins, vitamins, amino acids, and polyphenols.
  3. Ghee - rich in essential fat-soluble vitamins D, K, E, and A.
  4. Seasonal fruits - rich in macronutrients and fiber.
  5. Green vegetables - are anti-inflammatory and rich in vitamins.

Calorie-Rich Foods That Help In Growth & Development

A balanced nutritious meal is essential for growth and development in children. The below-mentioned foods can be added to up the benefits:

  • Nuts - avoid if allergic
  • Ghee
  • Eggs
  • Seasonal fruits
  • Plain curd
  • Sweet potato

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How To Balance Nutrition With Fussy Eaters

As a mom of two toddlers, I know how difficult it is to make children eat healthy. I believe that it’s important to maintain a balance rather than worrying about feeding your child healthy food all the time.

Here are a few things that I do to make my children’s diet a little more balanced:

1) Nuts - I either make energy balls with nuts and dates or bake a cookie with nuts.

2) Eggs - I give them eggs every day at breakfast.

3) When the kids want pasta, I switch to quinoa pasta - that way I can reduce their refined flour consumption.

4) I choose what my children eat, they decide how much they want to eat.

5) I try to make the food look colourful and interesting. That really helps.

Dr. Khushboo's Favourite Recipe For Toddlers

Sneaky Pizza Sauce

This Sneaky Pizza Sauce is packed with lots of hidden vegetables and is lip-smacking yum! I use this on our pizza and even serve it as a dip at times.

Sneaky Pizza Sauce 

INGREDIENTS

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 ½ cups chopped vegetables (zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, onion, broccoli, spinach, pumpkin)

2 tomatoes boiled and puréed

2 cloves garlic - minced

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon dried basil

Salt as needed

Roti Pizza 

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds

2) Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring often till it softens.

3) Add the tomato purée, Italian seasoning, dried basil, and salt.

4) Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Let it cook for another 5-7 minutes.

5) Let it cool slightly and then transfer to a blender to puree until smooth.

6) Use it on your pizza or as a dip

Platter With Roasted Veggies 

It's very important for parents to set the right narrative around food. This doesn’t just come from eating only clean food but from eating everything in moderation, enjoying what you are eating, having a routine in place. We as parents need to do this before we expect them to show changes.

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