In today’s generation we see ‘Undernutrition’ and ‘Overnutrition’ both exisiting in school going children. Adequate nutrition and physical activity are two of the most important factors that influence the health of a child. Hence it is very important to cultivate these two habits in the early childhood.
Here are some health tips for school going children and their parents:
- Always get your child involved in shopping for groceries and also in preparing the meals. This makes a child understand and value food which is cooked at home.
- Instead of feeding one big portion of meal at a time, always aim for small frequent meals.
- Do not always reward your child (and specially avoid using food as a reward) because it may develop a habit of expectation in return. You may always appreciate it with a gesture that the child has done a good job.
- Cook hot and fresh food at home since it helps in improving the appetite of the child. As a parent you can always use portion control plates which help in making a meal look more palatable and also providing right nutrients in right amount to a child.
- Include good biological value proteins like milk and milk products, eggs, chicken, whole pulses, soya chunks for proper growth and development.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should contain a combination of all the macro and the micronutrients. Also it should be a satiating so a child remains active throughout the day. Research has also proven that a child who has breakfast has a much better IQ level in comparison with other children.
- If the school does not have the provision for hot meals make it a point to prepare tiffin at home so that the child does not crave for outside meals. Make a combination of foods like Paneer stuffed paratha with a mint coriander dip, mix vegetable pulao with Hummus, Tortillas, Rajma rice etc.
- Hydration is very important. Ensure that your child is sipping in adequate liquids. Hydration plays a key role in keeping your child active. Apart from water you can make varieties of milk based shakes like dates chia seeds, dry fruit milkshake etc.
- Include immunity boosting foods like variety of fruits and vegetables. If your child is a picky eater try out ways in which you can include like incorporating the same food in hidden form so that the child may not get to know and eats it.
- Pre-plan evening outdoor playing activities. Physical activity keeps obesity at bay.
- Set good sleep habits because it helps in enriching good emotional well-being in a child.
- Last but not the least; limit sugar and refined carbohydrates like pizza, bread, pasta, pastries etc in your child’s diet. These foods can contribute to risk of obesity and other lifestyle disorders in the adulthood of a child.