Eat right to good health
Leave out junk food and begin to eat nutritious meals...
Krida the playschool of Sarawathi Vidyalaya, Chennai had organised a session on "Nutrition for school children balanced diet and recipes" by Dr. Varsha, MSc., PhD., RD, Pediatric Clinical Nutritionist of the Kanchi Kamakoti Child's Trust Hospital as part of its parenting programmes.
Dr. Varsha believes the one and a half inch tongue dictates to the rest of the body. If a car tank has water, the tank is full but the car won't budge. Similarly thoughtless eating fills the stomach but starves the body; so adequate care is important.
What are the nutrition related problems affecting children today?
Lifestyles have an important bearing on the dietary concerns of children. Many children go to sleep at midnight and wake up in time for school, hate milk, skip breakfast, and depend for all major meals on processed but not nutritious food.
What are the mandatory requirements for an overweight child's diet?
Encourage a low fat, sugar and high fibre foods, eat slowly, take small bites; make him aware of how much, and what should be eaten, exercise every day, instead of sedentary activities.
How can we ensure that the child is getting the recommended doses of vitamins?
Vegetables and fruits ensure vitamins in their natural form and prevent them from becoming poisons within the body. Pharmaceutical formulations are synthetic and high dosages are known to cause death and unnecessary surgery.
How important is breakfast?
It is called the Thinking Meal or the Energizer Meal because it "jump-starts" the brain in the morning. Having an unbalanced non-nutritious breakfast is as bad as skipping it. The missed nutrients are never made up. Children who eat breakfast have better problem-solving ability, creativity and alertness. A balanced breakfast should provide at least 20-25 per cent of the daily energy and nutrient needs.
How can eating vegetables and drinking water be encouraged?
When the child is four months old start a vegetable as a juice. After three months puree the vegetable, and as the child grows serve cut pieces. A change in consistency is important. Water can be provided in the form of plain water, milk and fruit juices. Solid foods such as fruits and vegetables also contain 90 per cent water. You need to drink at least five glasses of water a day.
How is anaemia detected and prevented?
Indicators are low stamina, frequent complaints of tiredness, poor concentration and high infection frequency. Non-nutritional causes often include malaria, bleeding cuts and blood in the stools.
A diet rich in iron is necessary for a child's body does not produce iron. Encourage fresh fruits and juices rich in vitamin C since it boosts iron absorption.
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