So, how ready are you to face the blazing summer? How planned are you in gearing up your new born or a toddler if you have one at your home, to face the summer time? Changing weather can , bring in its sway, sickness like, Cold, Cough, Viral fever, or for that matter GI disturbances in some.
Following are the tips to adopt for beating the heat!
• Till six months your new born needs exclusive breast feeding, for meeting all his/ her nutritional needs.
• After six months, start introducing fluids like fresh fruit juices, coconut water, thin buttermilk (sweetened/ salted), vegetable soups, ragi gruels, dal water etc., in place of Ice cream shakes, Sherbets, sweetened syrups and any colourful drinks.
2) PORTION SIZE
• Keep the portion size of feeds small for newly weaned and also for a little elder ones, during summer.
• You may increase the frequency of feeds per day to assure that you meet the required energy and other nutritional requirements, by accommodating wide variety of foods.
• Introduce watery items like gruels, fresh fruit smoothies, fresh fruit pulps and so on.
• Always manage to keep at least two portions of fruits and 4 portions of vegetables in your child's diet, to meet his/her daily requirement of fibre.
• Mothers can try and incorporate 19 grams of fiber each day for toddlers (1-3 years) and 25 grams for those between 3 and 5 years of age.
• Fiber, by helping them clean their guts, disciplines the child’s bowel habits. Moreover it is likely to keep him/her full for long hours and prevent any binging!
4) FOOD CHOICES
• During summers, choose foods that contain a lot of water, namely, family of gourds, pumpkins, etc., Cereals such as Ragi, Jowar can also be consumed during this season , by making items of your choice with them.
• Watery fruits such as Melons are naturally in huge supply during this season. Though Mango is pulpy and provides high calories, yet this King of Fruit houses wonderful nutrients such as Vitamin A and C, apart from fiber.
• Avoid planning high fat, spiced meals for your child as they may suppress his/her hunger apart from being disinteresting for some.
• Junk foods are not ideally qualified for summer; apart from having negligible nutritional value, they are likely to worsen digestion.
• Accomodating nature’s gift – fresh coconut water, fresh juices, plain water, buttermilk, dal water, lassi, etc., are ways of replenishing the fluid lost from the body.
• Make your child drink water from well-washed earthen pots.
5) MEAL PLANNING
• Plan for a healthy breakfast with a balance of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats.
• Timely lunch should be taken. Meal timing delays in summer may upset your toddler's digestion.
• Avoid late night dinners and also make it a point that the dinners are lighter than the lunch, like Khichadi, Upma, Pasta with fresh vegetables, with raita and so on.....you are the best one to decide on it.
THINGS YOU NEED TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR BABY, WHILE WELCOMING SUMMERS:
1) DRESSING: Dress your little one wisely in this season as, it is one important way to make him/her feel the ease in changing weathers. Use cotton instead of synthetic apparel.
2) PLAY HOURS: It is better to avoid dehydration by keeping children indoors during scorching heat. Kids who are allergic to dust or pollen grains need to be taken special care as they play outdoors.
3) BODY RASH: Prickly rash is the common issue in summers, try using home remedies like Multani mitti, Rose water or curd and buttermilk, topically apply on the rash and wash it off in few minutes. Though all these are the commonly known home remedies, it is better to consult your doctor in case of persistent rashes, itchy and irritant for the baby.
4) SAFE AND COOL PLAY IDEAS: Water play can be another way to keep your kid cool, but remember to always be around your child when he/she is in water. Make sure your loved one does not get exhausted while playing let him /her retire before getting drained out. Also, it is better to keep in handy water bottles or juicy fruit such as Oranges or a bunch of grapes in a box to rehydrate these bubs.
5) CLEAN AND HYGENIC SURROUNDINGS: Keep the surroundings of your house clean to avoid breeding of any insects like mosquitoes. Keep your indoors clean too.
Ms. Lekha (Nutritionist, Cloudnine, Mumbai)