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Is your kid having right weight?

December 3, 2020

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“You know your child best and that makes you the most valuable asset in communicating with your child about weight.”

If your child is a healthy weight, there are lots you can do as a parent to help them stay healthy, as they grow.

Making Sure Your Child is eating enough:

As a parent, you are interested in your child's health. Your role is to provide healthy food in appropriate portions, and your child's role is to decide how much to eat. That is why it is important to understand how to provide healthy choices for your child.

Building a healthy plate:

Over the years, various tools have been created to provide guidance on the type and amount of food one should eat. Recommends the following:

  • Balancing calories. Enjoy your food, but eat less. Avoid giving oversized portions for your children.
  • Food to increase. Make half your child’s plate with fresh fruits and vegetables. It is important to make your child try an assorted range of fresh fruits, vegetables, giving an edge to the seasonal variants. This category is known for their overall nutritional value – the fiber, the different minerals and vitamins, antioxidants and a lot more!

Foods to watch:

In general, it is better to be a little watchful on foods rich in Sodium such as Processed / Preserved foods – like buns and breads, cakes, biscuits. There could be additives other than Sodium that are not healthy for children!

There is no dire necessity to totally avoid this in a child’s meal plan, it is better to entertain them in moderation.

Snacks to stock up: Snacks to cut back:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables that can be taken on the go or packed in a lunch.
  • Baked Corn, Slice of Cheese, Grated Panneer stuffed into rolls
  • Whole grain breads and cereals, pretzels, microwave popcorn.
  • Yogurt – plain or fruit based, fruit with Yoghurt topping, fruit custard, fig bars, grated Carrot and Ginger soups etc.,
  • Soda, sweetened lemonade, fruit punch, and fruit juice with added sugar.
  • Hot dogs, fatty lunch meats, sausage, chicken nuggets.
  • White bread, sugary breakfast cereals, chips.
  • Cookies, cakes, candy, ice cream, donuts, other items that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup etc.,

Food groups:

There is a variety of foods from each food group (the following is a sample list of food choices). The next time you go grocery shopping, try something new.

Food groups Types of foods Grains:

Foods from grains are packed with starches (complex carbohydrates). Carbohydrates are the best source of energy for active, growing bodies. Brown rice, broken wheat , oatmeal, popcorn, whole-grain barley, whole-grain cornmeal, whole rye, whole wheat bread, whole wheat cereal flakes, whole wheat crackers, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas.

Other products:

Mostly made from refined grains; however, some may be made from whole grains (check the ingredients for "whole grain" or "whole wheat"): cornbread, corn tortillas, couscous, crackers, flour tortillas, pasta, pitas, pretzels, ready-to-eat cereals.

Vegetables:

Vegetables are the most important source of beta-carotene and many other vitamins and phytochemicals. Vegetables also provide plenty of fiber. Our bodies convert beta-carotene to Vitamin A for healthy skin, glands, immune system, and eye function. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring plant compounds that are believed to fight cancer and other diseases. Vegetables may be fresh, canned or frozen.

Other vegetables:

Asparagus, avocado, bean sprouts, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, green peppers, mushrooms, okra, onions, fresh peas, tomatoes, zucchini.

Fruit

Whole fruits provide many essential vitamins and minerals, together with a variety of disease-fighting substances like those in vegetables, and fiber. Fruits are the most important source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen, the connective substance that holds cells together and helps maintain blood vessels, bones and cartilage, and teeth. Apples, apricots, bananas, berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), 100% fruit juices (unsweetened), grapefruit, grapes, kiwi fruit, mangoes, melons - honeydew, watermelon, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, prunes, raisins, Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. Fruits may also be whole, cut-up or pureed.

Protein foods

Protein is needed for growth as well as for immunity, to maintain muscle, bone and cartilage, teeth, and every system in the body.

Meats: lean cuts of beef, ham, lamb, pork,

Poultry: skinless chicken and turkey, ground chicken and turkey

Seafood: fish (catfish, cod, herring, salmon, trout, tuna); shellfish (clams, crab, lobster, oysters,

Beans and peas: black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans

Processed soy products: tofu (bean curd made from soybeans), tempeh, texturized vegetable protein (TVP)

Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, walnuts

Eggs: chicken eggs, duck eggs

Diary Milk is children's best source of calcium and an important source of protein, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and many other nutrients. Milk, yogurt, cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, cottage cheese), pudding, frozen yogurt, and fruit shakes /smoothies made with Yoghurt or milk, Calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) are also part of the Dairy Group.

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