Children need proper nutrition for growth and development. Parents do their best to feed their children with the best of home-cooked meals hoping to fulfil the nutritional requirement of the kids. We cook a variety of meals to ensure the kids get the right combination of nutrition for general health and everyday endurance. We focus so much on including macro nutrients in our everyday meals that we tend to ignore the importance of micro-nutrients in our diet. Some health experts claim that lack of micro-nutrients can lead to 'hidden hunger', which may be hamper the health of the young ones.
Going by the modern-day eating habits of children, absence of micro-nutrients is quite common. Children, being picky eaters, end up consuming more of junk food with little or no nutritive value.
When diets lack the essential vitamins and minerals, it can cause a micro-deficiency known as hidden hunger. This hidden hunger may give rise to severe underlying deficiencies that tinker with overall growth and development of children. This type of deficiency may develop as early as three years of age.
Dr. Prathibha Babshet, MD - Ayurveda, R and D, The Himalaya Drug Company revealed, "Over sixty per cent of children under five years of age in urban India are found to be anaemic. The figure is even higher in rural areas, as per the fourth NFHS (National Family Health Survey) study. Corroborating this, a recent study undertaken by UNICEF reveals that more than 80 percent of children in India between 10 to 19 years of age are found to be affected by hidden hunger, making them susceptible to, anemia, diabetes, and even heart-related disorders in the long run."
(Also Read: 10 Healthy Foods for Kids)
Children should be fed high-nutrition diet to avoid micro-deficiency.
Dr. Babshet shared some healthy diet tips for children -
1. Always include key nutrients in the meals. For eg. - protein, which we can get from pulses, milk, cheese, nuts, eggs, fish and meat.
2. A balanced diet is important for growth of children, but, incorporating nutrition supplements in the diet is of equal importance.
3. The kids formula should be scientifically researched and enriched with key nutrients and traditional ingredients that contribute to three key functions required for overall development: active growth, strong immunity and memory.
4. Milk proteins and ginger may support optimum growth and improve digestion.
5. Nutritional supplement which is enriched with calcium and Vitamin B-complex, helps support bone health.
6. Vitamin A, C, and E help improve immune system.
7. Tulsi helps improve respiratory wellness.
The health experts suggest following these tips to feed your child a well-balanced diet.