Are you giving your child the right foods?
We all want our bundles of joy to be, well, bundles of joy. However, in order to make sure that it happens, we need to give kids the foods that are right for them and eschew from giving them the wrong ones. So, what are the wrong foods? Chocolates, ice creams, cookies and all the sugar laden products that give them sugar rush and rot their teeth, right? WRONG! There are many more.
A healthy, happy child that bounces off the walls (in a good way) needs the best possible nutrition.
The key ingredients in such a diet ideally include foods rich in:
- Whole unprocessed foods without artificial flavors, preservatives, colors or sweeteners- that means no colored, sugar coated cereal, no matter how tempting it looks to the child and however much little work it may appear to you.
- Organic foods- because, well, basics rule, always.
- Phytonutrients- make sure that your child (and you) eats a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.
- Healthy fats-ghee, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, egg yolks, etc. Refrain from using too much refined oils.
- Protein, as your baby needs to grow.
Even with the best diet which includes all these food stuffs, our children miss out on some nutrients which are vital for their optimal growth.
The essential nutrients which kids need for their growth and vitality are:
- Omega 3 essential fatty acids: foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids are fish oil and flaxseeds. However, make sure that these products are free of any heavy metals.
- Vitamin D 3: Vitamin D 3 is the sunshine vitamin that is really important for optimal brain and mood support and the proper functioning of our cardiovascular, immune, endocrine and GI systems. However, research studies in this field show that majority of kids and adults are deficient in Vitamin D. It would be best for your child (and you) to get enough sun and even consult a doctor and get your Vitamin D 3 levels checked if you or your kids are feeling tired and cranky, all the time.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is often called the “miracle mineral” and for a reason. It relaxes our body and calms the mind and the best news if you have started finding this article boring and the foods too meh, though healthy is that dark chocolate is full of magnesium. So you and your children can indulge without any guilt, if done in moderation.
I know, I know it seems like too much work and food which kids may resent but it need not be. You can add small quantities of flaxseed in the food that you normally cook. Sunbathing is fun and dark chocolate puddings or bars are yummy! Easy peasy, right? And remember how our moms used to “hide” the vegetables we hated in dishes that we loved or tell us we were eating something else? Motherhood is all about experimenting and giving the best to your child.
Hope you liked my advice and will incorporate these foods in your child’s diet. I am looking forward to hearing from you and will come back with another write up full of parenting tips and tricks. Do write to me in the comments section, if you have any queries, suggestions or even if just want to say “hi”. Ciao till the next time!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store
Aarti Puri is Harvard educated and the founder and CEO of Magnolia Kids, a primary school. She is a psychologist, writer and teacher trainer. She's starting her YouTube Video channel for moms and kids soon