Being a mom, healthy food and kid’s nutrition is my main area of concern and also if their immunity is well supported with the food that they eat. We always keep a track of our child’s growth and development. But let’s not forget that some kids meet the milestone early or on time while some can be late. Do not go behind the milestones but appreciate steady growth in the child. I have found this tracker by PediaSure which is helping me keep a check on my child’s growth. It is easy to use and reassures me that I am on the right track. Monitoring growth is a vital part of child development and the #FirstStepToGrowRight. But growth and nutrition go hand in hand. When I began using this tracker I got a better understanding of nutritional gaps that my child may be having and so I began to plan meals accordingly.
But every mother will agree with me when I say it’s not easy to feed kids all veggies and greens that are rich in vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients! So how do we make sure that our kids eat the right thing? I came up with a few fun tips that I follow and they work really well.
Start with breakfast. As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should not be missed. We all are super busy in the morning but still make it a routine to have breakfast and do not allow your kids to skip this meal. Make sure to include protein rich items to keep them energized for their day. For easy yet on the go menu; you can try omelette or omelette roti rolls, boiled eggs, wheat or multigrain breads and peanut butter.
When it comes to meal time, try to make things which are liked by your kids with a healthy twist to it. But to make meal time enjoyable, you have to take care of few things:
- Kids comfort: Make sure your child is comfortable while having his/her meal. Sit at the dining table instead of the sofa.
- Eat with family: While having lunch with the entire family may not be possible, make sure for dinner the entire family sits together. Kids enjoy their meals with everyone around and also eat well when they see others eat.
- Talk to them: Make meal time interesting by talking to the kids. Avoid TV and phones. When you talk to them and include them in your conversations, the kids feel more connected and bonded.
- Be a role model: When the child sees their parents following a healthy diet, they follow suit but if they see their parents relishing junk and not so healthy meals, they will demand it too. So set a healthy eating habit for yourself before you ask your kids to do the same.
- Get kids involved: When kids get involved in cooking, they enjoy the meal even more. From a basic task of washing the veggies to standing next to you and watching you cook makes them feel excited.
While making mealtimes interesting, we should also be more attentive to:
Make a healthy shift in your ingredients: You can shift regular breads to brown breads, ice-cream to homemade smoothie, whole milk to low fat milk, soda to regular water, butter or regular cooking oil to olive oil.
Sugar Intake: We all know that kids get a sugar rush, so keep a tab on their sugar intake and avoid anything sweet especially during the night time.
Sweet cravings: Kids will crave for sweets, cakes and donuts and there is no need to say no to these cravings but make sure the demand is not entertained on a regular basis. Make them a special treat rather than everyday indulgence.
Include more fruits in their diet: While we are keeping a tab on the sugar intake of our kids, fruits have natural sugar which is good for their body. So, include fruits in their diet. Make the plating more interesting and fun to encourage your kids to eat them. Try some interesting food art.
Picky eater: Many kids are very picky about what goes into their mouth and will spit out if they don’t like what they eat. It’s absolutely ok as just like us, even kids can have preferences. Be more attentive about certain things to help them eat better.
- Don’t make them eat snacks before meals. Most of the times when the child is hungry, he/she will eat what has been served to them.
- Don’t force-feed your child. Kids understand their body requirements too and sometimes we want to feed more but the child may have reached the capacity.
- Don’t worry if your child is eating less. If he/she is active throughout the day, the child is getting the required nutrition. Just make sure to add all kinds of food in their meal.
- Hide the veggies inside the meal. Make a pizza for your child but when making the paste, add a lot of veggies in the puree, your child will not even realize he/she just had aubergine or a broccoli. You can also make a wheat base of the pizza instead of all-purpose flour. Try making a healthy Pav-Bhaji by adding various veggies along with the potatoes and smash it. Your kid will relish the food and you will do a happy dance.
Last but not the least, milk mix, which gives the required nutrition in one glass is a perfect option for kids. I have personally been using PediaSure for my kids and they have been enjoying their glass of milk, much more than before. PediaSure has 37 vital nutrients, minerals and vitamins required for kids to help them grow in height and get the right weight. It also helps build the immune system and boost brain development. It’s available in 3 flavors and suitable for kids above 2yrs of age.
We should make sure our kids have a well-balanced diet. We cannot always keep them away from their demands for junk but we can make sure we make their meals interesting, nutritious and healthy at the same time. I hope you take the #FirstStepToGrowRight with the GrowRight Tracker too and craft the perfect diet plan for your child, whilst tracking their growth regularly. Share with me your tips and tricks too, that help your little one get the right nutrients.
The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not reflect the views of any brand. Any omissions or errors at the author’s end does not assume any liability or responsibility on any party mentioned in the blog.