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Choose from a variety of fortified food products for common health concerns in kids
Between the age of 2 to 12 years children grow fast and need to be fed right from the beginning. Food plays a vital role in the overall growth and development of children. It is required not only for their growing bones and muscles, but also to boost their brain-power. Basically, they need foods not only for physical energy but for cognition, focus and memory also. Healthy foods for kids is the common concern among all the parents around the globe. What to feed them for proper growth and development is what worries the parents the most. Nutritious food for kids becomes more important when they start going to school. This is primarily because children spend 1/3rd of their time of the day in school.
According to research, most kids are deficient in important nutrients because of their food choices. This is a direct outcome of increased intake of processed and refined foods such as chips, cookies, pizza, burger, fries and carbonated drinks. These foods not only have zero nutritive value but also have an undesired impact on the health of the child.
What are the nutritious foods for children's overall growth & development?
Dairy products: Dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt are the main source of calcium for small kids. Dairy foods are essential for the good health of kids and form an important part of a complete balanced diet. It is considered as one of the healthy foods for a kid's strong bones and teeth. Dairy products also contain potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, Vitamin D, riboflavin and other essential nutrients. There are many ways to include dairy foods to your kid’s diet, like in the form of smoothies, cheese sandwiches and fruit yogurt.
Nuts and seeds: When we talk about nutritious foods for kids, nuts and seeds tops the list for children of any age. Nuts and seeds are among the best foods with protein to meet the daily requirement of the body. They are packed with antioxidants, protein, calcium, fiber, potassium, healthy fats like omega 3 and 6. Considered super healthy for brain development in children, nuts also help keep their immune system strong. It also aids in losing weight as it keeps kids feel full for long time.
Fruits: Fruit provides vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and many phytonutrients (nutrients naturally present in plants), which helps kids' bodies to stay healthy. Fruits being rich in antioxidants boost a child's immunity and give sustainable energy. It also ensures kids healthy growth and development. High in fiber contents it aids in proper functioning of the digestive system and thus prevents constipation. Fruits also provide a wide range of health- boosting antioxidants, including flavonoids. These qualities make them super nutritious foods for kids.
Vegetables: Almost all vegetables are a rich source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is considered as healthy food for kids as it helps in enhancing immunity, keeps bowel movement regular, avoids constipation and promotes healthy growth and development. Vegetables improve kids' gut health which promotes absorption of necessary nutrients for growth. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale helps in brain development of kids. It also helps in maintaining the energy level of kids throughout the day.
Whole grain: Whole grains are nutritious foods for kids as they are powerhouse of energy and rich in carbohydrates, protein, iron, fiber, iodine, magnesium, zinc, folate, riboflavin and vitamin E. All these nutrients help in overall growth and development of kids. Whole grains are a great way to start the day for a toddler or young child. They are nutrient- dense, energy rich foods which make them ideal food for busy school going children. They help to maintain energy level and feeling of fullness for longer. Whole grain includes wheat, bulgur, oatmeal, quinoa, corn, barley and millet. As it contains dietary fibers, it also helps to maintain digestive health and contributes in preventing constipation.
Ashwagandha : Ayurvedic herbs are natural remedies that can solve many health and fitness related issues in children without any side effects. Ashwagandha is a powerful herb that can help to increase the height of a child. It also helps in weight gain and increases energy levels.
Mulethi: Mulethi or licorise has been found to help in increasing weight significantly thereby promoting overall growth of a child. It is also used to treat heartburn, indigestion and gastric ulcer.