Hey friends! I know my disappearance is unpardonable and I also know that many of you must have been eagerly waiting for my next post. So first of all,, let me please apologise for my absenteeism. We actually relocated and hence I was busy setting up the new house at a new place. But I know that is no excuse for not showing up and here I am with my sincere apologies. So, without delaying things further , let us move to our today’s topic of discussion…a much awaited and much requested one! Yes, you got me there…Kids Nutrition !
Nutrition for kids is about making sure that your child gets enough nutrients from age 1 through 11. And what is enough? Well, definitely the individual requirements do vary from child to child, but there are certain guidelines , which can help you get on the right track. Your child grows each year and her needs for nutrients and new textures change. Giving your child a healthy diet is vital so that she grows , develops and stays at a good weight for her age. So, here are a few ideas that can help you guide them to eat a healthy diet, that in turn will keep them active and growing during their childhood years.
Kids this age are very active and their bodies need nutrients on a regular basis, even if they don’t feel hungry at times. Offer them meals or snacks 4-5 times a day. This will provide them with enough fuel to play and grow. The amount of certain nutrients , especially calories and protein depends on both the age and weight of your child in kilograms. So guys, if you weigh your kids in pounds it would be a good idea to divide your child’s weight in pounds by 2.2 to figure out her weight in kilograms.
I have tried to chart down here the age wise nutrients requirements for kids , so that you just have to pick the age group that is relevant to you and follow the per day servings guidelines along with the per serving size. Hope, it saves you some trouble of going through the details and descriptions !
|Calories ( per kg body weight )||Protein
(per kg body weight )
|0-3 years||About 100||About 1.2 gms/kg|
|4-6 years||About 90||About 1.1 gms/kg|
|7-11 years||About 70||About 1 gm/kg|
Kids requirements for one full day are given in terms of the number of servings they need in a day. Size of one serving is about the amount given below for each age group.
|Breads / starches
( 5 or more servings per day. )
(2-3 servings per day)
( 3 or more servings per day)
|Milk or yogurt
(3-4 servings per day)
|Vegetables- cooked or raw
(2-3 servings per day)
|Fats –oils, butter etc.
( 1-3 servings per day)
|1-3 years||¼ cup pasta, potatoes or rice
½ to 1 slice bread or 1/2 to 3/4 chapati
½ ounce dry cereal
|¼ cup pureed fruit
¼ cup juice
1 tbsp peanut butter (after age 2)
1 ounce meat, fish or poultry
¼ cup cooked dried beans or legumes
¾ ounce cheese ( about ¾ of the one inch cheese cube)
|½ to ¾ cup||¼ cup||½ to 1 tsp|
|4-6 years||½ cup pasta, potatoes or rice
1 slice bread or 3/4 chapati
¾ ounce dry cereal
|¼ to ½ cup canned fruit
½ piece fresh fruit
½ cup juice
1-2 tbsp peanut butter
1-2 ounces meat, fish or poultry
1/3 cup cooked dried beans or legumes
1/3 cup cottage or ricotta cheese
1 ounce cheese ( I cube of 1 inch)
|¾ cup||¼ to 1/3 cup||1 tsp|
|7-11 years||1 cup pasta, potatoes or rice
2 slices bread or 1.5 chapati
1 ounce dry cereal
|1 cup canned fruit
1 piece fresh fruit
½ cup juice
3 tbsp peanut butter
2-3 ounces meat, fish or poultry
½ cup cooked dried beans or legumes
½ cup cottage or ricotta cheese
1-2 ounces cheese ( 1-2 cubes of 1 inch)
|1 cup||½ cup||1 tbsp|
Sweets and Desserts – The maximum number of servings per week a child can have is given below. One serving is a medium portion, like, 1/2 cup of ice cream or pudding or a 3 inch cookie.
1-3 years : 1 to 2 servings per week at the max
4-6 years : 3 to 4 servings per week at the max
7-11 years: 4 to 5 servings per week at the max
Always remember, that your child should only be eating enough of the fats and sweets to meet their calorie needs!
Vitamins and Minerals- Your child does not need to take extra vitamins or minerals if she eats a balanced diet. Any vitamins and minerals supplements should be given by proper consultation with your caregiver.
Some quick tips to consider-
- Give your kid at least one serving per day of- A high vit C food ( citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, potatoes and green peppers ) and one serving of high vit A food ( spinach, carrots or sweet potatoes ).
- Until age 2, give your child whole milk and full fat dairy products so that her nervous system grows well.
- After age 2, give your kid low fat dairy products to limit saturated fat intake.
- Choose lean meats, poultry and fish for your kid.
- Avoid fried foods and high fat desserts except on special occasions.
People often ask – when it comes to junk food consumption – how much is too much? Well, it can be tricky since there is growing concern over kids’ weight. But, I would say its perfectly okay when it comes to offering them treats occasionally. While I am certainly not saying that we can load their diet with junkies, what I want to say is that we shouldn’t make it so off limits that it starts to have some sort of an appeal or a mystique. Trust me, tight restrictions on junk food do backfire. We really need to work on navigating in a way such that it doesn’t turn into a battle. You can say to your kid, ” Well, u can have the potato chips but lets eat some carrots too”. But yes, again….not always. As the denial shouldn’t be every so often, so shouldn’t be the approval.
Always do remember, children may appear not to be listening to you, but they are certainly watching you. Your example is important in teaching her good food habits.
On that note, I would say bbye. I hope you found what you were looking for. For those of you who haven’t yet followed my blog, please do follow and like and comment. Also, please do write if you have any special requests . I will be glad to do an article on your requested topics. Be seeing you soon with yet another interesting and requested topic, until then, here’s Dr Apoorva, signing out for today!