Child Nutrition from 0-4 years
CHILD NUTRITION AND DEVLOPMENT
Proper childhood nutrition can reinforce lifelong eating habits that contribute to your child growth & development. It helps them grow up to their full potential and live a healthy life.
Child nutrition refers to dietary needs of children in age bracket of 2 to 11 years. Healthy regular food routine should start from parents so that child can emulate and develop.
.This routine includes healthy sources of carbohydrates & proteins, consumption of enough fluid intake and limiting junk food and limiting high energy drinks. A child’s diet should provide sufficient nutrients to aid child’s growth & development, while preventing excess weight gain or malnutrition./p>
0 to 6 Months
Just after the birth, an infant should be feed on breast milk within half hour for normal delivery and at max 4 hours for a C-Sec. Breast feed should be the norm for exclusive feeding for first 6 months.
Mother’s first milk called colostrum , a thick yellowish fluid, is rich in nutrients and helps the infant start and develop its immune system, hence a necessary part of child’s journey into the world. Mother’s milk contains all the nutrients and water in the right quantity which helps in vital organ development of the infant; hence there is no need of any supplementation at this age.
If stored, breast milk should be stored in freezer and should never be heated before feeding. According to World Health Organization, breast feeding can be continued till the child turns Two./p>
Composition of Colostrum
6 Months to 2 Years
This is the correct age when an infant moves to become a child. Start weaning along with breast milk at this age. Weaning means to introduce the child to external sources of food to supplement his growth.
After 6 month one can introduce carbohydrates like mashed potatoes, porridges of rice, ragi. Introduce proteins in form of dals made of roasted pulses like moong, tur etc. Vitamins and minerals can be introduced in forma of mashed fruits, soups of non-leafy vegetables.
Between 1 to 2 years at this age, many children suffer from constipation due to lack of fibre or low water content in their diet.
This can be dealt with introduction of fruits and veggies, vegetable soups, curd, fruit yoghurt, buttermilk, milk, fruit lassi etc. Leafy vegetables in form of soups can be introduces in latter half of this age cycle./p>
2 to 4 years of age
Now that your cutie pie has become a toddler, they should start eating all sorts of food. They should be having three health meals with 1-2 snack times. This is the time for engraving the kids with healthy food habits.
This is also the right time to start introducing all sorts of food. At this age, your kids mental, social, language ability is developing at a fast pace. Take time to have a family lunch/dinner; this also help is kid emulating and accepting all the kinds of food that we have.
Your kid is also growing physically and hence need all the nutrients in form of a balanced diet. Also avoid feeding salty, spicy, deep fried food at this age, since it artificially full’s once stomach. Also a point to note is your child need small amounts of interesting food. Don’t over feed or force feed./p>
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