Nutrition for kids
A child goes through massive physical and mental changes towards adulthood. As parents and society, we invest and devote a lot of learning and resources to equip them to become independent while ensuring the proper nutrition for kids. Nutritional education helps children develop a sense of alignment towards food, an understanding of their body, responsibility for food choices and health consequences, and a keen sense of acquired taste towards healthier and more sustained choices in adult life.
All children eat out of a tiffin at some point in time. They also eat other’s food, canteen food and other knickknacks. Exploration is a part of childhood and unlimited when it comes to food. As children grow, they develop individual personalities, tastes and preferences for everything around them. An explosion of new food textures, flavours and combinations can lead them to favour a selection and ignore what may be better choices.
This can be biased, and we can have a child skewed in a particular manner of eating that might not be favourable to their health. The need for nutrition for kids’ plans becomes essential at this point.
We owe children the right to a healthy childhood that supports nutrition-based growth and development. It is better to address these patterns early than late.
Children come with the unique advantage of being experimented on and impressionable. What they learn at this age is what they hold for life. Teaching them how to balance nutrition with taste with a pediatric nutritionist can go a long way to a long and healthy life of good health choices.
Height growth should be the focus of all kids’ nutrition plans, and the sooner this is emphasized, the greater the advantage of height the child will have. In addition, an acute focus via nutrition on height growth during the growth years will mean that each growth spurt will yield a little more, leading to a taller adult than usual.
Children go through a growth spurt for close to 2 -4 years of their life. Their final growth spurt begins sometime between ages 9-15, coinciding with puberty, after which growth is very slow and ultimately stops. During puberty, boys can grow up to 4 inches a year, while girls can grow up to 3 inches a year. (For boys, puberty starts around age 11-12 and completes around age 16-17. For girls, puberty typically begins between the ages of 10-11 and is usually completed by age 14.). Therefore, parents need to focus on proper nutrition for kids before and during the growth phase to maximize the child’s growth potential.
At Qua Nutrition, our team of expert Pediatric nutritionists will provide a customized kids nutrition plan for your child, designed according to their activity, lifestyle, culture, taste and liking. Of course, your child will be integral to this design team, so we are sensitive to their choices.
Nutrition for Teenagers
They are young adults physically and mentally and behave like one as well. However, they now wish to explore and make their own rules and understand and evaluate the consequences of their decision-making. Food choices come at the top of the list in the expression of independence.
Guidance on the exact needs to come from a qualified influencer who can direct them to make the right choices without infringing on their boundaries. With unlimited choices and options, they can easily be confused and stray from their nutrition choices without understanding the consequences.
Understanding teenagers’ concerns are important before any nutritional advice. Likewise, understanding their world and circle of influence is important before directional advice can be given.
At Qua Nutrition, we look to be one of them, as we work with them to ensure that all nutrition is not a taste compromise. There is enough fast, simple and street food that is tasty and good for the body. It doesn’t always have to be a battle between good and evil in food and eating. Any nutrition for kids plan must include a balance of all the components that supports a child’s well-being.
No, kids’ nutrition requirements are different from adult’s. Children are at the active physical growth phase of height, weight and organ development. Adults already have optimized their height growth and organ development and need nutrition for maintenance and goal-based needs.
Hence, children have different calorie and nutrient needs based on age, sex, weight, and activity level, which change as they grow and develop. They also have additional requirements for micronutrients.
There are different ways to get children to eat more vegetables
- Start young: If you feed them small portions since weening, they will most likely carry on the habit.
Camouflage them: Add vegetables to items they cannot visualize or taste much.
Involve kids in meal preparation: Letting children help prepare meals, such as tasting and combination, can increase their willingness to try them.
Mix a combination with their favourite food: Try adding their favourite food.
Be patient: Children may need to try some food several times before they start to accept it. 13 tries in different options should be a starting point when it comes to nutrition for kids.
If a child only wants to eat only one type of food, it can be challenging to change
- Don’t procrastinate: Start as soon as possible because the sooner the change, the better.
Keep same and new: Keep a part of the same food into a new altered combination. A slow way to get more variety. Keep adding one new thing in the same combination.
Be patient: Children may need to try a food several times before they like it.
Involve the child in making food: They will be more likely to ask for directions, add new things, and accept them.
Get children involved in meal preparation: Letting children help prepare meals, such as washing fruits and vegetables or stirring a pot, can increase their willingness to try new foods.
Sweets can give a child a sugar spike and increase hyperactivity, causing loss of concentration and sleep. Sweet is a taste preference. So if your child needs more sugar and very sweet foods, it means that their taste perception is high for sugar. You can find this out by doing a genetic test. Understanding this will help you manage and control your child’s demand for sugar from a young age and reduce sugar dependency and cravings. This will ensure ideal nutrition for kids and less worry for parents.