When a child says, “Mom, I am hungry what is there to eat” the child doesn’t expect the answer to be Carbohydrates, Protein, Vitamins, Fats, Minerals, and Fiber. The child doesn’t even expect answers like Vegetables, Fruits, Dairy, Poultry, and Grains. The kind of answers that today’s generation expects is Noodles, Pasta, Pizza, Burger, Cake, Lollipops, and Chocolates. And if the child is desi at heart the answers still are Pav Bhaji, Vada Pav, Chaat, Golas, and Ice Creams.
But what we tend to forget is that it is not today’s generation that is at fault. In the first place, it is not about a generation. It is just about the choices parents/family make. If the children see parents indulging in a cheesy pizza the child will naturally follow the lead. It is not about what is right or what is wrong. It is about what a child needs and what a child actually has. The reality is the child doesn’t need a khichdi or even a roti. The body only looks up to the micro and macro nutrients that we get from that food.
A child’s diet should consist of a balanced amount of Carbohydrates, Protein, Vitamins, Fats, Minerals, and Fiber. But are all the dietary requirements of the child met on a daily basis?
I recently attended the launch of Pediasure’s new flavor Cookies and Cream with my daughter Ira and I was surprised by the amount of knowledge I gained. The launch was a star-studded affair with Mommy Lara Dutta and Daddy Mahesh Bhupathi along with a panel of doctors headed by Doctor Indu Khosla and Doctor Eileen Candy. The Super Chef of the show was KICHA (Nihal Raj) from KICHTUBE.
Here are some of the takeaway points from the launch which I felt were valuable –
- No mother is prepared with the first child. Even when the child turns 18, she will still be a new mommy.
- Physically then the child grows from the age of 8 years until the age of 25 years.
- During all the growth spurts we need to provide the child with the needed nutrition to ensure the child’s all-round development.
- From the age of 6 months until the age of 1 year the child’s taste buds develop. Utilize this time to introduce the healthiest food to your child.
- Trying and testing is a mom’s best friend. If a child refuses to have a food it’s ok. It takes somewhere around 8 to 25 times for a child to adjust his taste buds and texture for a particular food.
- Parents are role models. Be a good one.
- Introduce food in different ways. Example – you can give mango milkshake if your child doesn’t like to eat a mango or you can make an ice cream cake out of Pediasure’s Cookies & Cream variant
- The recommended screen time for kids is 30 mins at the age of 3-4 years. But of late we parents use the screen time as a weapon to feed the child which is absolutely wrong. Due to the screen children have no idea how much they are eating or what they are eating and this many a times results in overeating and sometimes undereating too.
- Never deny treats to a child. Instead, learn better ways to offer treats. Instead of a store-bought sugary ice-cream, go for fruity ice popsicles.
A few things I wanted to share –
- Force feeding your child is going to do more harm than you think. It’s better that you let the child take the lead.
- Play around with food, change the texture and color of the food monthly.
- The key to a child’s heart is the presentation of the food, learn innovative techniques like below.
If you have any queries regarding nutrition, recipes or Pediasure do drop a comment below.