Sunday August 24 2014

What to consider for a child’s diet

By Henry Wanyama

Children aged 6-12years are still growing. They need a lot of energy for their size. If your child is underweight, they may not be getting enough calories.
Find healthy recipes the whole family will love. If you’re concerned that your child is underweight or not growing normally, take them to see a paediatrician. Low weight can occur for a number of reasons.

Your child doctor will weigh and measure your child and talk to you about what your child is eating. If there is a possible problem with your child’s diet, the doctor can provide nutritional advice that will help bring them up to a healthy weight.
All children need energy and nutrients from a varied and balanced diet.

A healthy, balanced diet

If your child is underweight, it might seem tempting to fill them up with high-calorie but unhealthy foods, such as sweets, cake, chocolate and fatty foods. But it’s important that your child gains weight in a healthy way.

Once they reach five years, you can start to make your child’s diet similar to the healthy, balanced diet recommended for adults (children under five need a diet higher in fat and lower in fibre). That means three meals a day and healthy snacks.

A balanced diet includes
Starchy carbohydrates, such as pasta, rice and potatoes, which should form the basis of every meal; lean protein, such as lean meat, fish, beans and eggs ; five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

A low intake of saturated fats (found in biscuits, cakes and pies)
Also, a low intake of animal fats (found in processed meats such as sausages and bacon) grilled or baked foods instead of fried food. Consider, diluted juice or water instead of fizzy drinks , then, give them chocolate, sweets and cake only occasionally

Learn more about the different food groups and how they form part of a healthy, balanced diet in children’s meals at home. This is a good time to sit down and think about how your family eats . Do you take time for proper meals or do you rely on snacks and quick fixes? If so, that might be part of the reason your child isn’t consuming enough calories.

Make time for a proper breakfast and dinner and eat together as a family. Make mealtime a fun part of the day. When possible, cook from scratch instead of using ready meals. That way you know exactly what is in your food.

The writer presents NTV Kitchen delight