My son is 6years and 9 mnts old, however he has never met his weight mark . He has always been low on weight . He does not take milk in the morning and hates to have breakfast as I think he is not hungry at that time and when he is back from school he is starving . I try to give him a balanced diet but I am unable to give high calorie food like cakes, muffins , burgers, pizzas. He gets to eat this only on birthdays and even on such occasions he refuses to eat saying it is junk food. Now, with increase in his physical activity what and how should I give him a diet which helps in building his immunity and increasing some weight. What are a few must daily food items that a growing kid should have in his diet?

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Updated on Nov 14, 2013

nutrition Corner

Answer:

Hi Meenakshi!

Firstly, I should commend you for the good parental practice of not giving junk food to your son. This will go a long way in making him a healthy person. Coming to the weight worry, you perhaps don't need to worry much, if your child is an active child. In that case, he is probably blessed with a very good metabolism and hence burns calories really fast. He may put on some weight once his eating habits change as he is in a growing phase.

Although milk is very important for children, don’t fret if he refuses it. It would be a passing phase. If he refuses milk in the morning, give him a glass in the evening and one before sleeping at night if possible. If he still refuses milk, try the following:

i. Try adding Bournvita or any other malt food to enhance the flavor and calorific density.

ii. Try adding full-fat milk, fresh cream, paneer and cheese to as many foods as you can. For instance- scrambled egg with milk & cheese; homemade custard with milk; fruit yogurt with thick curd; fruit smoothie; fruit or chocolate milkshake; kheer in full-fat milk & fresh cream; oatmeal with milk; cheesy whole-wheat pasta; homemade ice cream with full-fat milk; milk in pancakes; milk in French toast; milk in spinach; mashed potato with cheese; cheese sandwich; add grated cheese to soups/dals/khichdi, cheese balls, etc.

iii. Try feeding him non-dairy good sources of protein, calcium & magnesium to make up for the lack of milk. These are: eggs, fish like sardines & salmon, soya milk, tofu, dried beans like kabuli chana/lobia/black chana/rajma/dried peas, dals and other lentils, vegetables like fresh beans, broccoli, spinach, okra, squash, watercress, peanut butter (little initially to rule out allergy), banana, orange juice fortified with calcium, dried fruits like figs/raisins/prunes.

iv. Be creative with the way you feed dairy by cooking in different ways; adding colours to the platter you offer; adding fun shapes to the solids; making stories around food (eg. Broccoli with cheese could be a tree covered with snow).

Regards,

Tanuja

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