Food and Nutrition

Growth & Nutrition for Your Child: It takes two to tango

Huda Shaikh
3 to 7 years

Created by Huda Shaikh
Updated on Nov 26, 2017

Growth Nutrition for Your Child It takes two to tango

When parents come to my clinic and talk about the concerns they have regarding their child’s growth, they are mostly concerned about height and weight. While each child has a different growth pattern, providing correct foods to your child during his/her growing year’s is essential to ensure that a child meets his/her growth potential.

Good nutrition reduces the risk of malnutrition, obesity – and not only that, it also reduces the risk of diseases like diabetes and hypertension at a later stage in their life. Good nutrition can protect your little one from illnesses, leading to proper growth and development. Just like adults require a proper balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) children too require different amounts of nutrients at different ages. For instance, breast milk is the best and sole source of nutrition during the first 6 months of your child’s life. Similarly, for a child in the age group of 3-9 years, there are three important nutrients. Let’s go through each of these in more detail…

 Vitamin A is required for proper growth and development, strengthens the immune system and takes care of eye health. Vitamin A is found in foods like papaya, tomato, mango, bell peppers, green leafy veggies, carrots, sweet potato, fish, liver, carrots and melon.

Iron is responsible for building up a healthy blood circulatory system and improve cognitive abilities. Sources are lean meat, eggs, fish, liver, green leafy veggies, nuts and beans.

Iodine is required in order to prevent learning disabilities and delayed development in children. Sources are iodized salt, pineapple, dried prunes, strawberries, banana, boiled egg, fish and beans. Calcium is necessary for healthy bones and teeth. Sources are milk, paneer, curd, cheese, buttermilk, almonds and soymilk.
 

In addition to above, here is a list of foods that will have a positive impact on your child’s growth…

Protein: Protein is required for the wear and tear of muscles, growth and for various enzymatic functions in the body. Opt for lean meats, eggs, curd, beans, paneer, beans and unsalted nuts for your child.

Fruits: Fruits are a storehouse of fiber and antioxidants which ensure that your child remains healthy and develops a strong immune system. Encourage your little one to consume a variety of fruits and at least two servings every day. You can include dried fruits like apricot, prunes and anjeer but restrict the quantity to only 2-3 max in a day. Opt for fruits than packed fruit juices as these contain added sugar and are devoid of fibre and essential minerals. It’s best to prepare fresh fruit juice at home. Vegetables: Just like fruits veggies also contain a good of fibre and antioxidants. Aim to give at least 2-3 servings and include a combination green, yellow, orange and starchy vegetables.

Wholegrains: At least 4-5 servings of wholegrains are recommended for growing children. Choose grains like wheat, ragi, oats, daliya, whole wheat bread and brown rice. Avoid maida and maida products.

Dairy: Encourage your child to have milk, curd, paneer and low fat cheese. To add to the nutritional value of milk, go ahead and add a tablespoon of Horlick’s Growth Plus, which contains beneficial nutrients essential for growth. Bonus: It makes the milk tasty too!

Foods to be avoided…

Sugar: Limit the consumption of sugar, by adding minimal amounts of the same in your child’s diet. Some examples could be brown sugar, corn syrup, honey and maple syrup. Avoid canned food as this is high in sugar or sodium.

Fats (saturated and trans fats): Avoid too much of red meat, chips, bakery items and oil-based sauces to your child’s diet. Opt for healthy fats (omega 3 and omega 6 and Vitamin E) which are found in olive oil, rice bran, canola oil, avocado, nuts, fish and olives.
 

 

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| Apr 26, 2018

Your tips are always awesome & it always work for our kids. thanku.. I always use immuno boosters as a supplement for my kid for their good health.. and recommended to all d mother's of young ones... Forum - parentune

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| Apr 25, 2018

Thanks for the above question. The nutrition for baby is required attention of all parents. I am also searching for such post for my baby. I as a mother highly recommend for Cipla Immuno booster for your baby. It fulfill all the nutrition in you baby.

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| Nov 27, 2017

good

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| Oct 29, 2017

thnx for the very important information,it will surely help to all the mothers to give proper diet for kidz

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| Oct 25, 2017

Hi Ishika,Most welcome,glad you liked it :)

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| Oct 25, 2017

Hi Ramya,Do not worry he shall grow. Give him all the above foods and I am sure he he would grow well :)

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| Oct 25, 2017

Hi Krishnakali,How old is your son ? Preferably you need to reduce the amount of sweets he has been eating. Gradually reduce the quantity and replace it with healthier alternatives like fruits,dried fruits,fruit yogurt,fruit pudding,rice pudding,rawa kheer,smoothies and you can use jaggery/dates/banana to sweeten the above.

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| Oct 25, 2017

Glad you liked it Romila :)

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| Oct 25, 2017

Glad you like it Ruhi :)

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| Oct 25, 2017

Thank you Vivek!

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| Oct 25, 2017

Welcome Ruby :)

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| Oct 25, 2017

Hi Darshil,I am glad that you have seen a positive change in his growth pattern :)

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| Oct 25, 2017

Hi Darshil,I am glad that you have seen a positive change in his growth pattern :)

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| Oct 25, 2017

Hi Saurabh,Agar uski aakhein paidaishi kamzor hain to thoda waqt lagega chashma jaaneme. Magar aap usko Vitamin A ki saare sources khilaeyye aur T. V,LAPTOP,IPAD aur mobile phone se dur rakhiya jitna ho sake. Iss cheez ka bhi khayal rakhein k usko barabar se nind mil rahi hai ya nahi.

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| Oct 25, 2017

Hi Sakshi,Thank you for the question. Every child has a different growth pattern. Some gain weight easily however others take time. As stated in the article you need to add adequate amount of protein in the diet and ensure that your child is getting adequate nutrition from the diet itself. Add in 2 servings of fruits,at least a glass of milk,dal,pulses,boiled eggs (2),curd and ensure you give him a healthy and filling breakfast.

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| Oct 25, 2017

Hi Shikha,I am glad that you liked the blog :)

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| Oct 24, 2017

Useful Blog. Thanks for the information...

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| Oct 24, 2017

The most common concern of the parents today and the most difficult to choose the proper diet. The blog is real help thank you so much for the detailed information.

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| Oct 24, 2017

These nutrition tips are important for the proper growth go our children. great blog!

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| Oct 24, 2017

kya mai apne bacche ka khana canola oil mai bana sakti hoon? kya ek hi tarah ka oil use karna theek rahega. TIA.

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| Oct 24, 2017

Interesting blog. it definitely takes two to tango. Thanks!!!

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| Oct 24, 2017

My child loves taste of horlicks growth plus. appreciate!

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| Oct 24, 2017

thank u Doctor for telling the rich sources of these nutrients, it will be of great help.

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| Oct 24, 2017

Mera beta 5 saaL ka hai. usa height 1cm bhi nahi bada pichle ek year mai. mai aaj se uska diet mai sab healthy options doongi. thank u Huda Madam.

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| Oct 24, 2017

My child has a sweet tooth. he just eats sweet recipes. how do i control his this obsessio?

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| Oct 24, 2017

THANK YOU MS. HUDA SHAIKH.

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| Oct 24, 2017

Quite an informative blog.

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| Oct 24, 2017

Interesting read

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| Oct 24, 2017

thank u Docter for this !

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| Oct 24, 2017

I have been using Horlicks Growth plus for my 4 year old. I have noticed POSITIVE change in his height as well as overall health. thank you for this blog.

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| Oct 24, 2017

HUDA ji mera beta 5 saal ka hai. uski eyes bhut kamjor hai, chashma bhi pehanta hai. kya vitamin A rich sources dene se use chasma utar skata hai. in sabhi tips ke liye thanks!

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| Oct 24, 2017

My child is 2 years and 5 months old. his weight is just 11 kgs. How can I improve his weight?

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| Oct 24, 2017

thanks for Sharing Huda Shaikh ! childhood years are very crucial for laying the foundation of a healthy body and development of immunity. Parents' biggest concern related to their child is how to catch up on lost growth. these tips would definitely come in handy . thanks again Ma'am!

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