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Growth In Children: Foods That Can Help Your Child Grow

If you want your child to grow at the right pace, do not ignore your child’s nutritional needs. 

Tenzin Chodon
Written by: Tenzin ChodonUpdated at: Jun 17, 2023 01:30 IST
Growth In Children: Foods That Can Help Your Child Grow

Onlymyhealth Tamil

For parents, children’s growth and development is of utmost importance. Be it physical, psychological, or emotional, their health and wellness is a priority. Nutrition plays an essential role in facilitating that. Nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and fat are crucial not just for adults but also for growing children. Speaking with the OnlyMyHealth team, Dr Ankit Prasad, Consultant-Paediatrics, Fortis Hospital, Noida, shared a list of foods, important for a child’s growth. 

Also Read: Common Food Allergies In Babies: Here's What Parents Need To Watch out For

Role Of Diet In Children’s Growth

A healthy diet plays a significant role in helping children grow and develop not just physically, but also mentally. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), poor diets in early childhood can lead to deficiencies in essential vitamins and nutrients. These include vitamin A deficiency, which takes a toll on children’s immunity, increases their risk of blindness, and makes them prone to death from common childhood diseases like diarrhoea. 

Best Foods For Kids

A nutrient-dense diet includes foods with no or limited sugar, saturated fat, or salt, as per Mayo Clinic. Dr Prasad shares a list of foods that should be encouraged in kids:

Fruit: Nearly all types of fruit are great for adding nutrients in a healthy way. The doctor advises to target fruits without added sugar. Avoid canned fruits or fruit juices that often have a lot of these. Therefore, it’s important to read nutrition labels when choosing what to buy at the grocery store.

Vegetables: They’re a bit tougher to get kids to eat, but they’re just as important as fruits, said the doctor. “Be cautious of frozen or canned veggies because they can sometimes be very high in sodium. Look for a variety of colours in veggies, as these can represent various nutrients the body needs,” he added. 

Protein: Lean meats and poultry, plus things like beans, eggs, nuts and various soy products are good sources of protein for your child. Make sure, however, to maintain proper portion sizes. 

Dairy: Look for low-fat dairy products whenever possible, or even better, soy-based dairy products.

Grains: Choose whole grains over refined grains, said Dr Prasad. 

Also Read: Know From Expert Why Do Babies Get More Cavity Problems

Foods To Avoid

Foods that contain fewer nutrients, or that might contain bad elements for your child’s health, include:

Sugar and sweets: This refers to added and processed sugars, not the kind naturally found in fruit. Consuming too much of these sugars is often a primary cause of diabetes, said Dr Prasad. 

Fats: Avoid saturated and trans-fats, which are often found in red meats and full-fat dairy. Lots of oily, fatty foods contain these bad fats, and they can cause high blood pressure, cholesterol and heart conditions.

How To Track Your Child's Growth?

According to the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP), a child's growth is assessed by measuring his or her weight, height, and length (for children less than 2 years). A doctor can examine your child and provide you with the right result. 

As a parent, you can monitor your child's growth by observing their height and weight over a period of time. The IAP says that generally girls tend to be shorter than boys of the same age, adding, "In children up to 10 years, the rate of gain in height and weight is similar in boys and girls. During adolescence, both boys and girls gain height rapidly, but the growth spurt in girls appears earlier than the body. However, boys continue to gain height even after the girls stop growing.  

Final Word

Children’s growth is a matter of great concern for parents. While keeping track of their development is important, it is also essential to assist them by providing them with the right foods and introducing them to proper activities.