The one thing every mother is constantly worried about is, “Is my child hungry?” Keeping your child’s tummy full is important but that shouldn’t be the only goal. You should also ask “Is my child getting enough nutrients?” This is a common mistake we make as parents. We feed our child whatever we think is right without knowing if we are giving the kind of nutrients their growing body needs.
As your child grows, their needs keep changing. Their meal plan should also keep changing with them. Without the right nutrients, your child may get a nutritional deficiency that may cause problems later on.
So how do you know if your child is getting the nutrients or not? Don’t worry - we have an age-wise guide to help you out:
Age-wise nutritional chart:
Now, let us take a look at what nutrients your child needs and where to find them:
An important nutrient for growing children, food proteins contain amino acids that are great for the growth and repair of muscle and skin tissues. Since your child is going to be super active between 2-5 years, they will need enough protein to stay strong. Also, when your child’s body has used up all the carbs for energy, they will start using the protein for energy instead.
Where to get proteins: Chicken, egg whites, soya, pulses and lentils.
Young, growing children need fats for the proper development of their brain and nervous system. Apart from providing energy, fats also help the body in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E and K. It also helps regulate your little one’s body temperature.
Where to get fats: Eggs, nuts, olive oil, dairy products like cheese and butter.
Your child’s body needs carbohydrates for proper metabolism, energy, growth, functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for their overall health. Dietary fibre helps in digestion and in binding all the nutrients together. So you should ensure that your child consumes a good amount of dietary fiber as well.
Where to get carbs: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans.
Vitamins help build the body’s immune system and help the body to become strong. Here are the benefits of a few important Vitamins:
a) Vitamin A
As you may already know, Vitamin A is good for your child’s eyes. It is also good for the teeth, formation of new tissues and for the immune system.
Where to get Vitamin A: Milk, eggs and yellow, orange and green fruits and vegetables like carrots, papaya and broccoli.
b) Vitamin C
Widely known to be beneficial for the skin, it is also good for absorption of iron into the blood, healing of wounds, bone health and the immune system.
Where to get Vitamin C: Citrus fruits like orange, pineapple, kiwi, mango and papaya.
c) Vitamin D
This vitamin is known to be good for the bones and muscles. It helps the body absorb calcium into the bones. So if you give them 2 glasses of milk every day and don’t let them play in the sun, they won’t be getting much calcium in their system.
Where to get Vitamin D: Sunlight, egg yolks and cheese.
Minerals help your child’s body to grow and develop in a healthy manner. It helps build strong bones and transmit nerve impulses.
Your child needs iron for their body to function in a healthy manner. Iron helps produce haemoglobin in the blood which helps carry oxygen to the rest of their body. With iron deficiency, your child’s body will produce fewer red blood cells which means that less oxygen will reach the organs and tissues.
Where to get Iron: Iron-fortified cereals (like Nestlé CEREGROW), spinach, lentils and beans.
Calcium is necessary so that your child’s body can build strong bones. It is also important for the proper functioning of muscles and the heart too. Calcium combined with Vitamin D can actually protect your child from a number of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.
Where to get Calcium: Milk, nuts, fish with small chewable bones (like sardines) and greens.
What is in Nestlé CEREGROW?
If your child has a bowl of Nestlé CEREGROW every day, you are already helping them meet most of their nutritional needs. There is 13 gm of proteins, 69.4 gm of carbohydrates, 9 gm of fat, 330 mg of calcium and 4.5 gm of iron in every 100 gm of the cereal.
Just one serving (60gm in 130 ml of warm water) of Nestlé CEREGROW helps meet 17% of your child’s daily requirement of iron. Aside from this, it also provides 25% of their daily requirement of Vitamin A, C, D and Calcium. Thus, this iron-fortified cereal is the perfect solution for those picky eaters. Click here to buy it now.