A growing kid is super-active and super-energetic. The body is undergoing a gradual transformation with billions of new cells, muscles and bones building inside. Hence the need for right nutrients and right food become critical. Sure the kid will be eating different kinds of food throughout the day but it is important that the intake should be the right food. Junk food and processed food will only do more harm than good. Various surveys done in India have found that Indian kids do not receive even 50% of RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of key immunity nutrients.
Press Information Bureau. Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on January 2016 http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=134608
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This deficiency can lead to a weak immunity which may hamper the holistic development of the kid. This is specifically more important during their growing years as those are the years when the body is building up to take care of itself for the rest of his/her life. Here are few must eat healthy foods that a kid should have during their growing years:
We have always heard our grandmothers say that a kid should drink milk at least twice a day and they say it for a reason. Milk is a rich source of phosphorous and calcium which helps build a kid’s muscles and bones. The milk is almost a complete diet in itself. It is said that it is best to drink in its purest state. (i.e. White Milk) but mothers can always add some jazz by adding fresh fruits like bananas and strawberries.
Various fruits like apples, berries, bananas, oranges etc. are vital for a kid’s growth. These fruits are rich in carbohydrates, vitamins like vitamin B and vitamin D, calcium, antioxidants and such that help boost the immune system. Fresh juices can also do the trick however, eating fruits have proved to be more beneficial than consuming juices.
Green vegetables and pulses are needed for a kid’s healthy growth. They are a rich source of iron which helps in producing haemoglobin in the human body. It is necessary that a kid should get enough of iron from his diet.
Peanut butter has proved to be a rich source of protein and unsaturated fats which would provide the kid with a good amount of nutrients. Hence, you can replace normal butter with peanut butter and serve the kid peanut butter sandwiches, serve it with waffles or biscuits and such which would make for a healthy meal.
Soya beans and nuts are very rich source of proteins and calcium. Kids in their growing years need more of proteins and calcium for proper growth of muscles, teeth and bones. Thus, it is necessary that they consume peanuts, almonds, walnuts and soya beans everyday even if it is in low quantity.
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits plus tomatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C which boosts the immune system. They are also rich in fibre which is an essential need for a kid during his growing years. Hence, make sure that a kid gets enough of citrus fruits and tomatoes in his daily diet.
Broccoli is a rich protein food. It also contains nutrients that help in controlling cell damage while maintaining a healthy eyesight proving to be very helpful in a kid’s development. A kid can be served broccoli almond soup or broccoli can be used as a topping in pizza, pasta and such.
Previously, the regular meal and organic fruits and vegetables used to meet the necessary requirements of vitamins and minerals, but with the onset of constantly increasing pollution in our environment, everything has been adulterated and the elements of life has been depleted all along our food chain. To fill this gap, smart parents now use health supplements, which help in building a strong immune system for a kid. There are very few supplements in the market which provide almost 100% RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of key immunity nutrients. I was able to get hold of one such product - ActivKids Immuno Boosters by Cipla.
ActivKids Immuno Boosters contains a total of 11 nutrients out of which 8 are immunity nutrients - Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, B9, B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron and Zinc. The product also contains Vitamin B1, B2 and B3 in addition to the above 8 immunity nutrients. The most exciting part of this product is that it is in a choco-bite format which my kids love. I don’t have to run after them to take these supplements. They love the product and its taste. Only one choco-bite per day is sufficient to supply all essential nutrients that your kid requires to develop a healthy immune system. So eat smart and stay smart.