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The Nutritional Guideline for Children's Health

This blog provides a comprehensive nutritional guideline for children's health, covering the essential nutrients required for their growth and development. It highlights the importance of consuming nutrient-rich foods and limiting the intake of unhealthy snacks, added sugars, and saturated fats. The blog also includes dietary guidelines for kids of different age groups and emphasizes the need to exercise regularly and avoid overeating. Parents can use this guide to ensure that their children's diet meets their nutritional needs and promotes their overall health.

Do you know how much nutrition your child needs?

Just like adults, children's nutrient requirements change with age. Proper consumption of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and fat is essential for healthy growth and development. So, how can you ensure that your child is getting enough nutrients?

Let's take a look at the nutrient needs of children at various stages of development.

Nutrient-Rich Foods

According to experts, the essential nutrient foods for children are:

Essential nutrient foods for children include:

  • Protein-rich foods like fish, unsalted nuts, and seeds
  • Seasonal fruits (fresh, canned, frozen, or dried) instead of fruit juice with added sugars
  • Vegetables (fresh, tinned, frozen, or dried) with essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals
  • Whole grains like whole-wheat bread, oats, quinoa, and brown or wild rice
  • Dairy products like low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, curd, yoghurt, buttermilk, etc.
  • Dry fruits such as almonds, cashews, dates, raisins, etc.

To limit caloric consumption, it's important to:

  • Limit intake of salt and promote consumption of fruits and vegetables to avoid unhealthy snacks
  • Reduce sugar consumption and use naturally occurring sugars like those in fruits and milk or jaggery
  • Avoid or limit added sugar foods like brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, honey, and other sweeteners
  • Limit saturated fats found in animal products and substitute with vegetable and nut oils
  • Eliminate partly hydrogenated oil from the diet to reduce intake of trans fats.

Example Of Dietary Daily Guidelines-

Nutrition for kids Ages 2 to 4 Ages 5 to 8 Ages 9 to 13
Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys
Calories (depending on growth and activity level) 1,000- 1,400, 1000-1600 1200- 1800 1,200- 2,000 1400- 2200 1600-2600
Protein 2-4 ounces 2-5 ounces 3-5 ounces 3-5.5 ounces 4-6 ounces 5-6.5 ounces
Fruits 1-1.5 cups 1-1.5 cups 1-1.5 cups 1-2 cups 1.5-2 cups 1.5-2 cups
Vegetables 1-1.5 cups 1-2 cups 1.5-2.5 cups 1.5-2.5 cups 1.5-3 cups 2-3.5 cups
Grains 3-5 ounces 3-5 ounces 4-6 ounces 4-6 ounces 5-7 ounces 5-9 ounces
Dairy 2-2.5 cups 2-2.5 cups 2.5 cups 2.5 cups 3 cups 3 cups

1 ounce is equal to approx 28 grams

Some Key Points To Be Considered

  • Drink more water, less processed beverages
  • Breastfeed for at least 6 months
  • Introduce homemade semi-solid foods after 6 months
  • Ensure safe and uncontaminated food
  • Exercise regularly for healthy weight
  • Avoid overeating
  • Pregnant/lactating women need extra nutrition and care
  • Limit intake of sugary, salty, fatty processed foods
  • Eat a wide variety of foods for balance
  • Use minimal ghee/butter/vanaspati and animal foods
  • Use proper cooking methods and techniques.

Ensure that children and adolescents receive adequate and appropriate nutrition, both in good health and in the case of a medical emergency. Consult your child's doctor or a nutritionist if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s diet.

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