Tips for Parents: Here’s How Parents Can Create a Health Plan for Growing Children | Health

A developing child requires a balanced diet rich in minerals and vitamins for proper development of the body and mind, and according to health and fitness experts, parents should ensure that the balanced diet is made up of the correct ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Since childhood is a vital stage of crucial growth, where the demand is greater, it is important that parents take care of the nutrition for the correct development of their child.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Puja Kapoor, a pediatric neurologist and co-founder of Continua Kids, revealed what parents can include in a health plan for their developing child:


1. Protein – Protein-rich foods include eggs, beans, soybeans, legumes, and various nuts and seeds.

2. Fruit – Encourage the child to eat a variety of fresh fruits (instead of fruit juice). For juices, make sure it’s 100 percent juice with no added sugars and in limited quantities.

3. Vegetables – Eat a variety of fresh vegetables, including green leafy vegetables. Canned and processed foods should be avoided.

4. Grains – Choose whole grains, such as whole wheat chappati, bread, oatmeal, popcorn, rice. Limit refined grains like white bread and pasta.

5. Dairy – Encourage your child to drink milk, eat yogurt, cheese for the proper amount of calcium requirements.

According to Dr. Puja Kapoor, parents should try to limit their children’s calories from:

1. Added sugar – Limit added sugars. Natural sugars, like those in fruit and milk, are not added sugars. Examples of added sugars include brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, honey, and others. Check Nutrition Facts labels and choose foods with minimal added sugars. Avoid drinks with added sugars like sodas and various energy drinks.

2. Saturated and trans fats – Eat a limited amount of saturated fat (these are derived primarily from animal food sources, such as red meat, poultry, and full-fat dairy products). Try to replace saturated fats with vegetable and nut oils, which also provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E.

3. Sodium – The amount of sodium in the diet should be adequate and not added. Encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables instead of chips and cookies. Always check Nutrition Facts labels and look for products that are low in sodium.

Sports nutritionist, Mihira AR Khopkar, revealed: “Growing children have high demands on both the development process and their activity in the game. This requires a nutrition program that has adequate calories to take care of growth and energy expended during game time.”

She suggested: “A balanced diet that focuses on all the key macro and micronutrients and meets their requirements, while preventing or treating deficiencies is an ideal health plan. The simple trick is really to include foods with different colors in the plan, kind of like a rainbow diet! This will ensure that your child gets all the nutrients from all food sources!”