Parents constantly worry about the type of diet to adopt for their children. They want to know what diet is best for their kids – vegan, vegetarian, meat and poultry based diet or a combination of all of them. They are aware that a child’s physical and mental development is completely dependent on what their diet consists of during the formative years.
As a rule of thumb, food needs to be fresh and organically grown using natural manure and pesticides. The packaged food products need to be free of additives, chemicals and preservatives.
Let us look at the ill-effects of wrong diets and risks the unsafe food products pose to our health.
- Fertilizers and Pesticides: Traces of chemicals such as lead and mercury in our food can interfere with physical and mental growth of children.
- Food Adulteration: This patently fraudulent trade practice is punishable by law. A common example is adulteration of milk using urea, starch and formalin.
- Preservatives and food colours: Additives and chemicals used to make packaged food items have a longer shelf life are harmful to health and so are the food colours.
- Overeating: The rising economic prosperity is being matched by a corresponding rise in obesity. If not checked, obesity may lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Vitamin deficiency: Food deficient in essential vitamins can lead to night blindness and diseases such as scurvy and rickets.
- Junk food: Fast food is high on calories but offers little nutritional value.
- Other deficiencies: A protein or carbohydrate deficient diet is harmful to health.
So how do we choose the type of diet and stay away from the dangers disguised as food? The answer lies in going natural as Mother Nature has all the answers for our queries.
Let us what nutrients today’s children are deficient in and the ways to incorporate them in our daily diet. Also given below are some of the food items they are found in:
- Calcium: Vital for developing bone mass. Found in cheese, soy milk and cereals.
- Vitamin E: Good source for antioxidants. Found in spinach, nuts, and avocado.
- Fiber: Lowers risk of heart disease and diabetes. Found in fruits, oatmeal, and lentils.
- Potassium: Helps maintain blood pressure. Found in bananas, milk, and fish such as cod.
- Iron: Important for brain development. Found in shrimp, chicken, and whole wheat bread.
In addition, it helps to explain to the children the benefits of following a balanced diet, avoiding junk food, eating moderately, exercising regularly, spending time outdoors and getting enough sleep at regular hours.
Disclaimer: Choosing what food to eat is a matter of personal choice. This article is written with the aim of providing general information. Please consult a dietitian or your doctor to get a professional opinion and to design a diet that is suitable for your child.