Nutrition for Older Kids

Nov 01 , 2022

Hungry Koala

A child having completed second year of life will gradually begin to show many changes which are a part of his normal growth and development. His association with food assumes a varied spectrum right from a language of communication to a show of emotions, to the extent of acceptance or rejection or selection of food. But the fact remains that food or more precisely “good nutrition “ continues to remain fundamental to the child’s physical and mental growth and development.
Growth and development is a continuous process where by each year builds upon the preceding one. It is here that the role of building good food habits assumes significance. Good food habits cannot be acquired overnight or for one particular period. They have to be built over the years and these years begin right from one’s childhood. At this point , parents, health workers and to some extent teachers can play a crucial role to help the child.
Unlike in the past when a child used to enter school not before the age of five , today , due to changing times, a child is exposed to the outside world as early as 2.5-3 years . It is here that the process of food becoming a social event begins, when the packed tiffin which is sent to him becomes a medium of another school activity. This participation inculcates certain habits , such as sharing, widening circles of human relationship and also becoming a socio cultural activity.
Certain considerations towards building good food habits should be: 1) Maintaining regular meal timings in a pleasant environment. 2) Offering small in between snacks of nutritious variety. 3)Avoiding monotony in various meals. Change is usually welcome and will help develop new tastes. 4) Food items should be such that the child is able to handle himself without messing or difficulty. Where and when required adult help would be appreciated. 5) Whenever possible one meal of the day should be a “family affair” where all the family members sit together and enjoy food rather than considering it as just another routine affair. 6) Undue anxiety over food should be avoided as it can rebound as a reaction of food becoming a weapon by the child to win his point.