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FEEDING - Dr. L. Nagpal

A normal child, during his early school years, tends to be steady in terms of physical growth. The increase in height and weight is steady.

A child's food habits tend to undergo a change in the beginning of the school years. Due to the changes in the environment, some children lose their appetite, some stop eating breakfast, while others do not have their school lunch adequately. They also start getting exposed to junk foods at this age. The nutrition requirements at this age remains the same, as those of a preschool child, there is only an increase in the quantity of nutrients required.

The Protein requirements go up. Include protein foods like egg, meat, nuts and seeds in your child's diet. The Calcium requirement also increases as the bones grow. Milk or milk products like yoghurt, paneer and cheese are good for the child.

Foods rich in vitamin C must be a part of the diet. The calorie requirements of a child also increase, as the child grows. Include complex carbohydrates like wheat bread, potatoes, chapatis, etc.

Importance of Breakfast in the Diet of the Child
You will find most nutritionists agreeing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet, due to the early morning rush, people either skip breakfast or have an extremely light one.

Your must plan it, so that your child has enough time to get ready and have a good breakfast before going to school. Offer him things that are quick to make for you, as well as nutritious in content. Plan things a way, that he can have a simple and nutritious breakfast, without being in a hurry to leave, so that he can enjoy his breakfast.
   
Recommended Calorie Allowances from Birth to Adolescence :

Age

Approximate
body weight (kg)  

Approximate
number of calories

0 - 6 months

5.4

108/kg

6 - 12 months

8.6

98/kg

1 - 3 years  

12.2

1240

4 - 6 years  

19.0

1690

7 - 9 years  

26.9

1950

10 - 12 years

Boys  

35.4

2190

Girls

31.5

1970

13 - 15 years

Boys  

47.8

2450

Girls  

46.7

2060

16 - 18 years

Boys  

57.1

2640

Girls  

49.9

2060

(Source : Recommended Dietary Allowances for Indians, I.C.M.R. 1996)
To take care of the increased calorie requirement for normal teenagers including 2 to 4 extra servings of complex carbohydrates will help.

 

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