By Kamakshi Ganesh
As I child I always wondered if hanging from the monkey bars would make me taller than my brother. 30 years wiser, and now I know that the growth of a child has a lot to do with what they eat and gravity isn’t going to lend a helping hand. What would be the best food for children’s growth – not just physical but mental growth as well? We did some research and listed out some of the top food that will help benefit your child in their growing years.
The first thing to remember is – “variety is key”. Not in terms of the type of cuisine but rather in the variety of nutrients they need to consume in all their meals. In a world where kids have access to all the sugary and processed foods, wholesome meals rich in protein, calcium, vitamins, and fiber are essential for brain and body development. Here are the types of food you should add to your child’s meal plans:
1. Protein: Eggs
This is something we all learn in 6th-grade science – proteins are the building blocks of our body. They provide the body with amino acids that promote muscle growth and tissue repair and also give the body energy to function through the day! Children need to consume protein-rich meals since their body is growing and developing every day.
Each egg contains about 6g of protein. There are multiple ways to introduce this into your kid’s diets - boiled eggs with toast for breakfast, adding an omelette in sandwiches or even muttai dosa (egg dosa) which was a personal favourite growing up! Chicken and soya are also good sources of protein.
2. High-Fibre foods: Millets and Whole Grain Cereal
Grain foods like millets, oats and brown rice are rich in fibre in addition to vitamins and minerals. These foods help to provide your children with energy while keeping them full for longer. The high magnesium content also aids in their bone development and growth.
100 gms of millets contain around 9gms of fibre making them a great addition to your child’s diet. These can be substituted for the typical white rice and processed wheat in our meals. High fibre breakfasts like cereals are recommended for kids as this packs in enough energy for them to coast through their day. If you want to get creative and avoid the usual trusty oatmeal breakfast recipe -try the Slurpp Farm Millet Pancakes as a healthy and tasty breakfast which is packed with all the goodness of organic millets.
3. Vitamins: Fruits
Fruits that are rich in vitamins and minerals are some of the best food for children’s growth. They build stronger bodies and also helps fight against illnesses by improving immunity. Remember to buy seasonal fruits to benefit from all the vitamins they have to offer.
Fruits can be added to their cereals and salads or whipped up into delicious and refreshing juices for when they get back from school. Try and include a variety of fruits like oranges, apples, bananas and pineapples for a well-rounded diet.
4. Calcium: Dairy Products
Dairy products like milk and cheese are a great source of calcium, vitamin D and protein. Calcium-rich food helps to build stronger teeth and gums. Unless your child is allergic to lactose, dairy products would be one of the best food for children’s growth.
It would be ideal to give your child a gold of glass of milk, but it could get too boring for them to have it plain every day (let’s face it, we’ve all felt that way at some point in our childhood). You can always blend in fruits and nuts to add more flavour and make it tasty for them. Try adding the Slurrp Farm Banana powder as a natural sweetener with the benefits of real bananas to amp up the milkshake.
5. Healthy Fats: Nuts
Nuts and seeds are rich in essential minerals and vitamins as well as healthy fats and amino acids, which are vital for growth. They serve as a handy snack to provide a growing child with energy.
Nut butter like peanut butter, almond butter and hazelnut spreads can be made into tasty sandwiches. Nuts and seeds can be introduced as a topper to their cereal and salads. Slurpp Farm’s Nut Powder And Chia Seeds are organic superfoods that are great additions to infuse vitamins and essential fats into their meals.