Today’s lifestyle of kids has changed drastically; their physical activities on a decline, increase in the intake of junk foods and irregularities in schedule create an adverse impact on their nutritional status and health. Parents too are concerned as well as confused about the right kind of nutrition for their children. In this context, most often balanced and the adequacies of micro and macro nutrients are overlooked, unknowingly.
Proper nutrition is directly related to immunity and malnutrition results in poor physical and mental growth of kids. The term, ‘protein energy malnutrition’ in children is a major public health problem in India. Moreover, this problem is not limited to the rural area or to the vegetarian community, but it is a major problem even in affluent and health conscious families.
Proteins, carbohydrates, lipids (fats), vitamins, minerals and water are the basic constituents of nutrition. While the availability of nutrients in meals is essential, the capacity to digest these nutrients is important for proper nutrition and immunity. Having said that, proteins are the building blocks for our body, which means you need proteins for regular growth and managing the day to day wear and tear of our body.
The daily protein requirement for kids:
Aged between 4-9 years is 19 g.
Aged between 9-13 years is 34 g.
Here are simple ways to build your kids immunity:
- Encourage your kid to eat the rainbow; fruits and vegetables of all colours. Broccoli, berries and bell peppers are brightly coloured and rich in antioxidants. Citrus fruits and oranges are high in Vitamin C which acts as a barrier against infections. Leafy vegetables like spinach are iron-rich. Grains, beans and nuts contain omega fatty acids.
- Gut health is critical to a good digestive system. Food rich in probiotics (yoghurt) strengthens the intestinal tract and aids the growth of good bacteria.
- 10-14 hours of uninterrupted sleep is always recommended. A well-rested kid is better equipped to keep infections at bay.
- Good hygiene keeps germs and infections away.
- Avoid antibiotics unless it is necessary.
- Always prefer a smoke-free space as the toxins can kill healthy cells.
- Exercise plays a huge role in overall fitness… so stay active!
- Never fail to include a healthy dose of cuddles and laughs, love and attention.
- You may include a nutritional supplement to your kid’s diet.
Useful tips for selecting a nutritional supplement for your kid:
Before buying any nutritional supplement for your kid, one should focus on improving basic diet habits and being physically active. Make sure that your kid really needs the supplement. Remember, unnecessary and over intake of nutrients may be harmful.
While selecting any nutritional supplement, make sure that it does not contain anything that your kid is allergic to. Usually milk, soya and pea are the commonly known sources of proteins. A good supplement helps in your kid’s balanced immunity, healthy bones and muscles, healthy cognition and concentration and provides wholesome nutrition. However, if your kid experiences any kind of swelling, gastric upset, rashes or any abnormal symptom post taking any protein supplement, immediately stop the use of the product and consult your physician. Always select a product with minimum sugar in it, since it does not add much value to your purpose.
Before we wrap up, it is always good to note that for boosting your kid’s immunity, select a blend of proteins from plant and whey origin and go for a trusted brand!