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Categories Children Diet

Using Food Play to Encourage Picky Eaters

I know how difficult it may be to have fussy eaters at home; not just as a mother, but also as a Senior Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian with over 17 years of experience in child nutrition. We simply want our children to eat, meet their nutritional needs, and quit being finicky eaters. So, how can we make mealtimes more fun and stimulate the consumption of new foods? Play with food!

Food play has gotten a bad reputation in the past.

“Don’t mess with your food!” 

“Use your fork and spoon!” 

“Don’t spit out your meal!” 

Such instructions don’t help, and I’m here to tell you why.

1.  We employ all five senses to eat, so it’s a whole sensory experience. We can help our children become accustomed to new foods by allowing them to use all of their senses. Touching, smelling, listening, feeling, and finally tasting our food are all important aspects of eating. We eat with all of our senses, which is particularly crucial for children and helps them to become more familiar with these foods.

2.  It’s not just about trying something new when it comes to eating; it’s about having interactions and exposures that brings our children closer to eating those foods. According to research, the more we allow our children to interact with different foods, textures, tastes and smells; the more comfortable they will get with these foods.

3. Taking a bite and eating a new meal can be intimidating. However, touching, smelling, or even licking that meal may not be as frightening. It has been proven that encouraging these stimuli leads to children liking new foods. Allowing children to spit their food out can be beneficial. We’re showing them that it’s alright if they don’t like the food right away, and that they can spit that bite onto their plate. This can help children feel more at ease with new foods.

Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 17 years of experience in child nutrition, can provide expert advice. Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

For more information about the same do visit   https://kanupriyakhanna.in/

Categories Pregnancy nutrition

Pre-natal nutrient needs, what and how much?

Pre-natal nutrient needs, what and how much?

 

“Eating for two” is a common phrase, but what does it truly mean for pregnant women? Although it may appear that pregnancy is an excuse to eat as much as you want, getting the right amount of calories and nutrients is essential for a healthy pregnancy.

The following guide for what to eat, how much to eat, and when to opt for a supplement, can help pave the way to good health during pregnancy.

Counting Calories for Pregnancy

While there are exceptions, many women are shocked to hear that during the first trimester of pregnancy, no additional calories are required. However, by the second trimester, an expectant mother requires an extra 250-300 calories per day. That’s around the same as one or two more snacks. You may require an additional 450 calories per day during the third trimester, which is equivalent to one additional small meal.

Weight gain is natural and encouraged during pregnancy, while losing weight is not recommended. The recommendations below, based on the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines, indicate how much weight gain is considered healthy, based on a mother’s pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). But, as always, it’s important to consult with your dietitian before making any major changes to your diet:

  • Underweight (BMI <18.5): Weight gain of 12 – 18kgs (28-40 lbs.)
  • Normal (BMI 18.5-24.9): Weight gain of 11- 15kgs (25-35 lbs.)
  • Overweight (BMI 25-29.9): Weight gain of 6-11kgs (15-25 lbs.)
  • Obese (BMI 30+): Weight gain of 5-9kgs (11-20 lbs.)
  • Pregnant with twins: Weight gain of 11-20kgs (25-45 lbs.)

Important Nutrients for Pregnant Women

The following are six nutrients that expectant mothers should consume to promote a healthy pregnancy and birth.

  1. Folate

Folate has been identified as a critical nutrient for foetal growth by healthcare professionals over the years. Folate is required for the development of the foetal brain and spinal cord, and deficits can result in neural tube abnormalities. In fact, before conceiving, women should make sure they are getting adequate folate.

Foods including legumes, nuts and seeds, eggs, leafy greens, broccoli, and many other fruits and vegetables, as well as supplements, should provide at least 600 micrograms (mcg) of folate per day. If you’re thinking about getting pregnant or expecting, talk to your doctor about folic acid.

  1. Iron

Iron is a mineral that aids in the transport of oxygen to the mothers’ and foetus’ organs and tissues. During pregnancy, both the mother and the baby’s blood volume expands, and their iron requirements nearly treble. For pregnant women, a daily iron dose of 27 mg is suggested. Pulses, lentils, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and fortified grains are all good sources of iron, but doctors recommend taking an iron-supplement as well. Vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, can enhance iron absorption when combined with iron-rich diets or supplements.

  1. Calcium

Calcium is essential for foetal bone and skeletal development, as well as maternal bone health. A baby will draw calcium from the mother’s stores if the mother’s diet is deficient in calcium, which might damage the mother’s bones. The daily calcium need for expecting mothers is 1,000 mg, which can be met by eating 3-4 cups of dairy each day. Calcium can also be found in soy products, broccoli, tinned salmon, dark leafy greens, and sardines. Also, divide your calcium intake. To enhance absorption, take no more than 500 mg at a time. This vital nutrient is also available in supplement form.

  1. Vitamin D

Though a mother’s vitamin D needs do not increase during pregnancy it is important to maintain adequate intake. Vitamin D works in conjunction with calcium for the development of fetal bones and skeletal system. The vitamin D recommendation for pregnant women is 600 international units (IU) a day or 15 mcg, which you can get from the sun, fortified milk, fatty fish, eggs, or from a supplement.

  1. Choline

The American Medical Association (AMA) has found that choline may help with brain and spinal cord maturation during pregnancy. Choline is found naturally in animal products, eggs, beans and most nuts. According to the National Institutes of Health, this vitamin is frequently included to baby formulae also, because of its significant health advantages.

  1. Fiber

Constipation affects many pregnant women at some point throughout their pregnancy. Consume enough of fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains to avoid it. Drink plenty of water and get between 25 and 30 gm of fibre every day.

Every stage of life necessitates proper nutrition, but pregnancy and the months afterwards entail special dietary requirements for both women and kids. You and your baby have the best chance of being happy and healthy, not just during pregnancy, but also afterwards; if you eat a well-balanced diet and drink enough of water.

For expert advice, you can contact Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian holding more than 17 years of experience in child nutrition. Because of her sheer involvement in making a difference in people’s life by inculcating healthy food habits and lifestyle, Kanupriya Khanna is ranked as one of the best dietitians in Delhi. (Dietary needs of Children During the Pandemic 🙂

 

Categories Children Diet, Dietician for children, Nutrition Blogs

Type 1 Diabetes in Kids

Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the body is no longer able to produce an important hormone (insulin). As a result, the level of sugar in the blood remains higher than normal. High blood sugar levels are a problem because they can cause a number of health problems. Hence, the missing insulin needs to be replaced with injections or with an insulin pump.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include:

➢ Extreme thirst and hunger

➢ Frequent urination

➢ Unexpected weight loss

➢ Blurred vision

➢ Nausea and vomiting

➢ Fatigue, irritability, or behavioral change

➢ Foul, fruity, or sour-smelling breath, etc

• Diabetes in Kids

Just like adults, kids also suffer from Type 1 diabetes. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. However, as per health experts, genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role in this process.

All the above symptoms of type 1 diabetes are common in kids as well. At times, the first sign of diabetes in kids is bedwetting.  Diabetes should also be suspected if a girl hasn’t started puberty, yet gets a vaginal yeast infection.

In most cases, the symptoms aren’t always obvious, as they take a long time to develop.

• Diagnosis

Diabetes can be done by testing blood and urine samples. It helps detect the glucose level in the body. The doctor may also ask about the family’s health history, in order to confirm the disease.

• Treatment

➢ Kids with type 1 diabetes are given insulin injections or insulin pumps daily – to keep the blood glucose level within normal ranges.

➢ Regular monitoring of sugar levels is compulsory.

➢ The treatment also requires regular exercise and changes in the health diet plan.

• Meal Planning

Everything your child eats can affect their blood sugar level. Hence, meal planning is important if your child is suffering from Type 1 diabetes. While your child doesn’t have to avoid any particular foods, you would want to keep the below tips in mind:

➢ Increase fiber in your child’s diet plan. It will not only help the child maintain an appropriate weight, but will also help him/her control the overall blood sugar level.

➢ Serve healthy carbohydrates, at every meal.  Examples are whole grains like millets, quinoa, amaranth or rajgira, brown rice, whole-wheat roti, oatmeal, etc.

➢ Do not serve sugary drinks or carbonated drinks. Instead, try infusing your drinking water with fresh fruits and herbs. Make sure you do not add sugar.

➢ Restrict fast foods from your child’s diet plan.

➢ Serve freshly cooked homemade food as much as possible.

➢ Change your cooking methods. Instead of frying, choose healthier options like baking, boiling, or steaming, etc

➢ Don’t let your child skip meals, even if your child is trying to lose weight.

➢ Serve fruits, salads or homemade soups in between, to avoid hunger.

Remember, there’s really no such thing as a diabetic diet. It’s just that you need to make healthier choices when it comes to your child’s meals and snacks.

However, if you need personalised help – consult a dietitian Kanupriya Khanna. One of the best child dieticians in Delhi, Kanupriya can help you build the best diet plan for your child.

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