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Nutritional diet plans for kids:

What diet should be given to 3 year old kid?

Growth rate of a preschooler child is comparatively slower than an infant or a school going child (your child is 3 years old so he falls in preschooler group). On an average a child in this age will grow about 2 ½ inches and gain 4-5 pounds each year. Appetite of a child may decrease in this age as the growth rate is slow, but this is an excellent period to make your child aware and give proper ideas about a healthy diet and lifestyle. This is because the habits and attitude formed in this phase of life are likely to be carried with them in their future. The nutritional need for your 3 year old kid will almost be similar to other family members in the house, but definitely the amount will vary because of his age.

To include a balanced diet, offer your child with a variety of foods from all the food groups that is cereals, grains, breads, rice and pasta; vegetables and fruits; milk, cheese and yoghurt; and meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans and pulses.

When allowed to choose from a variety of healthy foods, over a time your child will take in adequate nutrients. Proteins is essential for growth and they can be supplied in the diet in the form of milk and milk products, beans, sprouts, pulses, eggs, fish, poultry and meat. Dairy products shall also fulfill the needs of calcium (other sources include leafy vegetables and seafood) which is necessary for strong teeth and bones. Iron requirements are high and they can be derived from meat, fish, poultry, eggs, iron fortified cereals and green leafy vegetables. Make sure to supply vitamin C along with vegetarian sources of iron for better absorption. Vitamin C and vitamin A can be derived from citrus fruits, dark green and yellow orange vegetables. The requirement of other vitamins and minerals shall be fulfilled by whole cereals, grains and its products. Besides all the nutrients, one important aspect of diet which is often forgotten is – water. Sufficient amount of water is required in small children to regulate important body functions. Compared to adults, children have more percentage of body water thus they are at increased risk of dehydration than adults when enough water is not supplied. So along with the food, offer water or other fluids like fruit juices or vegetables juices several times a day. Fat is another essential nutrient in your child’s diet, along with providing enough calories it also provides other essential nutrients needed for growing and active child. Avoid any fat restriction in your child's diet, 30% calories of the diet should come form fat. However see to it that the emphasis is laid on good quality fat and intake of cholesterol, saturated and trans fats is minimal as in case of adults. Sugary foods should be included in limit as they provide very little of other nutrients and also promote tooth decay.

Submitted on January 16, 2014