Nutrition for Children ~ Guest Post by PJ!

I am pleased to introduce Padmajha Suresh, known as PJ in the blogging world. It is a pleasure having her here to share her knowledge as a dietitian and health educator!

PJ is a trained dietitian and a health educator. She started her career in a multi specialty hospital that gave her ample opportunity to apply and expand her knowledge.She is specialized in handling dietary needs for women, children, including other health conditions like diabetes, hypertension etc. Apart from this she also taught yoga for pregnant women and the elderly.

She is a multi talented lady with two Master Degrees, one in "Nutrition and Dietetics" and the other in Sociology. Not to mention her being graduated in Veena [Indian classical music]. Her hobbies include photography, philately and other forms of fine arts like Indian classical music, Rangoli.

Right now she is implementing what she learnt and taught to others, by being a full time mom to her lil one. So I can say practice makes a better teacher!

This will be a series of articles, today post will introduce us to the nutritional aspects we will have to think about.

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A sound mind in a sound body can be achieved only by starting off with the right type of food from the very beginning.

During infancy, the nutritional needs are looked after the mother, i.e. by the breast milk. The mother however has to eat the correct food to pass on the nutrition to the baby which sometimes is not achieved.

The next stage comes the weaning. Weaning begins when supplementary foods are introduced into the baby’s meal. Different people have different ideas on this topic. Some suggest weaning at 3 months and some at 6 months.[My daughter’s pediatrician suggested that I start weaning my daughter at the 6th month and not earlier than that.]

Weaning is essential as the nutrients in breast milk alone are not sufficient to satisfy the nutritional needs. There will be an increase need for calories and protein which cannot be met by mother’s milk. Iron stores in the infant’s liver will last until the first 4-6 months of life and hence have to be supplemented by other foods later.

Sometimes, weaning foods are introduced too early and even if they are starting it in the right age, they are directly introduced to the adult foods. Bulky adult diets do not meet the nutritional needs especially the calories. Some mothers in their eagerness to provide the best food for their kids often end up force –feeding the child with dense foods that may not be suitable for them. It can results in the child falling sick or developing an aversion towards food. . A gradual pace has to be set when introducing new foods to the little one which not only meets the requirements but are also easy to digest. [Read more on weaning food here]

Children at any stage need a balanced diet and the mother of course tries her best to feed the child with all the nutritious foods so that her little darling grows up big and strong. She faces the daunting task of putting together a meal that will be attractive to the platter and the taste buds.


In my next post I will talk more about a quick guide on Nutrients – Functions and sources. So stayed tuned!

Part 2 - Nutrients – Functions and sources- A quick guide

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