The best foods for growing babies: Complete guide to infant nutrition this summer season

The best foods for growing babies: Complete guide to infant nutrition this summer season
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FromZarafshan ShirazNew Delhi

Summer brings a number of health problems such as heatstroke, dehydration, skin rashes and indigestion, but while staying indoors, using fans and air conditioners and wearing breathable and light-colored cotton can help keep us cool, it is essential to ensure that children receive adequate nutrition to keep their bodies cool. Children’s immunity is lower than in adults, making it crucial to provide them with a balanced supply of nutritious meals and drinks during the summer.

The best foods for growing children: complete guide to infant nutrition for this summer season (Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Simran Saini, a nutritionist and weight loss consultant shared, Summers are the time for holidays, fun and enjoyment in the fiery son. Children have fun but sweat a lot and also get tired easily. So to keep children active and protected, the right nutrition plays a fundamental role. We recommend keeping children hydrated with plenty of liquids on the go which include lemonade, aam cream, chaach, taang, fruit juices like watermelon juice, sugar cane juice and coconut water. Adding small, frequent healthy snacks works well to maintain energy and nutrient balance. Clear steer or candy available from market, prefer homemade ice Fruity Pops, Sprouts, Homemade Dhokla and Baby Flavored Yoghurt. These are safe and delicious. A well-nourished baby is a happy, healthy baby. So let’s get our kids to smile and play in the sun.

To help you understand the importance of proper nutrition for kids this summer, Shweta Mishra, nutritionist at Gritzo, has listed a comprehensive and recommended guide:

  1. Healthy Drinks – To control dehydration and heat exhaustion in a heat wave, it’s vital you take precautions. Including healthy drinks such as smoothies or protein shakes in a child’s diet is a convenient way to increase nutrient intake. Fruit and vegetable smoothies provide essential vitamins and minerals, while protein shakes aid in muscle growth and repair, ideal for active kids during the summer. It’s important to be selective with your health drinks as many are high in added sugar and calories. Choose beverages with whole, nutrient-dense ingredients and low added sugars for maximum nutritional benefits. Another healthy and safe option is coconut water. It is rich in electrolytes, keeping you hydrated and cool in the summer while boosting your energy levels. Additionally, coconut water improves digestion and contains vital nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamin C, boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation. This is especially crucial during a heat wave, when the body is more susceptible to seasonal ailments and infections from added heat stress.
  2. yogurt – Yogurt offers a valuable combination of protein, calcium and probiotics, which are beneficial microorganisms that support a healthy gut. This becomes especially important in the summer when children may experience digestive problems due to changes in their routine and eating habits. Yogurt makes a delicious and refreshing snack that helps keep kids hydrated and satisfied between meals. Probiotics aid digestion and provide an internal cooling effect. To incorporate yogurt into a child’s diet, it is recommended to enhance its taste by adding sweet fruit. This turns it into a delightful gift for children. Probiotics serve as a beneficial addition to anyone’s diet as they can ease problems like constipation, diarrhea, and weakened immunity.
  3. Citrus and seasonal – In the summer season, it is vital to incorporate a variety of fresh fruits into children’s diets to provide them with vital vitamins and minerals. Citrus fruits, such as lemons and oranges, are excellent sources of vitamin C, known for its abdominal cooling properties and detoxifying benefits. Seasonal fruits like watermelon and mango also offer hydration, anti-toxin properties and promote skin health. Mangoes, in particular, are rich in minerals and antioxidants, provide immediate energy and prevent fatigue. Encouraging children to consume raw mango can be done through a delicious and healthy drink called aam panna. Increasing vitamin C intake can be achieved by incorporating lemonade, amla juice or orange juice into children’s diets through juices and fruit salads. Drinking lemon water improves immunity, keeps the skin fresh and helps in detoxification. Adding a squeeze of lemon juice to salads or water adds a refreshing twist.
  4. Green leafy vegetables – Alongside citrus fruits, leafy greens in a child’s summer diet are also vital to their health and energy. Leafy greens like spinach, lettuce and kale offer numerous health benefits. They are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals while being low in calories, making them an excellent choice for supporting children’s health and providing them with essential nutrients. These veggies are also high in vitamins A, C, folate, calcium, iron, and other minerals, making them an effective way to boost your vitamin and nutrient intake during the summer. In addition, cucumbers have a cooling effect on the body, high fiber content, and help maintain healthy digestion and prevent constipation. They can be a great snack option, especially for picky eaters. Just leave a bowl of cucumber sticks on your child’s table and watch them disappear.

Speaking of essential tips for keeping your child healthy and hydrated during the summer season, Ruchi Sharmma, nutritionist and dietitian at Gladful, advises:

  • During the summer season, it’s important for children to engage in outdoor activities and spend quality time with their loved ones. However, the heat can pose risks such as dehydration and other health problems if parents don’t pay attention to their baby’s nutrition. Therefore, ensuring that children stay hydrated and receive adequate protein intake becomes paramount.
  • For starters, it’s essential to keep water readily available at all times, particularly when outdoors. Parents should encourage their children to drink water regularly, as it helps maintain hydration and prevents heat-related problems. Sugary drinks like soda should be avoided as they can contribute to dehydration. It is recommended to opt for fortified drinks or coconut water instead.
  • In addition to hydration, protein intake is vital to a child’s growth and development. During the summer months, it is helpful to include protein-rich foods in their diet. These can include dairy products, eggs, fish, lean meats, nuts and beans. By incorporating such foods into their meals, kids can support their energy levels and stay active, enhancing their enjoyment of the summer season.

In conclusion, prioritizing infant feeding during the summer is of utmost importance. Parents should focus on keeping their children hydrated and making sure they are getting enough protein. By following these guidelines, parents can ensure their children have a healthy and enjoyable summer filled with lasting memories.

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