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Providing adequate nutrition to children is a very serious issue in India. The government's initiatives for improving nutrition in children involve three steps:

  1. A commitment to reduce malnutrition and low birth weight through national and State level policies
  2. The use of a community-based approach to address malnutrition and child development.
  3. Provision of Vitamin A and iron supplements to address damage caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Latest UNICEF (External website that opens in a new window) figures reveal that around 46 per cent of all children below the age of three are too small for their age, 47 per cent are underweight and at least 16 per cent are wasted. 1 in 3 of the world's malnourished children lives in India.

Here are a few tips on providing a nutritious diet to your child -

  • Offer your child a wide variety of healthy nutritious foods like green leafy veggies, fresh fruits, legumes and the like.
  • Encourage your child to eat plenty of cereals, but prefer inculcating the habit of eating whole grain.
  • Milk and other milk products are a must for the growth of child. They act as good sources of calcium that ensure healthy bones and teeth. Going in for low fat skimmed milk is not recommended for children under the age of two, but young children and adolescents can definitely opt for low fat milk varieties.
  • As far as intake of non-vegetarian food is concerned, encourage your child to go in for lean meat, fish and poultry.
  • Alcohol intake is not at all recommended for young children.
  • Choose foods that are less salty and less spicy.
  • Avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat content.
  • When it comes to cooking, prefer going in for cooking techniques like steaming, boiling and baking, rather than frying. Frying tends to involve extensive usage of oil, thus making the food item high in calories and low in nutrition.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on:10-02-2011