Weight gain for toddlers is one of the major concerns for mothers today. Ironically, a toddler’s health is usually determined by how chubby he is.
WHAT IS THE BODY WEIGHT MADE OF?
As we all know, the human body is made up of muscles, fat, bones, fluids and water. But little do we know that weight gain is associated with healthy muscle & bone development and not fat!!
WHO NEEDS TO GAIN WEIGHT?
Every child is born different. They have a different body structure, different metabolic needs and different rates of growth. Blindly feeding your children with fatty foods not only interferes with their inherent body type but also results in lowering overall health. Step 1 – know your child’s body type (brainy, muscular, bony or fleshy). Step 2 – design a suitable eating pattern for them as per their core body type. Step 3 – focus on health and not weight
Eg. If you try to turn a bony child into a fleshy child – he will lose his health.
Muscle food does not necessarily imply a high protein diet. The focus here should be on “bioavailable” protein i.e. the protein that is easily digested and absorbed by the body.
The classic example of bioavailable protein is a cereal – pulse combination. Traditional indian foods have that naturally balanced protein that ensures adequate growth and muscle development. Eg. idli, dosa, khichdi, pongal, poran poli, dhokla, rajma-chawal, chole puri.
Other bioavailable muscle building foods include seeds (like quinoa, amaranth, sesame, chia), yoghurt, eggs and fish.
Fat is an insulator and a core enhancing nutrient. However, the quality of fat is of utmost importance. Toddlers grow well when fed on an easily digested fat source v/s oils. Foods that fall in this category are nuts (almonds, walnuts), ghee, whole fat milk & milk products, avocados, olives, fatty fish and egg yolk.
Bones need vitamin D, magnesium, silicon and zinc along with calcium for complete growth. Foods like whole milk (full fat), full fat milk products, sesame seeds, amaranth, cashews, green leafy vegetables, chickpeas, red beans and sprouts are excellent bone growth boosters.