A common question that we ask a paediatrician when we take our child for a regular check-up is:
How is the overall child development?
But as the child nears second growth spurt, there are added worries like
He doesn’t like homemade food and eats a lot of junk, what do I do?
My child is too busy with gadgets or friends and seems to be ignoring food?
These are common concerns for a mother whose child is in 2nd growth sprout. There are numerous changes that occur during the 2nd growth spurt – the onset of puberty. There may be some variation depending on the lifestyle, physical activity, hormonal function, food & nutrition and environmental exposure.
• The onset of a growth spurt in Girls: 10 years
• The onset of a growth spurt in Boys: 12 years
5 critical food groups that provide nutrition in second-growth spurt:
Nutrient requirements increase during adolescence to support rapid growth. Inappropriate nutrition can create a lasting impact on the growth, development and physical fitness of an adolescent.
The protein requirement is maximum in this stage of a child’s life. Proteins are also known as the building blocks of our body.
Some of the protein-rich foods are Milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, soy protein, beans, green peas, chickpeas, green leafy veggies, flesh foods, seafood. Quinoa, nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds & poppy seeds. Including this food group in your child diet is necessary. Protein should account for 15-20% of total calories. The quality of protein becomes important specially if a vegetarian or a vegan diet is followed
Carbohydrates and Fiber:
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy at this stage. Sufficient carbohydrates help body spare proteins for growth and development. Fiber is an essential nutrition that aids in overall development. All varieties of fruits and vegetables should be taken for the good amount of antioxidants in them.
Dietary fat plays an important role for energy purpose and proper hormone functioning. Make your child learn to choose healthier fat options like nuts, lean meats, skim dairy products over Trans fats in bakery products and packaged food chips and junk food.
In the sound growth spurt, a child needs more calcium to build bone mass. For strong skeleton and strong bones include these calcium sources in their diet. Milk and milk products like cheese, paneer, curd, buttermilk, sesame seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables.
Iron is needed for gaining muscle mass.Good sources of iron include green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, jaggery and pulses especially kidney beans, black Bengal gram, green moong, soybean, jowar, ragi, etc. Including vitamin C in the diet helps to absorb more iron. Make sure your child has plenty of foods rich in vitamin C like oranges, lemons, berries, and kiwi.
Apart from nutrition, make sure they are into physical activity too. Remember this is the last chance to cover the nutritional deficits and achieve healthy overall development, so make full use of it.
From dietitian desk:
*For fussy eater try serving food with some food art as it makes the food interesting.
*Try adding veggie puree in idli, dosa batter. It will not only add colour to the dish but also adds nutrition to it.
* Try making different variety of food at home so that kids avoid outside food.
*Try simple recipes with a healthy twist so that they enjoy their food.
*Try adding variety of food groups in their meal.
*School meal should be planned keeping in mind variety, taste and essential fats.
*Balance meal with perfect blend of taste and nutrition is recommended.
*Apart from these nutrients, water also plays very important role. Keep your child well hydrated.
*Sensible snacking is very important, hence opt for healthy yet tasty option
*No skipping meals
* A 60 minutes physical activity is a must for proper growth and development and for your child’s fitness.
High quality protein and matched energy is needed for the increased energy requirement during this age .They go through tremendous, physical, hormonal and emotional growth phase ,where a balanced diet is important for their complete growth .
This post is for information purpose only. I wrote this article gathering information from adequate resources. All health decisions about your children should be taken after professional medical consultation
Dt. Foram K. Modi