Children are supposed to gain weight al through their childhood, starting from infancy. Gaining weight is a sign of good health for them and they usually experience more rapid growth during this period compared to rest of their life. However, it is often noticed that growth or gain in weight is not sufficient (normal) for many children in the current generation. This may be because of various reasons such as gene dependent variations, premature birth, suffering from malnutrition or under-nutrition. These conditions can happen due to different reasons and termed as a growth deficit or lost growth.
It is important for your child to regain or catch up with the lost growth in time to avoid being malnourished and weak when he/she will reach adulthood. So, you have to recognize and take required action to treat your children who are not attaining normal weight. Lost growth may also be a sign of an underlying medical problem along with under-nutrition that requires prompt treatment.
Undernourishment of your child can have other complications too, including weakened immune system, mental retardation, learning difficulties, shorter height and decreased linear growth. When your child suffers from under-nutrition for a long period of time, these complications become more common and severe.
The primary means of regaining the lost growth of your child is through nutritional therapy that will help your child to "catch up" the desired weight gain. By using nutritional therapy you can double or triple the normal weight gain rate for your child's age. Increase the intake of calories by your child depends upon the nutritional status and age. Although, a dietitian or doctor can suggest the best diet suitable for your child, usually a multivitamin supplement along with some good health drinks gives the desired result.
Every child requires calories or the energy as well as nutrients coming from a balanced diet comprising different food source. Since your children have a smaller stomach, they usually do not get the required energy from the three big meals a day like an adult person. Thus, to boost the energy intake of children they need to take small snacks at regular intervals.
A balanced diet for your children should have a combination of the following:
- Different types of fruits and vegetables (five portions per day), including seasonal fruits
- Meals comprising rice, bread, potatoes, roti and other starchy carbohydrates (use wholegrain if possible)
- Dairy products or alternatives (yoghurts and soya drinks), but low in fat and sugar
- Proteins such as meat, fish, pulses and eggs along with unsaturated oils and enough fluids
You can add cheese, calorie enriched milk, butter, cream to increase the calorie intake of your children. Giving healthy drinks to your child is just as vital as healthy meals to regain the lost growth of your child. Although, it seems an obvious option, it often gets ignored. Even if you provide healthy foods to your children, it is often seen that they are not taking it and creating nuisance while taking breakfast, lunch or dinner. Making your children eat is not always an easy job. So, the meals you cook for your child should be tasty as well and keep alternating the items to keep your child interested in them. They should not feel bored with the daily meals.
Reputed health drinks give good results as they contain balanced nutrition and are tasty too. It is easier for you to make your child drink the health drinks and give your child a healthy start of the day. Moreover, it is easier to prepare and takes minimum time and effort. So, enjoy your child’s company while helps them attain their lost growth through proper diet and health drinks.