Is your child receiving 100pc RDA to build stronger immunity?
(7 months ago)
New Delhi , Oct.30 : The most common adage that one hears often is that the greatest wealth is health, but ironically, we ignore this wealth of ours.
For generations now, mothers have been chasing their children to eat wholesome meals. Most mothers with kids between 4 -12 years of age keep laying emphasis on intake of nutritious food.
They are under constant pressure to ensure that their children develop healthy eating habits in order to build an immune system which resists infections spread in the environment.
In today's time, there are challenges in building a healthy immune system in growing children. This has also been due to environmental factors, intake of junk food, kids not venturing outdoors as much as they used to earlier.
It is not only the food intake that affects the overall health of an individual, but a plethora of other factors like unpredictable weather, pollution and lifestyle amongst others are a few reasons for concern.
With winters just around the corner, mothers often find themselves stressing about their child not being able to adapt to the changing weather and at the same time fighting winter illnesses like cold and seasonal flu. Adding to these woes is the pollution that shoot-ups during the festival season owing to the bursting of crackers.
As the season progresses, doctors' report of more instances of chronic respiratory infections among children. Pollution surely is a problem, but what also adds to it is the low immunity level to fight these infections, resulting in kids falling sick frequently.
To answer the question of every mother, building a powerful immune system and to make it an ongoing process in children, is the need of the hour.
Providing nutrition with intake of fresh fruits, vegetables and super foods may not always suffice a growing child's need. It may require an extra dose of micronutrients to be fed to the child.
Many a times the conventional food may not be sufficient due to irregularity as parents might miss out on feeding adequate quantity which results in shortage of receiving 100% RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance), the void needs to be filled with micro-nutrients.
Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Niti Desai noted, "Growing kids between the age group of 4 to 12 need complete nutrition as these are the foundation years of their health. It is necessary that they receive 100% RDA of the vitamins and micronutrients intake during this period."
"The regular food may often fail to provide adequate amounts because very often children have limited choices when it comes to vegetables and fruits. Also many children do not have proper breakfast before going to school and have an unsupervised school lunch (one of the main meals)," Desai continued.
"Fussy eaters are a huge challenge and to make sure they get complete nutrition in the limited food they consume puts a lot of pressure on the mothers. Supplements can fill this gap and provide adequate micro nutrients and vitamins so that the children are able to meet the recommended daily requirements and achieve their full growth potential," she told.
Renowned pediatrician and Former President of Indian Association of Pediatricians (IAP), Dr. Swati Bhave said, "Micro-nutrients are extremely important for overall health of a child. Deficiencies can lead various illnesses and can affect the overall growth including formation of healthy bones, teeth and hormone production. Micro- nutrients' are also important in the development of immunity which is the body's defense mechanism for killing pathogens and preventing illnesses. Other factors that boost immunity are adequate sleep, regular physical activity, positive mental status and minimal stress."
She also added that children these days are mainly eating processed food which is high in salt sugar and fat which is very low in healthy nutrients.
"Children need to have fresh unprocessed food .If a child does not have healthy and adequate diet, then there will be need of supplements, to provide adequate micro nutrients and vitamins so that the children are able to meet the recommended daily requirements and achieve their full growth potential and have adequate immune function," Bhave stated.
Kids need energy to perform daily tasks given they engage in various extra-curricular activities apart from school and hence a stronger immunity that will shield them from ailments.
Vitamins like A,C,E, Zinc and Iron contribute to body's natural defenses on three levels- supporting physical barriers, cellular immunity and antibody production thereby boosting your child's defense system. These nutrients also complete the average daily level intake amongst kids to build stronger Immunity and overall strength.