Every parent wants the best for their child, whether it is in terms of education, career or nutrition. One thing that parents are tensed about right from the childbirth is their child’s nutrition. Consuming healthy and nutritious food is really important for a child in the growth years for the proper development of each body part and organ system. If proper nutrition is not provided to a child right from the beginning then he or she might face some disorders caused due to the nutritional deficiencies. In order to prevent these diseases and disorders it is crucial to pay attention to the food habits for your child and ensure that they are getting maximum nutrients out of it. As parents try really hard to provide their children with the best nutrition, one thing that needs to be taken into consideration is how can your child get maximum nutritional benefits from the food he or she is consuming. In order to solve this issue, only my health team got into a conversation with Dr. Ashok Mittal, Head -Dept of Pediatrics & Neonatology, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, Kolkata. So without further ado let's dive right into this article and learn about the ways in which your child can get maximum nutrition from its diet.
Importance of nutrient absorption
In order to understand the ways that can enhance the nutrition absorption in your child’s body, it is necessary to learn what nutrition absorption means and why it is so important. To understand nutrition absorption in a simple manner; say that you consumed some healthy food for dinner. What makes this food healthy is the presence of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals in it. These nutrients provide various benefits to your body and help in keeping it healthy and promote development. If these nutrients are not absorbed by the body, they will simply get flushed out and hence that healthy dish will be of no use as due to lack of nutritional absorption it would not be able to get the benefits of the vitamins and minerals present in it.
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Also Read: Nutritional Deficiencies in Children: Early Signs, Causes and Diseases That Kids Can Get
Nutrient absorption is important for good health and proper functioning of various body systems as it provides it with the energy to work. Without these nutrients our body would not be able to develop or function properly and hence result in various diseases and disorders.
How to maximise nutrition absorption for your child?
Providing proper nutrition to your child in its growth years is really important for proper development. While giving your child some nutritious food is not enough, as a parent you also need to ponder upon the ways to enhance your child's nutrition absorption so that they can get most of whatever food they are consuming. Here are a few tips as suggested by Dr. Ashok Mittal, Head -Dept of Pediatrics & Neonatology, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, Kolkata, that can help to maximise the nutritional absorption in your child and will aid its growth and development.
#1. Tomatoes & Olive Oil
A power pair that is not only rich in various nutrients but can also provide myriad health benefits to your body. The tomato is popularly known for protecting the skin from harmful UV rays of the sun, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, helps in managing diabetes, improves vision and provides protection against cancer.
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Pairing this ruby red vegetable with healthy fats consisting of olive oil helps in increasing the absorption of the nutrients and antioxidants present in tomato and hence is known as a power duo.
#2. Calcium & Vitamin D
From early childhood, everyone around us from parents to teachers and from our grandparents to those neighbours, everybody has emphasised upon the importance of calcium in order to get strong and healthy bones, the importance of an important nutrient Vitamin D gets ignored. Calcium is important for the development of bones and for maintaining their health but calcium alone can not even enter the cells. It uses Vitamin D as a key to enter in the cell and provide strength to the bones. Adequate levels of vitamin D in the body helps in the absorption of calcium from two places: the kidney and gut.
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Where most of us know about the health benefits of consuming probiotics and have been consuming them on a regular basis, prebiotics come as something new and surprising to some people. Prebiotics are basically non-digestible carbohydrates that can help in enhancing the absorption of important nutrients and micronutrients such as magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc. Not just this but making prebiotics a regular part of your diet can help in improving your gut health and regulating the bowel movement.
#4. Plant iron and Vitamin C
No matter how much spinach you consume, your muscles would not pop up like popeye if there is an absence of adequate amounts of vitamin C in your body. Where plant based iron can not get absorbed into the body itself, it needs to be paid up with a rich source of vitamin C to break it down further and get absorbed into the human body. Adding on some lemon juice to cooked spinach can help in better growth and development of your child as it enhances the nutrient absorption.
Known as the building blocks of the body, we surely can not emphasise enough on the importance and benefits of protein. As protein provides so many health benefits to our body and helps in maintaining the proper function of various organ systems, it is important to know that there are two types of proteins that humans consume- complete protein and incomplete protein.
Also Read: Whey Protein or Soy Protein: How to Get Maximum Benefits
Where complete protein is present in animal meat, eggs, fish and milk, they provide essential amino acids to the body. On the other hand the sources of incomplete proteins are plant based foods such as pulses and beans. As these plant proteins are high in fiber, they can not be ignored and hence in order to maximize their absorption, they need to be consumed along with rice and breads.
With inputs from Dr. Ashok Mittal, Head -Dept of Pediatrics & Neonatology, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, Kolkata.