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Diet for a Preadolescent

Baby Diet for PreadolescentA child on the verge of adolescense needs a carefully designed diet plan. He requires plenty of calcium, protein, carbohydrates, iron, vitamin C and zinc, among other vitamins and nutrients.

He needs calcium for his bones and iron to support the increasing muscle mass and for greater blood supply.

Proteins are for general muscle growth of the body and carbohydrates for energy that a young boy needs for his transition to young adulthood. Zinc is very helpful for optimal development and sexual maturation during preadolescense.

Sources of Calcium

  • Beetroot, radish leaves, broccoli (highest), Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, white cabbage (high), carrots, celery, chickpeas, French beans, lettuce, parsley, peas, tomato, mint, green mustard, okra (bhindi) and bathua.

  • Oranges, papaya, black currants, coconut, figs, blackberries, gooseberries, strawberries and rasberries.

  • Milk and milk products, fish, crab, pulses and grains, beans, black gram dal, Bengal gram, moth beans, soya beans, tofu, coriander seed and cumin seed.

  • If the child is not fond of milk, curd, lassi, til or soya milk make good substitutes. Soak two tablespoons of til seeds overnight, grind and make it into a paste. Add water to make a milk-like drink and sweeten with honey or mishri.

  • Dried apricots, dates and currants.

Sources of Iron

  • Spinach, leafy vegetables, green onions, radish, carrots, tomato, potatoes with skin, broccoli, celery, brinjal, beetroot, soya beans and munnakkas.

  • Apples, banana, dark grapes, apricots, plums and raisins.

Sources of Protein

  • Milk and milk products, cheese, almonds, meat, eggs, seeds and nuts, soya bean, legumes, cereals, pulses and tofu.

Sources of Zinc

  • Lobhia, beans, wholewheat rotis, milk, peas, potato and lentils.

Sources of Vitamin C

  • Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, radish and capsicum.

  • Orange, lemon, papaya and guava.

Diet Suggestions

  • Morning: Seven to 10 almonds soaked overnight with one glass of vegetable juice – carrots, tomatoes, beetroot or spinach, one amla and one apple.

  • Breakfast: Wholewheat bread toasts with butter or sprouted dalia or muesli with milk with one egg, two tablespoons of sprouts, one banana and one glass of buttermilk or milk.

  • Lunch: Wholewheat rotis with lightly cooked vegetables and legumes such as rajma, black chana, lobia and curd or vegetable raita.

  • Evening: One glass of orange juice with half a cup of boiled chana or one big baked potato with butter.

  • Dinner: Any soup – chicken/kala chana/lentil with wholewheat chapatis and light dal cooked with leafy vegetables or chicken/fish/paneer and vegetables.

Points to Remember

  • The child should drink 10-12 glasses of water everyday.

  • Avoid fizzy drinks, junk food, rich curries, fried foods and snacks, tea, coffee and food made from maida.

  • If your child is not fond of vegetables, try Vegetable juice. it helps maintain the balance of minerals and vitamins in the body.

  • Dissuade the child from eating refined flour products e.g. pizzas.

  • Reserve burgers and maida biscuits as special treats for special performance in sports or studies.

  • Keep lots of fruits in the house for in-betweens. Whenever hungry, encourage your child to eat bananas, apples, sprouts or fruit chaat or boiled chana chaat.

  • Include four cups of milk in any form (dahi/lassi/paneer), one banana, one boiled potato with skin, leafy vegetables and sprouts in your child’s diet everyday.

  • Use sprouts and vegetables in raita, salads, chaat or as stuffing in a roti.

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