As a mother, I have always had a tough time raising my son Viraj. He isn’t just fun-loving and adorable but also notorious and stubborn. Taking care of his diet has been a struggle for me. Be it milk, khichdi, fruits, or introducing him to something new – there has never been a day that I have been able to feed him in peace. I would make him watch peppy nursery rhymes on YouTube, tell stories to thrill him and would put a piece of fruit into his mouth to feed him while he was distracted.
And now as he has turned 4, the struggle has gone a few notches higher. While I am constantly worried about his growth and nutrition, I am running out of ways to make him eat healthily. I search online, take feedback from friends and try all sorts of ideas to make my child eat right. Recently, I was invited to be a part of the launch of Grow Right Campaign by Abbott to support parents in their parenting journey and help children grow to their potential. And to say the least, I am thankful and relieved!
Meet-up with the child growth experts
The event for the launch of Grow Right initiative was a rather educative one, bringing together India’s first-ever Grow Right guild. The panel had child specialist Dr. Mukesh Sanklecha, pediatrician Dr. Samir Dalwai, and renowned nutritionist Dr. Dharini Krishnan. The meet-up was graced by celebrity Lara Dutta sharing her experiences of being a mother to a toddler. Together the panel discussed how important it is for the child to have a balanced diet and nutrition for healthy growth and development. The discussion also covered issues of behavioral patterns as well as emotional and mental growth.
I gathered a few points which we as parents must note and take into consideration:
1. It’s important to teach kids what is the right time and the right food to eat. You have to decide what your child should eat but let your child decide how much to eat.
2. Don’t force your kid to finish the entire plate.
3. Eating or finishing a meal in front of the TV should be avoided. You should allow them screen time but keep a time limit for the same.
4. You are their role model. Do what you want them to learn. If you are eating with a mobile on or watching TV or Netflix, they will surely follow the same.
5. Good parenting is not only saying yes to every demand of your kid. There are times when you have to say no to things like junk food and excessive screen time.
6. It is important to add 4 things to a kid’s meal – green vegetables, protein, fruits, and dairy products.
7. Importance of playing outdoor games – let them play in sand, mud, water and allow them to enjoy their childhood rather giving them gadgets and making them sit at home.
Grow Right tips
The Grow Right guidelines unveiled by Abbott is an initiative that has tips across four growth parameters of a child – nutrition, play, nurture, and impact. As part of the Grow Right initiative by Abbott, the tips understand a mom’s concerns about her child’s growth and nutrition and provides sound solutions that help in the current world. From the child’s eating pattern, their behavioral changes, playtime, nutrition for their growth and development – the guidelines cover a series of concerns that is common to all moms. In a world where too much information has spoilt us for choice, the Grow Right guidelines provide credible and reliable information to enrich, nourish and grow our children right.
Dr. Dharini Krishnan mentioned, “These tips aim to help parents to find an effective and right way to engage with kids and help them to Grow Right”.
Guidelines of Grow Right
The Guidelines has laid down tips in the following areas:
Right Nutrition guidelines to help parents better manage mealtimes.
Right Play addresses concerns about inadequate playtime and unchecked screen time
Right Nurture guidelines help with behavioral changes in children.
Right Impact to let parents understand if their children are growing right.
What I learnt regarding screen time for children
I have resorted to giving Viraj access to my phone a lot of times so that he can watch his favorite cartoon characters on the screen and I can feed him on the side. But as the Grow Right event progressed and talked about screen time being a harmful habit for a child’s mental growth – I learned how wrong I have been doing all this time. The event threw light on the problems of malnutrition, eating and behavioral patterns of toddlers citing situations where the children refuse to eat or fail to understand the sensations of hunger and satiety. It emphasized on how screen time of children should be replaced with structured and unstructured playtime to make space for healthy growth and brain development. Further, it also emphasized on ways where mothers can introduce new food items, helping them grow right and inculcate healthy habits.
Attending the Abbott Grow Right event has made me aware of the mistakes I have been making subconsciously. It has also provided me with guidelines so that I can be sure of the right growth of my child.
Also Read: Check Nutrient Level with Pediasure
© Ruchi Verma
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Disclaimer – This article is an advisory piece. Before you manipulate your diet habit kindly consult a medical practitioner or nutritionist.
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