A Parents Guide to Plating Right
Did you know that colour and texture play a vital role in your kid’s food? Let us take you through the reasons as to why they are so important
A Colourful Tale
We have so much going on in our lives and are often too busy to always keep it interesting when it comes to our kid’s food, which is why children end up eating a rather taupe palette of food, dominated by chicken nuggets, french fries, rotis, rice, dal and bread.
Adding colour to their plates not only makes mealtime more fun by attracting them visually, but the diverse shades also help in boosting nutritional power, as colour is one of the best indications of nutritional density — the darker, the better. But keep in mind that this only holds true so long as the varied tints are natural and not a result of artificial colouring.
Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables contain plant compounds or phytonutrients that provide distinctive shades which carry numerous healthful gains for your little ones – each colour provides something different and has a host of health benefits.
Next time you’re whipping up something for your child, make sure you create a lovely rainbow on their plate which will not only attract their attention but also bring in a nutritious kick to their diet.
Always remember to include various colours and textures on your kids plate A Lesson on Texture
Children’s food texture, is equally important as colour. The transition from soft, pureed and squishy foods to whole foods must be carried out at the right time to ensure the child’s ability to accept new textures.
As a new born nothing is better than breastmilk but as your baby grows and reaches six or seven months they should be eating a variety of pureed and mashed foods – it’s crucial at this stage that babies learn to accept new textures and learn to chew.
Once your baby reaches eight or nine months of age it is recommended you feed them less purees and more soft foods that require chewing, such as minced meats, small sandwiches and pulpy fruits and vegetables. These new introductions may cause some rejection from their end at first, but overtime they will adjust to it.
Once a child is nine months and older, more whole and solid foods can be offered to boost brain development. Include nutrient rich foods such as mixed sandwiches on wholegrain bread, strips of cooked meat, whole-wheat pasta, cooked vegetables pieces, rotis, rice, sabzi and dals. A red flag here is the risk of chocking, small and hard pieces of food like nuts and raw carrots should be avoided till they are older.
Introduction to new food textures will help in their development and ensure that they don’t discard wide-ranging textures of foods in the long run and accept harder foods and differently textured foods as something familiar and safe.