What you give your child as he/ she grows up has a great role to play in determining growth, development and good health into the future years.
With everyone adapting a more fast paced, technology-dependant way of living it’s no more surprising to find that our kitchen shelves are stacked with more processed packed food ingredients than the traditional natural foods. Although it seems nearly impossible to let go of conventional methods and go back to traditional ways, which is going to be lot more time consuming, what brings hope is that, you can definitely control what you purchase and how it is going to affect your health and the health of your family.
Cereal pulse mixes are one of the most convenient products used when you are introducing food to the baby, as they contain good amounts of essential nutrients. There are a lot of brands coming up with such products and choosing the right one is a big responsibility, especially when it is for your child. Here are a few things you have to look for when you purchase such products from the market:
Cereals are a staple and Cereal Pulse Mixes are usually easily acceptable to the Child’s gut. But ensure you read the label of the product and make sure it contains no ingredients that the child has shown intolerance to in the past. For eg., a child who has been identified to have gluten insensitivity should not go for products containing, wheat, rye, barley, which are major sources of the same. Look for a label that claims “Gluten Free”.
Sprouted grains are better when compared to the un-sprouted ones because, sprouting can improve digestibility of the grain. Sprouting certain grams can also help improve its nutrient quality and also helps remove anti – nutrients (substances that can hinder absorption of certain nutrients)
If the product contains use of mild spices for flavor, it is often beneficial, as spices have a great role in improving digestive health. Most commonly used ones would be – nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, ajwain.
A certain amount of fiber is essential to regulate bowels. Fiber adds bulk to the contents in the child’s stomach, thereby helping in regulating proper bowel movements. Ingredients with prebiotic fibers like FOS and Inulin, can help maintain a good gut flora, aiding in digestive health.
Often products containing both conventional and organic ingredients are safe for consumption. Products with more traditional local ingredients tends to be more environment friendly. Easy, convenient preparation methods and economical feasibility are also important factors. Choose a product that’s value for money. Ensure the consistency of the prepared product is child friendly.
Check the nutritional facts. Good amounts of omega 3 fats and B Complex vitamins, can help with growth and development of the child’s brain and nerves, thereby having an effect on his/ her cognitive abilities.
Iron is yet another important mineral to look out for. As the child starts weaning off from breast milk, which is the source of iron after the baby is born, owing to low stores in the developing liver, it is important to meet adequate requirements through foods being introduced. Vitamin C is essential to help improve absorption of iron. Iron deficiency in infancy/ childhood can cause developmental delays and lasting cognitive deficits. Although fortification is an effective means of improving intake of certain nutrients, products with enhanced amounts of nutrients through natural sources are safer and doesn’t come with risk of toxicity associated with synthetic nutrients sources.
Cereal Pulse Mixes are the traditional weaning foods used from time immemorial. So it’s better to look for brands that deliver the quality of home prepared mixes. Ensure that the product doesn’t contain added sugars, excess salt, chemical preservatives, colours and other additives.
Therefore, be well-informed and make the perfect choice for your child