Gut health has a direct impact on mental health. Pandemic times are particularly stressful for children, who are not able to meet their friends and teachers on a regular basis and play freely outdoors.
Eating foods that have a positive impact on their mental health is thus important. A healthy diet rich in nutrients and vegetables can help promote overall sense of well-being in them.
Children are often picky eaters and may not always consume the diet that is right for them.
"A diet that lacks nutrient-dense foods may lead to nutrient deficiencies, especially of micronutrients like zinc and folic acid that have been associated with mental health issues," says Zamurrud M Patel, Chief Dietician, Global Hospitals, Parel, Mumbai.
A child's balanced diet requirement starts as early as he/she turns 1. In childhood, diet plays an important role in physical, social and developmental growth. In the early phases of childhood, a child needs food that not only aids physical growth but also in better brain development.
Here are foods that must be included in a child's diet for better mental health as per Patel.
1. Red and yellow coloured fruits and vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, papaya etc are rich sources of Vitamin A, which is a potent anti-oxidant.
2. Banana is a good source of Vitamin B6 and phytonutrients. It’s also a good source of fibre and keeps the bowel clean.
3. Garlic and onions have good...
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