Gut health has a direct impact on mental health. Pandemic times are particularly stressful for children, who are unable to regularly meet their friends and teachers and to play outdoors freely.
Eating foods that have a positive impact on their mental health is therefore important. Eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients and vegetables can help promote a general sense of well-being in them.
Children are often picky eaters and don’t always eat the right diet for them.
READ ALSO : How does Omicron affect children? Know the symptoms from the experts
“A diet devoid of nutrient-dense foods can lead to nutrient deficiencies, especially in micronutrients like zinc and folic acid which have been linked to mental health issues,” says Zamurrud M Patel, chief dietitian , Global Hospitals, Parel, Mumbai.
A child’s balanced diet begins at the age of 1 year. In childhood, diet plays an important role in physical, social and developmental growth. In the early stages of childhood, a child needs food that not only promotes physical growth, but also better brain development.
Here are the foods that should be included in a child’s diet for better mental health according to Patel.
1. Red and yellow colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, peppers, papaya, etc. are rich sources of vitamin A, which is a powerful antioxidant.
2. Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6 and phytonutrients. It is also a good source of fiber and keeps the gut clean.
3. Garlic and onions have good antibacterial and antifungal properties which control inflammation and promote good cellular health.
4. Green leafy vegetables contain substantial amounts of vitamins such as A, C, K and many B vitamins including folate (B9); it is also a source of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium as well as a lot of fiber.