The "New-Old Rules" of Eating- For Kids Aged 3-13years

The "New-Old Rules" of Eating- For Kids Aged 3-13years

You don't have to embark on a complicated quest to uncover the best eating rules for your child. Nurturing healthy eating habits for kids between the ages of 3 and 13 is much simpler than you might think. 


Our experts are here to guide you through the journey, ensuring your child receives the nutrition they need while embracing time-tested traditions. In this blog post, we'll help you navigate the world of childhood nutrition, bypassing the overwhelming information overload that often accompanies it. Just as many pregnant individuals avoid certain foods but overlook the super-healthy ones, parents often find themselves grappling with the challenges of diet culture, unexpected cravings, and picky eating habits. 


To foster your child's physical well-being and emotional balance, it's essential to incorporate specific foods and establish healthy eating practices. Join us as we unveil the new-old rules for feeding your child, drawing from the wisdom of ancient traditions and modern insights.


New-Old rules of eating





Establishing a routine for meals is crucial when it comes to your child's eating habits. Just as adults benefit from consistent meal timings, children between the ages of 3 and 13 thrive on a structured schedule. In ancient Indian traditions, fixed meal timings are believed to enhance digestion and optimize nutrient absorption. 


Set a consistent schedule for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, ensuring that your child eats at the same time every day. This practice helps their body develop a regular metabolism and promotes overall well-being.


But don’t force them to have when they are not hungry, your child knows better when to say “No”. 


Sitting Position:


Incorporating the practice of sitting on the floor in a cross-legged position while eating is an ancient Indian tradition that offers several benefits. Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine, emphasizes that sitting on the floor aids digestion and improves posture. 


This should be incorporated in early stage itself right from their 1st year. Encourage your child to sit on a mat or a low stool while enjoying their meals. Sitting on the floor not only supports proper digestion but also promotes a sense of groundedness and mindfulness during mealtime.


Local and Simple Food Ideas:


When it comes to feeding your child, prioritize local and seasonal foods. Indian cuisine offers a wide variety of nutritious options that can be easily incorporated into your child's diet. 


Nothing out of a packet for breakfast This means no packaged cereals (including oats), no juices, breads, noodles, etc. Not only are they low on nutrition, they are, in fact, harmful for your health. The low quality-high quantity sugar (mostly HFCS or corn syrup), chemical preservatives, emulsifiers, etc., hamper the growth of your body and mind” says Rujuta Diwekar, a prominent celebrity nutritionist in India, advocates for wholesome and balanced meals



Here are a few simple and healthy food ideas from her that you can give your kids without any second thought




  • Dal Khichdi: A wholesome one-pot meal made with rice, lentils (such as moong dal), and mild spices. It provides a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and essential nutrients.
  • Vegetable Pulao: A flavorful rice dish cooked with an assortment of vegetables, aromatic spices, and ghee (clarified butter). This dish not only provides essential nutrients but also introduces different flavors and textures to your child's palate.
  • Sambar with Rice and Vegetables: Sambar is a popular South Indian lentil-based curry made with a variety of vegetables and spices. Serve it with steamed rice and a side of stir-fried vegetables like beans or okra. This combination offers a complete meal with a good mix of proteins, fiber, and vitamins.
  • Kanji- Pej/ Kanji (rice gruel) makes for a great health drink because allows for better assimilation of Vit D & calcium. (rice is nice part 3)
  • Roasted Chana (Chickpeas): Roast some chana (chickpeas) with a sprinkle of salt, turmeric, and roasted cumin powder. These crunchy and protein-rich roasted chana make for a satisfying and healthy snack option.
  • Makhana (Fox Nuts): Roasted makhana is a popular and healthy snack option. These crunchy, puffed lotus seeds are low in calories and rich in fiber. You can add a sprinkle of rock salt or a pinch of chaat masala for added flavor.
  • Peanut Chikki: Made from jaggery and roasted peanuts, peanut chikki is a traditional Indian snack that is both delicious and nutritious. It provides a good dose of healthy fats, protein, and iron. Opt for homemade versions or choose brands that use natural ingredients without added preservatives.
  • Complete fruit instead of juice 
  • Roasted peanuts along with jaggery
  • Dahi with Mixed Nuts: A bowl of plain dahi topped with a mix of chopped nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts makes for a protein-packed and satisfying snack. You can also add a drizzle of honey for natural sweetness.
  • Vegetable Upma: Upma is a savory and nutritious dish made with semolina (rava) and vegetables. It can be a wholesome and filling snack option for kids. Prepare it with a variety of veggies like carrots, peas, and beans, and flavor it with curry leaves, mustard seeds, and turmeric.
  • Millet Bakhris
  • Homemade Khakras
  • Fresh coconut with jaggery
  • Vegetable Upma: Upma is a savory and nutritious dish made with semolina (rava) and vegetables. It can be a wholesome and filling snack option for kids. Prepare it with a variety of veggies like carrots, peas, and beans, and flavor it with curry leaves, mustard seeds, and turmeric.


Sharing with Friends and Neighbors:

Teaching your child the value of sharing food with others is an important aspect of Indian culture. Encourage your child to share their snacks or meals with friends, neighbors, or less fortunate individuals. This practice instills empathy, compassion, and a sense of community in your child. It also fosters a positive attitude towards food and promotes healthy social interactions.



Minimizing Food Wastage:

In Indian culture, minimizing food wastage is deeply ingrained. Teach your child the importance of not wasting food and appreciating the abundance they have. Encourage them to take only what they can finish and avoid overfilling their plates. Involve your child in meal planning and preparation to develop their understanding of the effort and resources involved in food production. Leftovers can be creatively repurposed into new dishes or saved for future meals, further reducing food wastage.




Let us embrace these new-old rules for our children's nourishment, drawing upon the wisdom of our ancestors and creating a positive relationship with food that will benefit them throughout their lives.


Words: Jyothi Sri Pappu

In the Pics: Tanishq and Hanshu

Expert advice: Rujuta Diwekar 

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