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With the mercury levels rising in the city, it is now time to take that extra precaution not to fall sick during summers. When it comes to children, parents need to take special care this season, since extreme heat can often lead to various health issues in children including loss of appetite leading to a host of health issues.
While sipping in fruit juices throughout the day in order to keep the body hydrated seems to be the best solution, nutritionists harp on the importance of consuming whole fruit rather that juices, to get better benefits. Pavithra N Raj, Dietician Executive, Columbia Asia Hospital, in Yeshwanthpur, Bangalore explains why.
“During the preparation of fruit juices, the fruit is pressed or squeezed and the skin is removed. This often leads to loss of important nutrients, vitamins and fibres like PECTIN present in apple, guava, and oranges, that are essential for your child’s growth. Many fruit juices are also devoid of water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B complex vitamins as well as antioxidants which can be important for your child’s growth and development, ”says Pavithra.
“Fruits such as watermelon, musk melon, mousambi, and pineapple are high in water content and keeps the body hydrated. Mangoes, lychees, and papaya are also beneficial during the summer season as they are rich in ascorbic acid, Vitamin A and dietary fibres that not only provides natural UV protection but also boosts up the immunity in kids,” she adds.
It is important to consume at least two whole fruits every day. Every category of fruit has different health benefits and parents can choose these fruits accordingly. Pavithra highlights the benefits of consuming whole fruits over fruit juices:
The edible skins of many fruits have high nutrition value and should not be avoided. The fruit pulp is another important source of fibre and other vital nutrients. For instance, the white pulpy part in orange which is a source of flavonoids is often removed in the process of converting it into juice.
Also, a lot of fruit juices provide empty calories which shoot up blood sugar faster than the whole fruit. Therefore, it is important to include whole fruits in children’s diet to support their proper growth and development.
The summer heat can drain your child’s energy more than you think. Here is a list of fruits that can boost your kids’ energy level almost instantly:
1. Mango: A cup full of mango supplies 25% of daily recommended intake of Vitamin A for kids. Also, 150 grams of mango provides about 86 calories.
2. Watermelon: This is one of the most important fruits that kids should eat during summers as one bite of watermelon contains about 92 % water, decreasing the risk of dehydration in children’s body
3. Guavas- Since, it can be consumed along with its skin, it has amazing health benefits. For instance, 1 guava provides about 12% of the daily recommended intake of fiber in diet
4. Grapes: Grapes are popular summer fruits which can be consumed as a whole fruit. Frozen grapes that are dipped in yoghurt can be a refreshing summer snack.
5. Cucumber: Including freshly cut cucumbers in diet during summer cools the body and makes kids feel refreshed
6. Apple: It is the ‘nutritional powerhouse’ which should be eaten as a whole fruit rather converting it into fruit juice for maximum benefit.
7. Orange: Include a few pieces of oranges as part of salad for a healthy diet
Also read: Expert-recommended tips to keep your little ones hydrated this summer
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Family nutrition Health & Wellness Kid Nutrition Kids (4-9 years)