Healthy food is of great importance for the strong growth and upbringing of children and its effect on children’s health lasts for a long period of time. As children grow, changes in their diets occur as the years go by. With regard to food, this article consists of two types of children:
1 Those children who only drink milk.
2 Those children who eat a light diet along with milk and the elder ones who can eat Roti etc.
Some information regarding the food for both types of children is given below:
Children who only drink milk
1 Mother’s milk is the most powerful diet for the children; so, breastfeeding is necessary from the birth to 2-year age.
2 Mother’s milk is pure and free from germs. Mother’s milk combats many childhood diseases. Those children who are breastfed remain protected from many diseases. (Doodh Peeta Madani Munna, pp. 32, 33)
3 Mother’s milk should not be replaced with the cow’s milk for the very young children as it (cow’s milk) is harmful to them.
4 Do not make your child lie or get him to sleep right after breastfeeding but rather let him play for sometimes because milk may come out of his mouth if he is made to lie on the bed right after breastfeeding and it may prove dangerous sometimes for a child by passing into his windpipe.
5 Parents should pay attention to the digestion of children if they vomit after breastfeeding. If they vomit again and again, consult any good physician.
6 When the children become 6 to 8 months old, start giving them a soft diet as it gives them sound sleep.
7 Food is the most important element for children. If they are provided with food properly at the very beginning, weakness is less likely to occur in the future.
8 Lack of adequate diet reduces the weight of children and they catch different diseases.
Children who eat light and soft food
1 Soft food items mixed with vegetable, meat, fish, etc., should be given to those children who are able to chew so that they have better growth. Moreover, porridge and Kheer (a sweet dish) can also be given to the children.
2 Juice and the soup of melon and tomatoes are beneficial for the children but the juices should be fresh and homemade, not bought from the market.
3 Young children should not be given the solid food items and those which get stuck in the palate.
4 The children who are able to chew the food items should be given fruit after cutting into small pieces so that fruit does not get stuck in their throat.
5 If a child has started such a diet which meets his physical needs, reduce the quantity of milk gradually.
6 Do not give food to children more than their need because it may cause harm to their health.
7 Children should be given quality food as per one’s capacity as the strength children will gain at this age will benefit them the whole life. (Faizan-e-Sunnat, vol. 1, pp. 994)
8 Children should also be given water from time to time especially more water in the summer season. They should also be given water when they wake up after sleep. Moreover, keep them away from soft drinks and sweet drinks as much as possible.
9 Children should be given only food at the time of meal. They should not be given other things so that they may eat food properly.
10 Fix a time for giving food to the children. Those women who give edible items to their children, again and again, their children may get different illnesses. (Jannati Zaywar, pp. 89, summarised)
11 When children start eating different food items along with milk, add the yolk of an egg in their food. It is extremely beneficial for them.
Miscellaneous healthy food items for children
1 Almond is a healthful diet for children. It contains calcium which is necessary for the bones.
Pistachio gives strength to the ‘heart and mind’ and makes the body healthy.
2 Cashew nut provides nutrition to the body and gives strength to the brain.
3 Chilgoza (pine nuts) removes phlegm and fattens body up.
4 Peanut contains a lot of nutrition.
5 Dried dates produce clean blood.
6 Walnut removes indigestion.
7 Blackcurrant provides health to people having low body weight.
8 Figs contain a lot of nutrition. (Bayta Ho to Aysa!, pp. 33 to 43)
9 Leafy vegetables are beneficial for children. They contain iron, calcium, vitamin E and vitamin K.
10 Strawberry, citrus, papaya, etc., are full of vitamin C which are beneficial for the children.
11 Sucking dates is extremely beneficial for the teething children.
12 Honey is beneficial for intelligence.
13 Yogurt is beneficial for the growth of children.
14 Banana is also beneficial for children.
Some harmful diets
1 Eating toffees, candies, chocolates and snow cones carelessly may harm the teeth, throat, chest, stomach, intestines, etc. (Bayta Ho to Aysa!, pp. 26)
2 Children get intestinal worms due to consuming unhealthy food items and toffees.
3 Do not give cold drink to the children at all as it is not only harmful to the children but also hazardous to the adults.
4 Fast food and junk edibles also carry the risk of disease so not only refrain yourself from these items but also save your children.
May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ grant us the ability to provide good upbringing to our children, give them beneficial edibles and keep them away from the harmful food items.
اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
Note: Medically, this article has been checked by Dr. Muhammad Kamran Ishaq Attari, Majlis Tibbi ‘Ilaj (Dawat-e-Islami).