Nutrition Q&A: Ideal diet plan for a growing child

Nutrition and Dietetics expert, Parvathy Radhakrishnan answers readers’ questions on nutrition. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Wednesday.

This week’s answers:

1. Hi this is Neelima.i just wanted to know whether eating medium spice foods is healthier?should I prefer green chilli to red chilli powder in curries.please guide me in this.Thanks&Best regards,


I am not aware of any proven data to establish the goodness or badness of spicy food. It is safe to assume that it is okay to eat medium spicy foods unless you have gastrointestinal problems, Neelima. Both fresh green chilli and unadulterated chilli powder are fine as per the recipes used.

2. Dear Madam, My son is 10 years old. His height is 4’3”. His weight is just 29 kg. How can I increase his weight? He eats normal food (Chapati sabzi,rice dal) at night only. During school he eats chapati sabzi tiffin and additional tiffin contaoning fruits or some healthy food. Evening he eats food like chips/biscuits/bhel etc. He is very active througout the day.

It will be better if u can tell me ideal diet plan for such growing child.



What is his breakfast? He seems to be eating fine. But you have not mentioned milk. He needs half a litre of milk apart from curds daily. An egg a day is good as it promotes growth. Fruits like bananas are great for an active growing child, so also fruit juices especially after playing outside. You may also encourage corn and nuts instead of chips.

If your child is mentally and physically alert, there should not be any concern about his weight. Moreover children take after their parents. That means if his parents were lean at his age so would your child.

3. i liked your tips to control cholesterol. my age is 40 yr. my weight is 84 kgs. my cholesterol : 194. my habit : chewing tobbaco/padiki & drinks. pl. advise right diet.
i am 100% vegeratarian.
Vijay Vaidya

Unless you are 6 foot tall, you are overweight. Perhaps you could try some mild exercises like walking and eat low fat.

If you are a vegetarian, avoid/reduce ghee, fatty curds, milk, (low fat/non fat may be used), cream, butter and fried foods in general.

Smoking, chewing tobacco and excessive drinking are not healthy habits irrespective of cholesterol levels.

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