The one piece of advice that every parent probably comes across a million times is to ensure a “healthy diet” for their children. But alas, making a child willingly choose a bowl of salad over a pack of fries is often challenging!
On a serious note, though, ensuring optimum nutrition during the early years guarantees that an individual stays healthy for a major part of his/her life. Thus, slipping inadequate doses of vitamins and minerals in your child’s diet is necessary, alongside the occasional treat, of course (hey, everyone needs incentives).
Now, while how you do it is entirely up to your creativity, we’re here to help you prioritize which nutrients you should absolutely give your children in order for them to thrive and develop properly. And for that, we’re prepared the list below.
Protein aids a child’s body in multiple ways. It supports the formation of new cells, assists with the breakdown of food into energy, helps fight against bacteria, and also facilitates the transport of oxygen through the blood.
While most children consume an adequate amount of protein, children away from a protein-rich diet are at a higher risk of malnutrition. To evade such dangers, foods like poultry, lean meat, milk, dairy products, legumes, almonds, peanut butter, and seeds should be given to children.
Healthy bones and teeth are imperative for a problem-free lifetime, and adequate doses of calcium are needed for this. What’s more, the element is also needed for enhanced nerve, muscle, and heart function.
So, make sure your kid intakes milk and other calcium-rich foods like cheese, spinach, broccoli, tofu, etc., on a regular basis. Experts believe that calcium consumption should be 700 milligrams per day for children aged 1 to 3; 1,000 milligrams per day for children aged 4 to 8; and 1,300 milligrams per day for children aged 9 to 18.
Iron promotes healthy growth in infants by helping the red blood cells transmit oxygen through the body. The requirement of this mineral increases during the growth and development stages of life, which is why young children should be given its proper dosage.
The most prevalent nutrient deficiency in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is iron deficiency which can cause anemia and other severe health problems. Some of the most easily available iron-rich foods are whole wheat, rice, almonds, fortified cereal, beans, lentils, and green leafy vegetables.
Wrapping it up
Parents of young children should go the extra mile to provide healthy meals to their children in a calm atmosphere. If for some reason, your child can’t consume these nutrients through usual food sources, you can consult with a doctor regarding supplements and kid-friendly gummies, chewable, and drink mixes which can work as alternatives.