Ensure The Kids Are Getting All The Nutrients They Need

As children grow up and spend more time away from home, parents have less control over what they eat. As a parent, what you can do is to teach your children about proper nutrition and help develop good eating habits that will stay with them as they grow up. .

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The amount of nutrients you children need every day would depend on their age, activity level, and gender. Consult your family physician about the proper amount of calories and nutrients each of your children needs, and follow these tips to make sure your kids are getting all they need for optimum nutrition.

Promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and veggies provide not only nutrients but also the necessary fiber our children’s bodies need. Teach your children to snack on produce instead of high-calorie, low-nutrient junk food varieties. The fiber in fruits and vegetables also has a satiating effect, which means that they can make you feel full. In contrast, the salt and sugar in junk food cause an addictive response, making your child binge on it without feeling satisfied, which results to eating more junk food. Here are some healthy snack ideas that are chock full of nutrients for children:

  • Fill celery sticks with cream cheese or fresh peanut butter.
  • Make fresh fruit shakes and smoothies using yogurt and whole fruit.
  • Cut soft fruit or raw vegetables into chunks. Bananas, apples, and pears can be dipped in orange juice after cutting to . Put the chunks into an air-tight container and chill.
  • Slice or cut vegetables such as carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini and dip these into yogurt, hummus, or salsa.
  • Crush breakfast cereal. Peel a banana then dip it in low-fat yogurt before rolling it in the cereal, then put it in the freezer.

Get enough calcium and Vitamin D.

Calcium is essential in building strong teeth and bones. Getting enough calcium early on will prevent children from forming soft and brittle bones, lessening the risk for fractures and later on, osteoporosis. Calcium can be obtained from consuming dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, but for children who are lactose-intolerant, other sources are soy milk, canned salmon, calcium-fortified fruit juice, almonds, white beans, leafy green vegetables, and even sardines with bones. Along with calcium, you should also make sure your children get Vitamin D, which makes the body absorb the calcium. The body cannot produce this vitamin on its own, so it’s necessary to give your children Vitamin D-fortified food, or let them play in the early morning sun.

Other essential nutrients.

Aside from vitamins, children also need iron and protein for blood production and . Beans, fish, beef, fortified cereals, turkey, and fortified bread are good sources of iron. For protein, chicken, eggs, turkey, fish and beef are excellent sources. For children on a vegetarian diet, you can give them peas, seeds, beans, and nuts. Your children’s diet should also include a variety of whole grains such as rice, barley, quinoa, whole wheat, millet, and oats. Healthy fats such as plant oils and Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for children’s nutrition.

Image courtesy of [stockimages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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