The healthy child’s diet

The healthy child's diet Growing bodies need a range of different vitamins and nutrients as part of a varied diet. In particular, young children need a balanced diet that supplies adequate amounts of protein, fats, carbohydrates, calcium, iron, and folate. Dietary guidelines suggest that children’s diets contain mainly vegetables, grains and fruits, moderate amounts of protein and dairy and small amounts of sugar, salt and saturated fats. Here is a more detailed look at what your child should be eating.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a main source of energy for children and are what helps their little bodies to use fat and protein for repairing and building muscular tissue. The focus should be on high-fiber and low GI carbohydrates like wholemeal breads, cereals, oats, rice and pasta. Up to five serves are day are recommended, with a serve being slice of bread and a small bowl of cereal.

Protein and Fats

Protein is essential for cell growth and maintenance and helps to fight off infection. It also satisfies for longer, meaning children will be less tempted to ask for sugary snack foods between meals. Good sources of protein are lean meats, beans and legumes, eggs and dairy foods. You should aim to give your child three servings of meat or chicken and one of fish each week.

Although one should take care to avoid saturated fats, regular consumption of the good fat Omega 3 is important for brain development, with good sources being milk, avocado and oily fish (like sardines and salmon).

Calcium

We all know that calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth but it also assists in healthy heart and nerve function. Children have fairly high calcium needs as they grow and should consume three serves of dairy per day. This could be small tub of yoghurt a cup of milk or a matchbox size piece of cheese. All dairy should be full fat as the children need these essential “good” fats for energy and health.

Iron and Folate

Iron, is needed for the creation and maintenance of the red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. Lack of this vital mineral can have serious effects on both children and adults, like anemia and excessive fatigue. Red meat provides the most easily absorbed form of iron. Folate, important for expectant mothers and children, is a hard-working B vitamin that is necessary for the growth of cells and too little can lead to anemia. Good sources of this are lentils, asparagus and whole grain cereals.

Young children are notoriously fussy eaters and it can be difficult to get them to eat the required volume and tyoe of food suggested. If you think your child’s diet is not providing the nutrition they need, speak with a health care provider and consider a supplement tailored to address their dietary inadequacies.

Children’s Health Recommendations – Dr Christine Wood:

Multivitamins

To balance the nutrition gap in their meal they need quality supplement. Because kids can be erratic in their eating habits and because there are more toxins that a child must fight, quality supplementing is important. You should ensure your child is obtaining nutrients from three basic categories:

  1. Multivitamin – KidsTeens
  2. Calcium with vitamin D
  3. Omega-3 essential fatty acids

Shop online for your kid’s health

Kids today are overfed and undernourished and studies show they are often not receiving even the basic important nutrients in their diet. There is increasing concern about vitamin D deficiency with kids and many children are not getting enough calcium in their diets. Omega-3 fatty acids are of key importance and support brain development and health health. Look for pharmaceutical-grad products with guaranteed potency and quality.

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