All parents want that their kid get proper nutrition that he can grow and develop properly. First of all, essential nutrients play vital role in growth of children. Deficiency of certain nutrients can be harmful for your kid’s health and growth. Everyone heard about the balanced diet. But what is balanced essential nutrients filled diet.
Here is list of essential nutrients which every child should be getting on daily basis:
Protein is essential nutrient for child growth. Less protein diet for your kid can make him under weight, decreased muscle mass, fatigue, weakened immune system, increased irritability and lack of growth. Hence, protein converts food into energy, fights infection, build cells and carry oxygen. Dairy products, meat, beans, poultry, nuts, fish, and eggs are high level protein diet which must be given to children for their healthy growth.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential nutrient for kids bone health. Fish, egg yolks, dairy products is the food that contains vitamin D. Children can get vitamin D from being exposed to sunlight. The recommended amount of vitamin from 1-18 years old people is 15 mcg (micrograms) per day.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C haves different health benefits for kids and also for adults. It not only fights common cold, it also keeps body cells together, makes blood vessels walls strong, and heals wounds. Furthermore, vitamin C is important for building strong bones and teeth. Mangos, citrus fruits, papayas, strawberries, spinach, tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes, broccoli, melons, and cabbage contain high levels of vitamin C.
4. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential nutrient both for kids and adults. Therefore, it helps in growth of kids, helps eyes in adjusting to dim and bright light, good skin health and prevents infection. Foods with high level of vitamin A are carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, apricots, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, fish oils, and egg yolks.
Omega 3s (DHA and EPA) fatty acids are most essential nutrients for proper cognitive development in children. The fish, fish oils and algal oils are rich in omega 3s fatty acids. Anyhow mercury contaminants are also present in fish and sea foods. That’s why consumption of for children should be limit to 12 ounce. You can consult your pediatrician about giving your child a purified DHA supplement which is free from harmful contaminants.
Carbohydrates are source of energy and in kids they use fat and protein for building repairing tissue. Sugar, starch, and fiber are the source of carbohydrates but it’s important that kids must be eating more starches and fibers instead of sugar. Breads, cereals, rice, crackers, pasta and potatoes contain high levels of carbohydrates.
Fats are essential for children’s body growth they are also great source of energy. Fats are easily stored in kid’s body. Fats help the body by properly using some of the other nutrients it needs. Foods with high levels of fats are nuts, whole dairy products, fish, cooking oils, and meat.
Fiber helps in child’s bowel regularity and it plays a vital role in reducing the chances of heart disease and cancer in later part of life. Whole grains cereals, nuts, chickpeas, seeds, lentils, and kidney beans are rich in fiber.
Folate is one of the B vitamins and it’s necessary for growth and development in child’s cells. Folate is also important for pregnant women. Lack of folate causes anemia that’s why it’s essential nutrient both for kids and pregnant women. Folate rich foods are whole grain cereals, Brussels sprouts, chickpeas, lentils, spinach, black or kidney beans, and asparagus.
Iron is essential nutrient that generates healthy blood in body which carries oxygen to cells all over the body. Iron rich foods are iron-fortified cereals, red meats, liver, nuts, poultry, beans, shellfish, beans, and whole grains.
Calcium is essential for child’s bones and teeth health. Furthermore, calcium is also important for blood clotting, nerve, muscle, and heart function. Milk, tofu, spinach, cheeses, yogurt, broccoli, ice cream, egg yolks are calcium rich foods.