As parent’s one of our most important goals is to help our children grow up to become healthy adults. In order to do that you must begin by teaching your child the importance of healthy living.
Nutrition is essential to your child’s health. Good nutrition can put a stop to many health problems, including becoming overweight, developing weak bones, and developing diabetes. Finding your child all the foods that have all the important nutrients will help your child grow to their complete potential.
A child’s body prospers on certain nutrients that work together to promote growth and development. There is no specific nutrient or group of nutrients that is more important to a child's well-being, than five nutrients I am about to mention to you now.
The Five Most Important Nutrients:
1. Calcium: the richest mineral in the body, that helps in the development of bone growth. Your Child needs calcium in the bloodstream this is crucial for normal heartbeat, blood clotting, and muscle function. Your child’s body takes the calcium it needs from bones to keep a blood level, which is the reason why children need a good amount of calcium in their diet every day. Many kids do not get enough for their nutritional needs. One of the biggest problems in the United States with children’s diets is that they do not receive enough of calcium in their daily diets.
· to 3-year-olds need 500 milligrams
· 4- to 8-year-olds require 800 milligrams
· 9- to 19-year-olds need 1,300 milligrams
Offer children drinks and snacks that are rich with calcium. Avoid giving them soft drinks, snack chips, and candy. Such examples are:
· White bread
· Flavored milk
· Hard Cheese
· Orange juice rich with calcium
Certain breakfast cereals (check the label on the box to make sure it is not all sugar) by giving your child, calcium rich foods you can help lower body fat levels in children aged 2 to 8.
2. Protein: is another important nutrient in your child’s diet. Every single body tissue, in your child’s tissue contains protein. This gives you an understanding of how important protein is to children. Protein is found in animal and plant foods such as:
Protein is extremely important during infancy. Children’s daily needs for protein are:
· to 3-year-olds need about 13 grams
· 4- to 8-year-olds, 19 grams
· 9- to 13-year-olds, 34 grams
· Older teens, between 46 and 52 grams
3. Fiber is needed for children for good nutrition and healthy growth. Fiber helps stop constipation and it gives children a sense of fullness. High fiber foods are rich in vitamins and minerals. High-fiber foods to give your child include:
· Whole grains
4. Antioxidant nutrients: are vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and the mineral selenium Antioxidant nutrients are known to help boost a child’s immune system. Foods that are rich with antioxidant nutrients are:
· Sweet potatoes
· Carrots are among the high rich antioxidants
5. Iron: is also very important to a child’s diet. Your child depends on iron to get bigger and stronger. Iron also helps in your child’s brain development and function. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in America, affecting mostly older infants, young children, and women in the childbearing years. Small children are at risk because they grow so fast. An iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which often drains a child's energy.
Foods you could give your child that are high in iron are:
Nonheme iron. Nonheme iron is also the type of iron added to breads, cereals, pasta, rice, and fortified grains.
A steady supply of fortified grains can provide enough iron; even for those who do not eat meat and children should take a daily multivitamin with iron to be on the safe side.
The food pyramid was designed by the US Dept. of Agriculture to promote healthy nutrition in children over two years of age. The food pyramid’s main purpose is to be a general guide to daily food choices. The pyramid focuses on the five major food groups, all of which are required for good health.