Eating healthy is important at all stages of a person’s life. But special attention needs to be given to what children are eating. Our health is reflected in the kind of food we eat. The right kind of diet can fuel a child’s growth and speed up his/her learning and intellectual development.
How do you ensure that your child is getting all the important nutrients? The simple trick is to provide your little one with healthy foods during each meal and even when he/she is snacking. As a parent, you need to be familiar with which nutrients expedite growth and in which foods these nutrients are available aplenty.
‘Cut the carbs’ is a dangerous diet maxim, especially for children. Carbohydrates are a macronutrient which means the human body needs large helpings of it. Carbohydrates provide energy. They keep the metabolism going. Carbs are the fuel that makes the body carry out all its functions. In fact, it's only because of carbohydrates can the body convert other nutrients like proteins, fiber, or sugars into forms that can be utilised. Healthy foods with carbohydrates- whole grains, cereals, brown bread, regular and sweet potatoes, bananas, and apples.
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Your child needs proteins for the development of cells, muscles, ligaments, bones, organs, etc. Proteins also help to repair any worn-out or injured cell. They help to transfer oxygen to all parts of the body. Here are some healthy foods with proteins: lentils, soy products, eggs, lean meat, fish, dairy foods, nuts, and beans.
A child’s body needs fats from external sources because the human body cannot produce many essential fatty acids. Fats also help us to absorb Vitamins A, D, and E. They also shield organs from injury and help in the secretion of hormones. Fats are a source and storehouse of energy- something that growing kids need in abundance. Fats also help in carrying out vital cellular functions. Healthy foods with fats- whole milk, fish, nuts, seeds, cheese, flaxseed oil, soybean oil, avocados, and peanut butter.
Iron is needed for the production of haemoglobin. Without enough iron, blood will not be able to transfer enough oxygen to all parts of the body. This can give rise to anaemia and low oxygen saturation in the blood. Healthy foods with iron- spinach, whole grains, pomegranates, leafy vegetables, liver, beans, and, poultry.
32% of bone minerals are calcium. That should tell you just how vital calcium is for bone growth and maintenance. Without enough calcium, your child’s growth would be stunted. Calcium also helps a child’s nerves. Muscles and cells grow and develop. Healthy foods with calcium- milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, broccoli, cauliflower, and tofu.
Not just the pregnant mom, but a child too needs copious amounts of folate or Vitamin B. it is vital for the growth of the brain, heart, spinal cord, and blood vessels. Growing children need folate for developing cells rapidly. Healthy foods with Vitamin B- lentils, spinach, whole grains, chickpeas, kidney beans, cabbage, and broccoli.
A child needs fiber for a regular bowel movement and to maintain the gut biome. Consumption of fiber also has long-term benefits because fiber can reduce the chances of your child getting cancer or heart diseases later in life. Healthy foods with fiber- whole grains, brown bread, seeds, nuts, barley, oatmeal, and fruits.
Include a combination of these foods in your child’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Fruits, seeds, nuts, and yogurt are excellent snack options.
If you want to know more about nutritional deficiencies that affect children, you can always consult a doctor or a nutritionist online on DocsApp.
No matter how busy parents are, they should always make time to prepare healthy meals for their children. This is something that will have a life-long effect on your child’s health.