In recent times, children receive the wrong kind of orientation when it comes to feeding. They believe more in sweet tooth and artificially produced meals i.e fast food restaurants and chemical enriched snacks and drinks. These chemically manufactured foods don’t promote healthy growth for children and may start to build all sorts of poisons in their system. Young children should be trained to love all that nature has to offer to enhance their everyday life and promote proper growth. Here are five powerful nutrients that every child needs.
According to research, children within the ages of 3-8 don’t get the adequate amount of Vitamin E they need on a daily basis. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cells from damage and promote proper healing. Some foods that contain Vitamin E include yoghurt, milk, peanut, corn, avocado and spinach.
On a daily basis children are getting less and less potassium in their meals, potassium plays an important role in maintain blood pressure, healthy fluid balance and helping muscles contract . Some parents believe in artificially produced foods so much that as long as its labeled potassium enriched among the ingredients they believe it is safe. Stick to the basics like banana, sweet potatoes, fresh tomoatoes (or tomato sauce), milk, honey, fish, orange etc.
Calcium is a very vital part of food that should not be ignored because it develops the bone mass, nearly all of which is build in childhood and adolescence. Children and adolescents who are deficient of calcium are at risk of developing osteoporosis (brittle and fragile bones due to hormonal changes and calcium and vitamin D deficiency). Calcium enriched foods are also rich in Vitamin D which not only strengthens the bones but prevents risk of other diseases especially type 1 diabetes. Some calcium rich foods include milk, juice, soy milk, cheese, eggs etc
Children’s diets need to contain at least 19- 25 grams of fiber daily, fiber as an active ingredient protects children from a wide array of chronic diseases later in life. Some fiber rich foods include beans, wheat, high fiber cereal, chickpeas, pasta, nuts, sweet potatoes, green peas, vegetables etc.
Iron is vital because it plays a very important role in helping the red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body and promoting brain development. Recent research has shown that overweight with high calorie intake have a low percentage of iron in their system. Children deficient of iron tend to have learning and behavioral problems. Some iron rich foods include fish, shrimp, beef, chicken, lentils, chickpeas, raisins, whole wheat bread, soy etc.
By Pamela Echemunor