However, lots of information and advice are available and it may be tough to decide which direction to follow. Among others, the following are five basic, important nutrients to boost your child's growth and development.
Protein is an important component of every cell in our body which is essential for healthy growth and development. Protein provides calories and amino acids the body really needs for building new cells and the compounds that direct bodily processes, including enzymes and hormones. Protein needs are highest during infancy and increase again just before adolescence as the body readies for another growth spurt.
Protein is found mainly in animal products such as dairy, eggs, seafood, and meats. And in somewhat lesser amounts, it is also found in beans, nuts, vegetables, and grains. Protein intake is usually not a problem for most kids, even those who don't eat meat consistently. For example, just 453g of milk or yoghurt, or 56g of meat, chicken, or seafood, and an egg satisfy a 3-year-old's daily protein needs.
Calcium helps make strong bones and teeth, maximises bone growth and shores up the skeleton during childhood and beyond. The body withdraws the calcium it needs from bones to maintain blood levels, which is partly why children need adequate calcium every day.
Dairy foods are concentrated calcium sources including milk, cheeses, and yoghurt. Calcium is also plentiful in plant products, such as fortified orange juice and soy beverages, tofu, and certain cereals.
Fibre is a complex carbohydrate without calories. We can't digest dietary fibre to get the energy. But adequate fibre intake provides many benefits for growing a child. It helps to keep the digestive system working well. Fibre's confirmed benefits for kids include preventing constipation and promoting fullness. High-fibre foods, including whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, keep kids fuller for longer in addition to its richness in vitamins and minerals.
Make whole grains, fruits, and vegetables available to your child every day to get the fibre your child needs
Antioxidant nutrients, including vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, etc, are named "superheroes" by many experts They help defend the body against harmful substances, the free radicals, that can damage the cells, which could minimise the risks of chronic conditions including cancer and heart disease.
Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, including berries, broccoli, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and cherries are among the produce offering the most antioxidants.
Red blood cells need iron to ferry oxygen to every cell in the body and keep the body energised. Iron also plays a role in brain development and function.
Both animal and plant foods provide iron, including meat, eggs, fish, poultry, seafood, spinach, beans, dried fruits, and iron-fortified grains.
Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron and you can do it by simply offer kids foods such as oranges, orange juice, tomatoes, kiwi, or strawberries with each meal to make the most of iron