A Parent's Guide to Children and Nutrients



For many parents, trying to get their kids to eat plenty of healthy food can quickly become a huge chore. After all, the majority of children complain when you try to feed them anything healthy like vegetables and fresh fruit. Some parents have a real hard time trying to get their kids to eat all of the right things and they worry that they aren’t getting enough nutrition from the few things they are eating.


Are you worried about your child and their eating habits? Thankfully, most picky eaters are just going through a phase and their fussy habits will soon be solved once they get a bit older and start to mature. But there is no denying that it can be worrying if you think that your child isn't eating all of the things they should in order to grow up big and strong.


Want to know exactly what they should be eating? Here’s a quick guide to children’s nutrition. The following are some of the most important nutrients that you can give kids. As long as you are happy they are getting these in their diet, then you shouldn’t have too much to worry about.




Carbohydrates


I’m sure that your kids will always seem to be full of beans. They might even have so much energy that they are able to run rings around you and your partner! Are you curious as to where all this energy comes from? It’s from all of the carbohydrates in their diet. Carbohydrates - or carbs - are found in starchy foods like rice, bread, and pasta. This nutrient is how the body gets its instant energy. As soon as they are consumed, the body will start burning them to release all of the calories and energy. However, you need to be careful about the types of carbs that your kids are eating. Starchy and processed ones, such as white bread and white pasta, can cause bloating and are linked to a few different health conditions, such as high cholesterol and diabetes. Non-processed carbohydrates like brown breads and pastas, as well as healthy grains like quinoa and bulgar wheat, are digested a lot easier by the body and won’t cause too many health complaints.




Protein


Protein is another nutrient that is essential to the healthy development of children, especially as it will help their bodies and minds to grow and develop. That’s because the body needs protein to build new cells and repair any damaged ones. It also aids in the carrying of oxygen around the body and also boosts the immune system so that the body can effectively fight illnesses and diseases. Protein can also supply the body with some energy, although not as much as what it would get from energy dense carbohydrates. Thankfully, there are lots of sources of proteins including meats and fish. Even if your kids won’t eat steaks or chicken, I’m sure they will enjoy fish sticks for dinner! There are also plenty of non-meat protein sources, including tofu, eggs, beans, and nuts.




Healthy Fats


You might think that fats are bad for your children as they lead to weight gain. In some sense that is true. There are a lot of unhealthy fats out there, such as trans fats and saturated fats, which are incredibly bad for the body and will lead to significant weight gain if eaten in large quantities. However, there are some healthy fats that the body needs in order to work as it should.  For instance, omega 3 fatty acids are super healthy and promote brain development. They have also been proven to be essential for good heart health. Not only that, though, but they also help the eyes and their development. The best source of these fatty acids is oily fish, such as salmon, trout, and herring. If you aren’t used to eating fish (it’s been shown that most families need to increase their weekly intake of fish) it’s worth visiting your local fishmonger to see if they can recommend you a cut of fish that is easy to prepare and cook. Don’t worry if you don’t live near a fishmonger as you can get lots of information online from www.citarella.com and other specialist fish dealers. Finding it hard persuading your kids to eat fish? Don’t panic; omega 3 fatty acids can also be found in walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. In fact, most seeds contain fatty acids.




Iron


When it comes to macronutrients, there are a lot that you need to try and include into your children’s diet. One of the most important ones, though, has to be iron. This helps them increase the amount of blood in their body so that all of the other nutrients that they eat can flow around the body and get to where they need to be. This is also important as it means that oxygen can flow through the body a lot easier too. It’s worth checking websites like www.livescience.com so that you have a good knowledge of how you can help your children encourage the development of healthy blood. There are lots of foods that are rich in iron, such as red meat, leafy green vegetables, and beans.




Calcium


We all know that calcium helps the body develop strong bones, but did you know that it also serves some other purposes as well? It’s true! For instance, it is really important for good eye health. Not only that, though, but it promotes healthy nerve development as well. It can also prevent the blood from clotting too much as it ensures that the heart can function correctly and healthily as possible. As you probably already know, calcium is found in all kinds of dairy. So, make sure your child is eating lots of milk, yogurt, and cheese. That’s not the only place it is found, though, as you will also find it in the yolks of eggs, spinach, tofu, and broccoli.



Dinner ➡️Butter Chicken ➡️Coriander & Lime Rice ➡️Vegetable Samosa ➡️Naan Bread ➡️Steamed Veg - Snap Peas, Baby Corn ➡️Cucumber ➡️Radish 📲Swipe for👩🏽‍🍳 Recipe For Butter Chicken ———————————————— 💬Another quick and easy mid week curry! We eat a lot of different curries because the recipes can be simplified and made to be very family friendly. This butter chicken recipe is really mild and my toddler eats it right up! It is also a good one to pop into the freezer for emergencies. Zayne left his cucumber, some radish and half of his samosa, but everything else was eaten. It’s Friday tomorrow! I love having quality family time at the weekends and also having a (little) lie in! ———————————————— 🍽 Items Pictured ———————————————— ↘️EasyMat @easytots_ ↘️Cutlery @doddlcutlery ———————————————— #babyledweaning #blwrecipes #blw #toddlerfood #toddlerfoodideas #kidsfood #babyfoodrecipes #homecookedmeal #homecookedfood #currynight #kidsmeals #easyfood #easymeals #easyrecipes #foodblogger #fooddiary #kidsfoodblog #babyledfeeding #balancedfood #balancedmeal #foodideas #zaynesplate #dinnerideas #buzzfeedfood #foodiegram #parentinghacks #gentleparenting #healthykidsfood
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Fiber


In order for your children to develop and continually have healthy bowels, they will need to have a lot of fiber in their diet. This nutrient promotes a healthy digestive system overall. But it is also good for their long-term health as it has been shown that those of us who have high levels of fiber in their diet will be better protected from diseases like cancer and heart disease in later life. Thankfully, there are plenty of delicious sources of fiber out there that I’m sure your children will love to eat. These include foods like whole-grain cereals and breads, chickpeas, and kidney beans. Nuts are also rich in fiber and make some really healthy snacks.




Vitamin A


Another really important nutrient that you need to incorporate into your child’s diet is vitamin A. Well, in actual fact, there are a whole range of different vitamins that you need to feed them - we will come on to some more later on in this blog post! Vitamin A is one of the most important, though, as it really helps with keeping the skin in condition and reducing the chance of any serious skin conditions, such as eczema. Plus, it can help with eyesight in the dark as it helps the eyes to adjust to dimming light. So, it is really true what they say - carrots really can help you see in the dark! It’s not just carrots that are good sources of vitamin A, though. Squash, apricots, and eggs also contain high levels of the vitamin.




Vitamin C


Another vitamin that everyone has heard of is vitamin C. This is known for being found in citrus fruit and helping the body improve its defence against various infections and illnesses. In fact, you might have heard that having a diet that is rich in vitamin C can help you fight the common cold. It’s true that this vitamin is in all of the different citrus fruit, but there are other sources you will find as well. For example, tomatoes, potatoes, and cauliflower are all rich in the vitamin.




Vitamin D


One other vitamin that you need to add into your children’s diets is vitamin D. Not getting enough vitamin D can cause quite a few bone problems including deformities and illnesses, such as rickets. Unfortunately, though, vitamin D is very rarely found in food. Sure, it is in some fortified cereals and breads as well as red meats and eggs, but the best source of it is the sun. That’s right; you read that correctly! The sun’s rays help your body make vitamin D and getting plenty of sunshine shining onto the body will increase its levels of the vitamin. So, make sure that you enjoy a day out in the sun whenever there is nice weather. Some say it only takes 10 minutes with unprotected skin.  Dermatologists of course would rather you get your vitamin D from a good supplement. Just be sure to use lots of sun protection so that your kids don’t end up burnt!

As you can see then, there are a lot of different nutrients that you need to fit into your children’s diets. It is often a lot easier than what you might think, though. You might be surprised at how well you are doing already!

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