Teaching kids the importance of right food at an early age goes a long way in building a healthy body and mind. Right food is made up of essential nutrients and vitamins that are to be consumed as according to the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for best results. Here is a list of the 10 vital nutrients required for the overall advancement of your child.
Calcium is one of the most important nutrients required for children. It is essential for building strong bones and teeth. When RDA of calcium is not met appropriately, the bone density gets affected and as adults they tend to suffer from bone problems and deformities. It is obtained mainly from green leafy vegetables, milk and other dairy products.
Vitamin A is important for eye health and is also critical in the advancement of the immune system, skin, hair, mucous membrane and glands of a child.
Vitamin C holds body's cells together, prevents cell ageing, strengthens the blood vessels, heals wounds, supports calcium in building bones and builds a strong immune system. All citrus fruits are high in this nutrient as also are tomatoes, green vegetables, papayas, mangoes, cabbage, etc.
Vitamin D encourages calcium absorption and helps in the healthy functioning of the nerves and muscles. Vitamin D production is encouraged by the sun on your skin. You can also get this nutrient from cereal, milk, tuna and egg yolks.
Vitamin B Complex
Children need Vitamin B complex or all the B vitamins for a healthy body and nervous system. These vitamins include nutrients like thiamine, folate, riboflavin, pantothenic, niacin, biotin, B9, B12 which helps in making new cells in the body, building and maintaining the nervous system and supplies adequate energy to the body. They are usually found in whole grains, meat, cereals and dairy products.
Very less discussed or known the nutrient called Choline forms an essential part of a child's diet. It helps the cells of the body determine its shape. It also helps nervous system in sending messages throughout the body. Human body do not produce this nutrient and foods like eggs, fish, meat and broccoli are rich in choline.
Iron is critical for a baby's brain and motor-skills development. They are usually born with a high amount of iron and is suggested only once they start on solid food, which is about 7-month onwards. Baby cereals are already fortified with required doses of the iron nutrient. You can find it also in meat, poultry, fish, avocado, baked potato, chickpeas, eggs, soybeans and spinach.
Zinc plays an important role to maintain the immune system and for cell growth and maintenance. Its deficiency is associated with defective growth, poor immunity and causing diarrhea. It is generally found in meat, milk, fortified cereal, lentils, eggs, fish, etc.
Magnesium is one of the most important building blocks for the body cells. It also has a big contribution in the heart health and energy production in a child’s life. This nutrient is easily found in whole cereal, beans, almonds, nuts, tofu and brown rice.
Iodine helps in general growth and development. The thyroid glands need iodine to produce hormones to control body metabolism. The deficiency of this nutrient leads to low IQ levels, hormone imbalance, goitre, obesity, etc. Its main source are fruits and vegetables, salt and seafood.