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Nutrition for Kids: Guidelines to A Healthy Diet

Written by Diabetic Pick


Nutrition for kids is based on same principles as nutrition for adults. Everyone needs the same types of nutrients — such as minerals, vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Minerals and vitamins are important elements of the total nutritional requirements for your child. Because the human body itself is unable to produce adequate amounts of many vitamins, they should be obtained from the diet. The body needs these vitamins in tiny amounts, and in a balanced, healthy diet they are present in sufficient quantities in foods your youngster eats. Children, however, need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages.

Essential Nutrients for Children

A growing kid needs a balanced, healthy diet full of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.  Check out these nutrition basics for boys and girls at various ages. Consider these nutrient-dense foods:

Fruits. Encourage your kid to eat a variety of canned, fresh, frozen or dried fruits — rather than fruit juice. If your child drinks juice, make sure it is 100 percent juice and limit his or her servings.

Protein. Choose lean meat, seafood, and poultry, beans, eggs, peas, soy products, and unsalted seeds and nuts.

Vegetables. Serve a variety of canned, fresh, or frozen vegetables — especially dark green, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas.

Dairy. Encourage your child to drink and eat fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt, milk, cheese or fortified soy beverages.

Grains. Choose whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, quinoa, popcorn, or wild or brown rice.

Important Vitamins that should be Included in Foods or Consumed as Supplements

As much as possible, try to maximize vitamins your kid receives in his or her regular meals. Following are some of the minerals and vitamins necessary for normally growing children, and some of the foods that retain them.

Vitamin A

A healthy diet for kids must include foods containing Vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes healthy skin, normal growth, and tissue repair, and helps in night and color vision. Rich sources of Vitamin A include dairy products, yellow vegetables, and liver.

B Vitamins

A balanced diet for kids should include foods containing B Vitamins. The B vitamins promote red blood cell formation and assist in a variety of metabolic activities. They are found in poultry, meat (including liver), soybeans, fish, eggs, milk, and whole grains, enriched cereals and bread.

Vitamin C

A healthy diet for children must include foods containing Vitamin C.  Vitamin C strengthens muscles, connective tissue, and skin, hastens the healing of bones and wounds, and enhances resistance to infection. Vitamin C is found in strawberries, citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D promotes bone and tooth formation and regulates the absorption of minerals such as calcium. Sources include fish oils, fortified dairy products, egg yolks and fortified margarine. Sunlight contributes to dietary sources of vitamin D, stimulating conversion of a naturally occurring compound in the skin to the active form of the vitamin.

Iron

Especially during periods of rapid growth, iron is essential for the production of blood and building of muscles. When iron levels are low, your child can demonstrate symptoms such as listlessness, irritability, depression, and an increased susceptibility to infection. However, a deficiency of iron is more common in adolescence than in middle childhood. Once girls commence menstruation, they need more iron than boys do. The best sources of iron include turkey, beef, liver and pork. Beans, spinach, and prunes retain modest amounts of iron.

Aim to limit your child's calories from added sugar and solid fats, like cake, butter, and soda. Look for ways to replace solid fats with nut oils and vegetables that provide vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Oils are naturally present in nuts, olives, seafood, and avocados.

Bio:  Bipasha is a professional nutritionist who is enthusiastic about writing helpful and informative articles related to diet, heath, fitness and diseases. She has done her masters in Food and Nutrition from a reputed University and presently pursuing higher studies in the same field. Check us Out at Diabetic Pick & Diabetic Pick - Blog.


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