We all know that complete nutrition [link: https://pediasure.com.my/balancedNutrition/nutrition] for our kids is vital for healthy development. It is of utmost importance that all the nutrients are present in the right amounts. However, with that being said, what is the purpose of the nutrients and how can you make sure your kid is getting enough every day?
What is the purpose of those nutrients?
- Vitamin: These are vital for your kid to stay healthy. Vitamins can be found in various food, for example mushrooms, lean pork, nuts, peanuts, milk and of course fruits and vegetables.
- Mineral: This nutrient is required for strong and healthy muscles, bones and teeth. Like vitamins, this nutrient can be found in many foods such as dairy products, whole grains, broccoli, tofu or almonds. If your kid is allergic to dairy products, you can always choose an alternative such as soy milk.
- Protein: These are needed for optimal growth, healthy bones and brain development. Proteins can be found in fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and lean meat.
- Fat: This is a supplementary nutrient for your kids’ energy, but make sure this nutrient is consumed only in moderation. Healthy fats can be found in seeds, nuts, avocados and oily fish.
- Carbohydrate: This nutrient is vital for kids as they have an active lifestyle. It provides them with a source of energy. Most of the food we eat contain carbohydrates such as fruits, dairy products and potatoes.
- Fibre: This nutrient is necessary for good intestinal function as it helps in bowel movement. You can find fibres in fruits, vegetables, oats, nuts, seeds and wheat bran.
How to keep an overview on your kids nutrient intake
The nutrient list is one of the many helpful tools to help you create a balanced child nutrition [link: https://www.nutrition.gov/life-stages/children/food-nutrition]. Using this list you can create many different meals. If you are not sure if your child is getting enough of every nutrient, it helps to track what they eat. You can, for example, mark every food group in the table above with a specific colour, a poker chip or some other item. Let’s say when your child eats a sandwich, that would equal 2 portions of grain and 1 portion of meat. So you place 2 red chips and 1 blue chip in a jar. This way you can easily see what nutrients are left for the day and it is also a fun activity to do with your child. However, every age group needs a different calorie intake. If you are not sure about how much your child needs, you can consult a dietician. If your child is a fussy eater, let him or her help select the types of fruits, vegetables and grains that he or she wants to eat. That way they have a say in what they have to eat and they will be more likely to accept this.
It may take a while, but if you make use of these handy tools, you will be able to provide your children with all the nutrients they need for healthy and wholesome development.