By Nmami Agarwal
Better Quality of Life goes hand in hand with Proper Nutrition. Early years in a child’s life are crucial for growth and development. In order for children to grow properly, they must eat a well-balanced diet which incorporates all of the food groups. Proper nutrition is essential for kids because an adequate amount of nutrition leads to a healthier life as they grow. Children who follow a regular diet and consume balanced meal which contains milk, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, fiber enhance their cognitive and physical abilities. Healthy eating habits are more likely to stay with you if you learn and follow them as a child. That’s why it’s necessary to give proper nutrition and teach your children good wholesome eating habits.
Healthy eating has many benefits for children. It can:
- Stabilize their energy.
- Improve their minds and better brain function.
- Even out their mood.
- Help them maintain a healthy weight.
- Help prevents mental health conditions. These include depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
- Stronger immune function.
- Stronger bones and joints
- Good emotional stability.
- Good social behavior.
All parents want their children to have a “well-balanced diet. Here are the 9 nutrients that every child should be consuming on a daily basis for healthy growth and development:
Protein helps in tissue building, provides energy, fight infection, and carry oxygen. Foods that contain protein include Meat, Poultry, fish, egg, nuts, beans, and dairy products.
Carbs are a major source of energy for kids. They help to use fat and protein for building and repairing tissue. Carbohydrates come in different forms (sugars, starches, and fiber), but kids should consume more of the starch and fibers and less of sugar. Foods that have carbohydrates include bread, cereals, rice, crackers, potatoes, and oats.
Fats are a high instant source of energy for kids and are easily stored. They also help the body to properly use some of the other nutrients it needs. Foods that contain fats include whole-milk dairy products, cooking oils, meat, fish, nuts.
Calcium is necessary for building healthy bones and teeth. It’s also vital for blood clotting, muscle, and heart function. Foods that are rich in calcium include Milk, Cheese, yogurt, egg yolks, broccoli, spinach, and tofu.
Iron is necessary to promote hemoglobin that helps in carrying oxygen to cells all over the body. Foods that contain iron include Red meats, liver, poultry, shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts, and iron-fortified cereals.
Lack of folate can cause anemia, therefore, it is necessary for healthy growth and development of a child’s cells. Foods that contain folate include Whole-grain cereals, lentils, chickpeas, asparagus, spinach, black or kidney beans, Brussel sprouts.
Fiber helps produce bowel regularity and reducing the chances of heart disease and cancer later in life. Foods that contain fiber include Whole-grain cereals, chickpea, lentils, kidney beans, seeds, nuts.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps in proper growth, eye function, keeps skin healthy and works to prevent infection. Rich sources of Vitamin A are carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, apricots, spinach, fish oils, egg yolks.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C strengthens blood vessels, immune system, helps the body heal wounds, and is important for building strong bones and teeth. Foods that contain Vitamin C include Citrus fruits (such as oranges), Strawberries, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Melons, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Spinach, Papayas, and Mangoes.
Over to you– Your child will enjoy a better quality of life if proper nutritional habits are ingrained in them. Encourage them to take part in more physical activities. So, start making small shifts towards healthier food habits by gradually adding these important nutrients in your child’s diet.