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Growing children, especially those who are fussy eaters and don’t eat a varied diet may not get enough vitamins or minerals through their food. It is very important that they get the right amount of nutrients so that their body functions at an optimum level. The amount of nutrients and calories that every child needs often depends on various factors like their age, gender and activity levels. If your child is more active, then he or she may need more calories than others. Males generally need more than their counterparts and growing kids require more calories than younger ones.
Research has found that kids who do not get enough essential vitamins often remain sick or has a medical condition. The nutrients needed by children are just the same as adults, but the amount varies.
Vitamins and minerals crucial for growing kids:
Vitamin A: This promotes the normal growth and development of the tissues, bones and helps to keep the skin and eyes healthy. Rich source includes eggs, milk, cheese, carrots, yams and yellow or orange vegetables.
Vitamin B: This family consists of B2, B3, B6 and B12. They help in metabolism and energy production and also for healthy nervous and circulatory systems. Rich sources are chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, cheese, beans, and milk.
Vitamin C: It promotes the growth of healthy muscles, skin and connective tissues. Good sources include tomatoes, broccoli, citrus fruits, and green vegetables.
Vitamin D: It helps in tooth and bone formation and also helps the body to absorb calcium. Rich sources are milk and dairy products and fish oil. Sunlight is also a good source of vitamin D.
Vitamin E and K: E is useful in a wide range of disorders like metabolic or cardiac problems and K is needed for normal clotting of the blood.
Iron: It helps to build muscles and red blood cells. Any deficiency can lead to anemia and weakness. Foods rich in iron are spinach, beans, red meat, prunes.
Calcium: It helps to build strong bones as the child grows. Good sources are cheese, yogurt, tofu, milk etc.
How parents can introduce essential vitamins in diet?
Usually when appetites in children slow down and they do not eat nutritiously, parents should be concerned about their regular intake of vitamins. Parents should provide a variety of foods instead of offering kids the same thing regularly. If you are smart, then try some new recipes that are healthy as well as tasty. Establish regular meal and snack times. If you still feel that your children have a poor nutritional intake, then consult a trained nutrition professional and plan the daily food intakes for your children.
Growing children need a balance diet to keep them healthy and vitamins and minerals play a critical role in it. As a parent, you should take care that they are eating healthy food to meet their daily nutritional needs.