8 Key Nutrients For Optimal Growth of Kids
Small heroes and angels are very picky when it comes to eating food. They don’t want to eat the foods that are healthy for them; they want to eat the foods that taste and smell good. Parents need to be very smart to encourage their kids to eat healthy foods. The lack of essential nutrients can severely impact physical and mental well-being.
The growth and development of kids are very important, and a lot of energy is needed for optimal growth. To help your child grow healthy and strong, give them lots of nutritious food and make sure they get enough sleep. Also, don’t ignore nutrient substitutes if your little munchkin is a picky eater. Calcium, Vitamin D3, and Iron supplements are often recommended to children in their growing age.
Read on to know what your kid needs during their early years of life.
Calcium is imperative for building strong bones and healthy teeth. It is also essential for muscle contractions, nerve transmission as well as blood clotting. We all know milk products are an abundant source of calcium. But, if your child does not like milk or has a milk allergy, calcium can be found in other foods such as broccoli, tofu, almonds, and oranges.
Protein is made up of amino acids—the building blocks of all cells in the body—and this macronutrient plays an important role in growth and development. Protein is also needed to build enzymes, hormones, and antibodies that fight infection. Lean meats, soy, seafoods, eggs, beans (legumes), nuts, yogurt and seeds are sources of protein. A varied diet with these sources of protein provides all the amino acids kids need for optimal growth.
It’s hard to imagine that a trace mineral like zinc could have a powerful effect on the human body, but it can. Zinc is essential for wound healing, immune system function, and cell growth. As is the case with most of the other nutrients, researchers believe that zinc plays an important role during fetal development and childhood growth as well.
Children who are severely deficient in zinc are often found to be shorter than normal for their age.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is best known for its role in calcium absorption and maintaining bone health, but it also plays several other roles in the human body. Vitamin D helps regulate our immune system and reduce inflammation, which may help prevent disease in the future.
A deficiency in vitamin D has been linked not only to stunted growth among children but also to an increased risk of infections such as colds and flu. Some studies affirm that vitamin D may play a crucial role in cancer prevention and autoimmune disorders as well.
Potassium is an essential mineral that plays a role in blood pressure regulation, muscle contraction (including the heartbeat), fluid balance, nerve signaling, energy production, and more.
It is essential for proper heart function and maintaining muscle mass in kids. This essential nutrient is found in fruits such as bananas and melons as well as vegetables like potatoes and tomatoes.
This B vitamin helps in the formation of red blood cells and also helps in preventing congenital disabilities. Folate is found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and mustard greens; eggs; meat and fish; grains like wheat germ and brown rice; legumes such as lentils; peanuts; oranges; beets; papaya; mangoes; avocados; asparagus, etc.
Iron helps carry oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs. Iron also aids muscle contractions, cognitive development, and proper immune functioning. The best food sources of iron for children include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and fortified breakfast cereals. However, sometimes doctors also recommend iron alternatives. Iron supplement dosage for a child depends on their age.
Carbohydrates are often demonized by fitness gurus and fitness models who want to shed fat and get shredded abs. But carbohydrates are important macronutrients that provide energy and help your little one get through the day with energy. Carbohydrates also serve as a source of brain energy for kids since their brains are still growing.
The Bottom Line-:
As children grow, their bodies require more nutrients to stay healthy and strong. Although optimal growth depends on many factors, including genes, exercise, and a lifestyle, a healthy diet is most important.