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|Important Nutrients Kids Need|
Children’s bodies are constantly growing and changing. Their bodies need many more nutrients than the adult body. Naturally, children tend to learn towards favorite foods which may contain too much sugar or fat; and not enough of the good vitamins and minerals that their bodies need. With so many food choices, it can be confusing to the parent about what foods they should be serving to their children. By following a few simple guidelines, you can be sure that your child is receiving all of the important nutrients kids need.
Some lean fat is important for the child’s body to be able to process some vitamins and minerals. Lean fat can be found in olive oil, vegetable oil, and margarine. A child only needs 1 - 2 tablespoons a day.
Milk and dairy are essential for strong bones and teeth. Milk and dairy provide calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D, which are important nutrients kids need. Without these nutrients, kids will be prone to tooth decay, gum disease, cavities, and weak bones. Doctor’s recommend that children get three to four servings a day of dairy. Dairy products include cow or goat’s milk, cheese, and soy.
Meat and meat alternatives are important because they provide the nutrients of protein, iron, minerals and vitamin B12. All of these are important for the making of blood and the proper functioning of the immune system. A weak immune system can lead to a child which gets sick easily. Low blood count leads to anemia; which results in low energy and an increased need for sleep. Two servings a day is all a child needs to get the proper nutrition. Meat and meat alternatives include chicken, pork, peanuts, and tofu.
To get the proper amount of important nutrients kids need; it is essential that the child receives 4 - 5 servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals ( or dirt) within the body. Free radicals can lead to serious illnesses including heart failure and cancer. Fiber is important for proper digestion. Fresh fruits and vegetables include green beans, papaya, grapes, oranges, bananas, and cabbage.
Most of the important nutrients kids need can be found in grains, breads, and cereals. Grains contain fiber, vitamins and minerals needed for healthy immune systems and energy. It is recommended that children receive six to eight servings per day of grain food. Good grain foods include: bread, rice, cereal, oatmeal, noodles, crackers, and muffins.
It is not hard to get the proper amount of the important nutrients kids need. Parents just need to remember to provide a large variety of foods daily with the emphasis being on whole grain cereal and rice. Provide plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Only two servings of meat are necessary. Milk, cheese, and tofu are necessary for strong bodies.