Diet Nutrition – 4 Essential Nutrients for Children: Is your child a picky eater? If yes, then you have to make sure that even if you allow your child to be picky, you still need to supplement a balance diet. For example, if your child dislikes egg, then be sure to replace the protein loss with milk and other dairy product. Below are some of the foods that are essential to your child diet while growing.
Protein is one of the main nutrients that a child must supplement during their growth stage. Proteins can make up substances and also assist in repairing body tissues. Children can get proteins from animals and plants, but animal proteins are better than plant proteins because animal proteins are more complete and contains much more essential amino acids.
Animal protein sources include fish, meat, chicken, eggs, milk, dairy products, etc., while vegetable protein sources include tofu, tempe (a fermented food from Indonesia), soybeans, peanuts, and other types of nuts. According to the nutritional requirements in 2013, children aged 4 to 6 need 35 grams of protein a day and children aged 7 to 9 need 49 grams of protein a day, which is about 2 servings of food containing animal protein plus 2 parts of food containing vegetable protein.
Children grow quickly before their adolescence, so they need calcium during childhood to help grow their bones. In addition to helping bone growth, calcium also helps maintain normal heartbeat, coagulation, muscle and nervous function. Calcium sources include milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, broccoli, etc.Children aged 4 to 9 years need 1000 mg of calcium a day, which about 3 cups of milk.
Iron is also one of the most essential nutrients for children, lack of iron can cause anemia. As a child grows, the blood content of the body increases, so in childhood, more iron is needed. Red blood cells carry oxygen to cells throughout the body so it highly depens on iron, which is essential for brain development and function. Meat, fish and chicken are the best sources of iron, while bread, cereal and pasta have fortified iron. Children aged 4 to 6 need 9 mg of iron a day and children aged 7 to 9 need 10 mg of iron a day.
Vitamins A, C, E
Vitamins A, C and E have antioxidant properties, which prevents body cells from being damaged by free radicals, strengthen the immune system and prevent infection. Vitamin A is important for the development of vision and bone. Vitamin C helps the formation of cells and tissues in children’s body. It helps the body to produce and repair red blood cells, bones and tissues, it also strengthens blood vases. Helping recover wounds and helps the body absorb iron, vitamin E also repairs DNA and helps body metabolism.
Children need these vitamins, many vegetables and fruits are fully available, such as mango, oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, broccoli, etc.