A Healthy Diet for Children
Ensuring that your kids get enough of the right kinds of vitamins and minerals is essential for their overall health. However, making sure that your children get the daily recommended dose of vitamins and minerals isn’t as simple as giving them a mega-multi-vitamin pill every day. Modern health experts now agree that children should receive the majority of their vitamins and minerals from a balanced, healthy diet.
Your doctor may recommend that your child take certain vitamin supplements if they are finicky eaters who are not eating well-balanced, healthy meals; or have a specific medical condition. That said, it is important to talk with your doctor before starting your child on any supplements since there are some vitamins that can be toxic to children if taken in large amounts.
The following 6 vitamins are important for proper growth and development in children:
- Vitamin A ensures a strong immune system, proper growth and development, and healthy skin and eyes. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, dried apricots and butternut squash are excellent sources.
- B vitamins (B2, B3, B6 and B12) promote proper circulation, a healthy nervous system, enhanced metabolism, and energy production. Nuts, fish, beans, and meat are great sources.
- Vitamin C assists in growing healthy muscles and connective tissue, and in repairing tissues in all parts of the body. Sources include citrus fruit, tomatoes and green veggies.
- Vitamin D is an essential for helping the body to absorb other vitamins including calcium. Salmon, eggs, fortified dairy products and fish oil are good sources of vitamin D.
- Calcium will help your child to grow strong, healthy bones. Great sources of calcium include yogurt, sesame seeds, spinach, tofu, milk, and collard greens.
- Iron ensures healthy red blood cells and promotes proper muscle development. Red meats, spinach, prunes and beans are all superb sources of iron.
If you have questions about a healthy diet for children, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a dietitian and nutritionist.