Kids today get more food than they can possibly eat. In the US, child obesity rates are increasing at an alarming rate, and the fault belongs mostly to the parents. Most foodstuffs available in the marketplace are unhealthy, over-processed and packed with bad carbohydrates and fat. Recent research tells us that young kids are eating a lot but their bodies don’t get the right amount of vitamins and minerals to help their bodies grow properly. Many children are having vitamin deficiencies. To maximize the intake your child gets from nutrition, the following tips should help you make more rational choices.
Add more calcium into their daily diets
Nearly one third of children with ages between 4 and 8 are not getting sufficient quantities of calcium from the food that they eat daily. Government statistics tell us that too much juice (especially sodas and fizzy drinks) and not enough milk is the root cause for this deficiency. Calcium is fundamental for the proper development of your kid’s bones. Bone mass is mostly built in early childhood and adolescence, so you should monitor the intake more carefully. Otherwise your child may deal with all kinds of health conditions in his adult life, such as osteoporosis.
Include calcium-rich foods into their meal plan to help strengthen their bones from an early age. Yogurt, milk, tofu, cheese, fortified foods (cereal) and soy milk are excellent choices. A nutritionist may also recommend calcium supplementation; but this usually happens when a child have severe calcium deficiency.
80% of children under 8 are vitamin E deficient. The main culprit for the insufficiency may surprise you – low fat or fat free foods. These tend to be low in vitamin E, which have a vital role in the body. Vitamin E acts like an antioxidant; it protects the cells of the body for damaging. It’s definitely a good idea to serve healthier, low fat products to your child because they’re also low in saturated fat; but it’s not a good idea to go completely fat-free. Healthy food choices that are rich in vitamin E are fortified cereal, peanut butter, nuts, tomato sauce, spinach and avocado.
Fiber is very important for kids because it keeps them full and far away from sweets and other unhealthy food choices. A diet rich in fiber may protect them from chronic health conditions later in life; the official recommended dosage for kids is between 19 and 25 grams per day. However, this can be a tough goal to attain. Instead, parents should adhere to the “five rule”. This means including 5 types of foods into your child’s diet per day. Excellent choices are strawberries, whole-grain bread, brown rice, beans, sweet potatoes, nuts, popcorn, oatmeal, lentils and high-fiber cereal.
Most kids today are receiving less than 60% of the advised dose of potassium. That happens because many children don’t include enough veggies and fruits into their daily diets. Potassium is a fundamental player in preserving healthy blood pressure and fluid balance. Best food sources of potassium are oranges, yogurt, bananas, cantaloupe, dried apricots, bananas and tomatoes.
Recent studies have discovered that nearly 20% of kids with ages between 1 and 3 are not adding sufficient amounts of iron to their diets. Iron deficiency – particularly in overweight kids – may trigger severe health concerns. That’s because iron helps the body’s red cells carry oxygen to the brain thus having a vital role in brain development. Chronic insufficiencies may lead to behavioral and learning issues later in life. Parents should turn their attention to iron supplementation if their kids are not getting enough of this mineral from food. But then again, you should consult with a nutritionist to settle on the right dosage. As far as food is concerned, the healthiest sources of iron are
- soy nuts
- whole wheat bread
- fortified cereal
We live in a world packed with unhealthy food. Fast food in particular, is your child’s worst source of energy. It has to be avoided at all cost. Although it’s challenging to make kids understand that healthy food choices keeps them strong, it’s not something impossible to achieve.
By Alfred Stallion and Supplemented.co.uk!