The health of the kids is of prime importance for every parent. The parent wants a healthy growth curve for their child. Learning about nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals can help ensure your kids are on the right nutritional track. Nutrients are of two types, macronutrients, and micronutrients. The macronutrients are met easily by diet, but micronutrients are the ones that require a little attention, especially for kids who are fussy/picky eaters and do not like to eat their veggies. You have probably heard, "Eat your salad and veggies — it is packed with vitamins!"
Kids need vitamins and minerals for the healthy functioning of their bodies. They help in their growth, to form bones, muscle, skin, and for developing healthy eyesight and organs to help fight infections.
Understanding the A B C of Vitamins
Vitamins are present in two categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble.
The fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamin A, D, E, and K. These are easily dissolved in fat and are stored in your body for future use. The water-soluble vitamins, which are Vitamin C and the B-complex vitamins (such as vitamins B6, B12, niacin, riboflavin, and folate), dissolve in water. A daily intake of these vitamins is a must as the body does not store these vitamins.
Minerals are inorganic elements present in soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals. They are required for various functions. Some are needed in more significant amounts, such as calcium, to grow and stay healthy. Other minerals like Iron, Zinc, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, and Selenium are trace minerals because they are required in small amounts.
The best way to ensure that your child receives enough vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and development is to provide a wide variety of fresh foods from the five food groups. This should include whole grain and cereals, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, nuts and legumes, vegetables, fruit. Eating a mix of foods from all food groups is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals your child needs each day. However, if you are a vegetarian, it would be best to have extra care while planning the diet to include vitamins and minerals. The best sources for the minerals zinc and iron are meats, fish, and poultry. If you are a vegetarian, you can get minerals from dried beans, seeds, nuts, and leafy green vegetables. Another vital vitamin while selecting foods is Vitamin B12, which is needed for making red blood cells. It is found only in animal products. You can get vitamin B12 from eggs, milk, and other dairy foods if you do not eat meat.
When a child has a restricted diet and eats only a few selected foods, a parent needs to be extra careful about ensuring their child gets enough vitamins and minerals. One can take the help of daily supplementation for kids to avoid any nutrient deficiencies in your little ones.