Bio: Susy Richards is a lovely mother of 3 girls (3 years, 4 years and 5) and a simple woman who is ready to share her priceless experience with other mommies around the world. She is an Advanced Practice Provider who passed birth doula and postpartum doula courses at Childbirth International in 2013. Susy is passionate about providing holistic care and is involved in pregnancy research currently publishing her articles concerning pregnancy on site rocketparents.com
Nutrition is one of the most fundamental things every parent should be knowledgeable about, and aware of what their kids take in. In the modern world, eating a well-balanced and healthy diet has been a challenge, especially due to the introduction of processed food, which is easy to buy, and requires less energy and time to get. This has to large extent affected what parents give to their children. Actually, most parents find it easier to buy junk foods from the supermarket and give to their kids, instead of buying the purely natural food products and preparing a healthy meal for their children. If you are interested in raising well grown and healthy children, then it is wise to invest in the most basic necessities for kids’ nutrition. Without much ado, here is what is required for a modern kid’s nutrition.
A newly born child requires the mother’s breast milk to grow and remain healthy. This is because the milk contains all the nutrients and immunities required for a child to grow strong and healthy. However, as the child grows, they are introduced to solid food in line with the breast milk. If you leave your child for hours, either for a job or other duties, it is good to ensure that you put your baby’s milk in a glass baby bottle – it is easy to clean and does not absorb liquid substances.
As the child becomes accustomed to the solid food, a well-balanced diet is required for everyday meals. First, identify which food products the child can take; some of the food products do not fit well in their system, and hence the child refuses them. Most of these products include eggs, meat or an animal’s milk like the cow’s milk. It is good to give the child what they feel comfortable with while keeping it healthy. Also be sure to see that each meal includes all the macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients required for body growth; carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats, water and other special plant nutrients.
A child requires energy to grow and to be active. Energy is derived from foods rich in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can either be simple or complex. The simple ones are found in milk, fruits or refined sugar. Natural milk and fruits are the best sources of simple carbohydrates since they are natural and chemical free. The refined sugar comes from processed foods, which is not healthy for a child’s growth. On the other hand, the complex carbohydrates that come from starchy foods like bread, rice and grain products are. Just keep in mind that brown rice and brown bread, are much healthier than white bread and rice –sometimes simple carbohydrates work best.
Proteins are actually the most important nutrients for baby’s growth. They are good for building and maintaining muscles, bones and body tissues. Milk and meat are most essential for little children, this is because they provide all the essential amino acids required in the body, hence they are called complete proteins. Other sources of proteins include fish, eggs, nuts, poultry and legumes; which are not as important if the child takes milk and meat well.
Fiber is not absorbed in the body, but rather helps to prevent constipation and in cleaning left-overs and toxins from the body. Foods with fiber include; legumes, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. However, make sure to give the child well refined food products from whole grains as well.
Children require unsaturated fat for proper brain development. This fat is found in plants and fish; which is liquid at room temperature. Although there are other foods such as milk, meat and coconut oils which provide fat; saturated fat which is solid at room temperature, is not as good as those which provide unsaturated fat. The unhealthiest of the fats is trans fat, which is found in processed foods and fried foods; parents should avoid these kind of food products.
Foods such as winter squash, red pepper, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, cabbage, carrots and kales are rich in vitamin A. It is important for bone growth, vision, and in regulation of the immune system for the little ones.
If you want your child to have a good immune and nervous system, as well as muscle and skin tone, then foods such as meat, cereals, fruits and vegetables are good for them. They are rich in vitamin B.
For strong and healthy bones, calcium rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, fortified juices and soy products are the best for your child.
Most fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, which is good for a strong immune system for your child.
For the little ones, exposing them to direct sunlight helps them absorb this vitamin. However, fish liver oils are also good for them. It is good for bone growth and health.
It’s a good antioxidant in the fatty part of body cells. Oils from salad, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and almonds are good sources of vitamin E. It protects the child from diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, arthritis and infection.
Children require iron to carry oxygen in the body and a strong immune system. Spinach, lentils, beans and red meat could be good sources of iron for your child.
You can get this from green vegetables, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds for proper muscle and nerve function for your kid.
Found in green vegetables and tomatoes and helps in blood clotting.
Red meat and spinach are good sources of zinc for healing wounds, good immunity and proper growth.