Six Key Nutrients For Keeping Kids Healthy

Six Key Nutrients For Keeping Kids Healthy

Author -  Good Health

Nutrients are the key to our health and particularly important for growing bones and high energy levels. Everyone requires different nutrients depending on age, growth and activity.
Nutrients can generally be broken down into two categories; macronutrients: proteins, fats and carbohydrates and micronutrients: vitamin and minerals. Because both macronutrients and micronutrients have critical functions within the body, it is important to have a balance of both, for optimal health and wellbeing. Children especially need the right nutrients in their diet to help them with the increased nutrient needs from physical activity, growth spurts and education.

Here are our top 6 nutrients that should keep your child healthy, during all stages of growth.

Protein that assists growth in children.jpg

1. Protein

The major building block of a cell, protein helps a child’s body to break down food into energy, fight infections and carry oxygen around the body. Protein is made up of 20 amino acids that help repair the body. Animal protein is a complete protein source, however plant foods are not. If your children are having a plant-based meal, make sure to mix a few different protein sources together. It is a good idea to mix beans or pulses with a grain like rice or quinoa, to get a complete protein. 

  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Nuts 

The effects of fats in childrens growth.jpg

2. Fats

Fats help to keep your cells healthy and their structure strong, they are anti-inflammatory and have a major role in supporting skin health, moisture and repair. It is necessary to have fat within your diet for your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins; vitamins D, E, K and A. Healthy fats include Omega-3 rich foods that help with brain health, development and growth. 

  • Full fat milk, yoghurt, cheese 
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado 
  • Fish
  • Nuts and seed 

carbohydrates are essential for a well-functioning brain in children.jpg

3. Carbohydrates 

The main source of energy for the body - carbohydrates are essential for a well-functioning brain. Carbohydrates are responsible for regulating mood hormones and help children to use fats and protein for building and tissue repair. Carbohydrates come in many forms including root vegetables such as kumara, potatoes and carrots. It is important to have complex carbohydrates that are full of wholegrains, fibre and other nutrients. 

  • Pumpkin
  • Kumara
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Rice
  • Wholegrains 
  • Porridge
  • Pasta 

Calcium is essential for building strong bones and healthy teeth in children.jpg

4. Calcium 

Calcium is essential for building strong bones and healthy teeth. But did you know that calcium is also important for energy production, immune system regulation, nerve and heart function? 

  • Milk
  • Cheese 
  • Yogurt
  • Tinned salmon with bones
  • Sesame seeds
  • Seaweed
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Chia seeds 

Vitamin C helps with iron absorption in children.jpg

5. Iron 

Necessary for healthy blood, iron aids normal cell function and carries oxygen into the cells all over the body, to support energy levels and reduce fatigue. Iron comes in two forms; haem and non-haem iron. Haem-iron comes from animals, and non-haem iron comes from plants. Make sure your children are having foods high in Vitamin C if they are consuming non-haem iron, as this will help with absorption. 

  • Red meats
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Dark green leafy vegetables

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for children.jpg

6. Vitamin C

An essential nutrient, Vitamin C cannot be stored within the body and must be consumed often in the diet. Not only crucial for immune health; Vitamin C helps the body to heal wounds and reduces the development of bruises by strengthening the walls of blood vessels. Vitamin C helps keep gums and teeth healthy and supports the growth of strong bones. 

  • Citrus fruits
  • Kiwifruit 
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries 
  • Red peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach

Nutrients are essential for healthy children.jpg

Nutrients are essential for happy, healthy children. If you and your family are eating a range of macronutrients and micronutrients each day, your children will have all the nutrients necessary to grow and learn. Teaching children about the importance of nutrients will help them develop good habits for the future.


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Six Key Nutrients For Keeping Kids Healthy

Nutrients are the key to our health and particularly important for growing bones and high energy levels. Everyone requires different nutrients depending on age, growth and activity. Nutrients can generally be broken down into two categories; macronutrients: proteins, fats and carbohydrates and micronutrients: vitamin and minerals. Because both macronutrients and micronutrients have critical functions within the body, it is important to have a balance of both, for optimal health and wellbeing. Children especially need the right nutrients in their diet to help them with the increased nutrient needs from physical activity, growth spurts and education. Here are our top 6 nutrients that should keep your child healthy, during all stages of growth.

Protein that assists growth in children.jpg

1. Protein

The major building block of a cell, protein helps a child’s body to break down food into energy, fight infections and carry oxygen around the body. Protein is made up of 20 amino acids that help repair the body. Animal protein is a complete protein source, however plant foods are not. If your children are having a plant-based meal, make sure to mix a few different protein sources together. It is a good idea to mix beans or pulses with a grain like rice or quinoa, to get a complete protein. 

  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Nuts 

The effects of fats in childrens growth.jpg

2. Fats

Fats help to keep your cells healthy and their structure strong, they are anti-inflammatory and have a major role in supporting skin health, moisture and repair. It is necessary to have fat within your diet for your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins; vitamins D, E, K and A. Healthy fats include Omega-3 rich foods that help with brain health, development and growth. 

  • Full fat milk, yoghurt, cheese 
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado 
  • Fish
  • Nuts and seed 

carbohydrates are essential for a well-functioning brain in children.jpg

3. Carbohydrates 

The main source of energy for the body - carbohydrates are essential for a well-functioning brain. Carbohydrates are responsible for regulating mood hormones and help children to use fats and protein for building and tissue repair. Carbohydrates come in many forms including root vegetables such as kumara, potatoes and carrots. It is important to have complex carbohydrates that are full of wholegrains, fibre and other nutrients. 

  • Pumpkin
  • Kumara
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Rice
  • Wholegrains 
  • Porridge
  • Pasta 

Calcium is essential for building strong bones and healthy teeth in children.jpg

4. Calcium 

Calcium is essential for building strong bones and healthy teeth. But did you know that calcium is also important for energy production, immune system regulation, nerve and heart function? 

  • Milk
  • Cheese 
  • Yogurt
  • Tinned salmon with bones
  • Sesame seeds
  • Seaweed
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Chia seeds 

Vitamin C helps with iron absorption in children.jpg

5. Iron 

Necessary for healthy blood, iron aids normal cell function and carries oxygen into the cells all over the body, to support energy levels and reduce fatigue. Iron comes in two forms; haem and non-haem iron. Haem-iron comes from animals, and non-haem iron comes from plants. Make sure your children are having foods high in Vitamin C if they are consuming non-haem iron, as this will help with absorption. 

  • Red meats
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Dark green leafy vegetables

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for children.jpg

6. Vitamin C

An essential nutrient, Vitamin C cannot be stored within the body and must be consumed often in the diet. Not only crucial for immune health; Vitamin C helps the body to heal wounds and reduces the development of bruises by strengthening the walls of blood vessels. Vitamin C helps keep gums and teeth healthy and supports the growth of strong bones. 

  • Citrus fruits
  • Kiwifruit 
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries 
  • Red peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach

Nutrients are essential for healthy children.jpg

Nutrients are essential for happy, healthy children. If you and your family are eating a range of macronutrients and micronutrients each day, your children will have all the nutrients necessary to grow and learn. Teaching children about the importance of nutrients will help them develop good habits for the future.


Six Key Nutrients For Keeping Kids Healthy

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