Tuesday, 28 May 2013 05:04

Foods that all Kids need to be Eating

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Foods that all Kids need to be Eating

 

 

Convenience, lack of time and cost effectiveness is winning the way when it comes to the quality of foods our children are now eating. Parents are turning to calorie rich processed foods with no nutrient value over foods rich in vitamins and minerals. This is having a broader impact on our social fabric with health related issues like obesity at an all time high. Parents without even knowing it are feeding their children to an early grave.

 

So what needs to change? Study after study is showing that children are falling short of the five most important nutrients: Calcium, Vitamin E, Fibre, Potassium and Iron. These five nutrients are vital in regulating and supporting healthy body functions.

 

Calcium is vital for the body as it builds bone mass. If a child doesn’t get enough calcium during their formative years they are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis in later life. Foods rich in Calcium include: cheese, yoghurt and milk. Tofu made with calcium is great alternative that you can add to children’s dishes as it has no flavour.

 

Vitamin E is an important nutrient which protects cells from damage. What is surprising is 80 percent of kids under the age of 8 are currently not eating enough vitamin E in their food (University of Nebraska-Lincoln).Foods rich in Vitamin E include: avocado, tomato sauce, sunflower seeds. Sprinkling sunflower seeds on top of children’s meals is a great way to introduce Vitamin E into their eating schedule.

 

Fibre is a nutrient that is not digested in the body but is important for children as it keeps children’s body functions regular and full. There is some research that also suggests that fibre may help protect against a number of chronic disease later in life. Foods high include: fruits, beans, lentils, nuts, wholegrain breads and pastas. A great way for children to get fibre on a daily basis is to add fruit to their cereal.

 

Potassium is another nutrient where children are eating below the recommended daily levels. Potassium is a key player in maintaining healthy fluid balance and blood pressure and helps muscles contract. Foods that are rich in Potassium include: bananas, sweet potato, milk, yoghurt and tomatoes. A great way to introduce potassium into your children’s food is to make up sweet potato fries.

 

Iron is the last nutrient on the list and research is also indicating that children are not eating enough on a regular basis. What is concerning is low iron levels is common amongst children who are overweight. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to cells throughout the body and plays a vital role in brain development. Foods that are rich include: beef, chicken, prawns (shrimp and whole wheat bread.

Read 3089 times Last modified on Friday, 07 March 2014 02:35

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