Are your kids being well nourished?

Sunday, February 9, 2020

By Danielle Roberts

Children’s nutritional demands go beyond just maintenance. Nutrients are needed to assist their growth and developmental stages as well as fuel their brains to concentrate and learn at school. Schools can be a breeding ground for nasty lurgies, thus putting extra strain on developing immune systems, so additional nutrients are required to support a healthy – and happy – kid!

The five staples

In times of increased nutrient demand and in everyday life, setting a healthy foundation of the five staple food groups provides a good basis for the nutrients needed by a growing kid.

  1. Fruits and vegetables
    Work with a variety of fruits and vegetables that cover the colour spectrum which contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (beneficial nutrients that can only be found in plants). Each colour corresponds to a different group of antioxidants and phytonutrients. As a general guideline, the richer the colour, the greater the antioxidant levels.
  2. Grains + starchy vegetables
    Include whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa or wholegrain bread, and starchy vegetables such as pumpkin and kumara. These provide energy for their brain and body, as well as micronutrients for regular bodily functions.
  3. Proteins
    Fish and other types of seafood, poultry, beans and other legumes, nuts and seeds, and lean meats are great examples of protein-rich foods that provide the building blocks for growing bodies.
  4. Dairy foods
    Low-fat milk, cheese, yoghurt and other dairy foods provide fantastic sources of calcium and protein for strong bones. For kids who can’t tolerate dairy, calcium can be found in broccoli, leafy greens, and calcium-fortified nut milks and cereals.
  5. Fats (the good kind)
    Healthy fats are an important part of creating the integrity of cell membranes. They allow nutrients to flow in and out of cells. Examples of healthy fats are fish, nuts and seeds.

The issue with fussy eaters

As many parents will know, one roadblock to optimal nutrition comes with the frustrations of fussy children refusing to eat healthy foods. So, what can you do then to ensure they get enough nutrients to support their learning, growth and immune system? Supplementing with nutrients is often an easy and convenient place to start.

  • Probiotics
    Probiotics protect the gut lining from bad bacteria that can cause damage. As immunity starts in the gut lining, probiotics also protect the integrity of immune cell function to help to keep children healthy.
  • Brain complexes
    These provide healthy fats to support and promote brain health and to support learning and healthy behaviour.
  • Multi-nutrient complexes
    These complexes often contain essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants complemented by superfood concentrates to provide nutritional support for optimal brain function and energy creation.
  • Immune boosting complexes
    These contain plant and herbal extracts, combined with immune-boosting vitamins and minerals that support immune cells to respond more effectively to signals of an immune system threat. This supports a quicker recovery process for children who pick up ills and chills.


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