As mothers, it is important that we ensure our children have healthy diets. While it is easy to assume occasional fruits and vegetables are enough, there is much more that goes into a proper diet for kids. A healthy diet that is well rounded includes foods from every food group. This is necessary to help them not only grow now, but also to become healthy adults. Unless instructed by a doctor, you don't have to obsessively track all your child's macros. Making simple food choices ensures that your child gets all they need to stay healthy and produce the right building blocks to grow. Here are five important things to keep in your child's diet.
Iron helps to create hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body. Lack of iron can lead to anemia and even learning problems down the line. Sometimes you can notice this if your child is showing signs of a gum infection as the gums are more prone to excess bleeding when anemic since the blood will not be able clot. Iron is mainly added to the diet through meats and leafy green veggies like spinach. If you do not want to include much meat in your diet, tofu and legumes are also a good source of iron.
Green tea, coconut oil, and various fruits and vegetables are just a few of the many foods that contain powerful antioxidants. They protect against the damaging and disease-causing free radicals that can occur in the body, while also improving circulatory function. Also, a diet high in antioxidants improves many different conditions. Conditions such as inflammation, blood-sugar imbalance, lethargy, poor digestion, and low quality sleep. This means antioxidants can be effective at mitigating health problems and even fight against cancer cells.
Believe it or not, fat is a very important nutrient. Fats help children develop important tissues (like brain tissue), and to absorb vitamins that enter the body. With that in mind, though, remember that all fats are not made equally. Be sure to aim for healthy fats as much as possible, including olive oil, avocado, whole eggs, and nuts.
I'm sure we've all seen plenty of commercials advertising the benefits of vitamin D in milk, but did you know your child may need more than milk can give? Vitamin D helps your child build strong, healthy bones. You can give your child vitamin D supplements or add foods like salmon and mushrooms to their diets.
This may seem obvious, but many children do not get enough water daily. The body is made up of mostly water, so replenishing its supply is vital for it to function. Drinking water can even help reduce sugar cravings.
There are about 12 B vitamins that perform various functions in the body from helping create energy to healthy nerve function. Like many vitamins, B vitamins can be consumed through supplements or can be added through foods. Fortified grains, meats, beans, and eggs are just a few foods rich in B vitamins.
We all want what’s best for our children. By ensuring that they receive these import vitamins and nutrients, we are ensuring that they have a happy, healthy life full of the energy they need to succeed.