Nine key nutrients your kids need
As our little one's bodies grow and develop, it's so important to ensure their diets are packed with key vitamins and minerals. We're here to give you the scoop on the nine essential nutrients your child needs and the natural food sources where you can find them.
Protein is so important in our kids' diet as it assists in building new cells, carries oxygen around the body and helps fight infection. One of the best sources of protein is of course, meat, but if your little one isn't big on chicken and beef you can also get protein from eggs, nuts and dairy products. Why not dish up eggs with toast soldiers for brekkie or pack a yoghurt with their school lunch.
Carbs are one of the body's best sources of energy and is essential for helping your kids get through the hustle of their everyday lives. While there is so many different sources of carbohydrates, you should focus on those which are high in starches and fibre rather than sugars. Whip them up a sandwich on wholemeal bread for lunch or add potatoes, pasta or rice to their dinner.
Fats have gained a bad reputation due to diet culture but they are so so important in helping protein and carbohydrates do their job! Not only that, healthy fats helps the body absorb vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E and are a great source of energy for growing bodies. Some great foods that are packed full of healthy fats include avocado, peanut butter, nuts, whole-milk dairy products, and fish!
This one is a no brainer, we all know how important calcium is for the development of a child's bones, teeth nerves and muscles. To up your child's calcium intake you can pack their meals with cheese, give them cereal with milk for brekkie or an ice cream treat for dessert.
Iron is crucial in making sure our kids' blood can carry oxygen from the lungs to cells all over the body. A lack of iron in their diet can cause fatigue, preventing them from thriving in the classroom and at home. While red meat and chicken are some of the best sources of iron, you can also find it in beans, nuts and iron-fortified cereals.
There's a reason we take folate during pregnancy and it's so important to continue providing little ones with this wonderful source of B vitamins. Folate is iron's best friend as it helps in the growth and development of kids' cells. They're the body's superstar duo. You can find folate in foods like spinach, lentils, chickpeas, and whole-grain cereals.
Vitamin A is so important for the development and health of our kids' skin and eyes. It also works to prevent infection so our little ones say healthy all year round. You can find vitamin A in almost all orange foods like carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin.
Vitamin C doesn't just help fight off the flu, it helps the body's cells bind and strengthens the walls of blood vessels. Through this process the body can heal wounds efficiently and build strong bones and teeth. You can find Vitamin C in citrus fruits like oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, melons and mangos.
Fiber has a huge role in our kids' digestive system, helping to maintain a healthy gut flora so the body can absorb all the other vitamins and nutrients we've already mentioned. Did you know gut health has been linked to cognitive health? So if your child isn't getting enough fibre, they may experience heightened anxiety and stress. You can find fibre in the skins of fruits like apples and pears, in whole-grain cereals like sultana bran and in nuts!