Healthy nutrition What nutrients do children really need – and why?
by BUNTE.de Redaktion December 03, 2018 at 12:08 p.m.
Finding your way around in the jungle of nutritional myths, diets and nutritional philosophies has become almost impossible. What is healthy? What can we still eat with a clear conscience? What do our children need? And what do we do if we actually have a vegan diet, are flexitarians or eat according to the paleo principle?
Vitamins for children: these are the most important nutrients
One thing in advance: Those who are growing are in a permanent state of emergency – just like our kids. Special attention must be paid to nutrition so that your offspring can develop optimally and not suffer from a deficiency.
Basically, healthy nutrition for children means balanced and above all wholesome food. So you should mainly rely on whole grains, normal dairy products and five rations of fruit and vegetables a day. Cooking as much as possible, not using finished products and only rarely allowing sugar and saturated fatty acids are important building blocks. In addition to this healthy diet for children, the focus is also on a few vitamins and nutrients that are particularly necessary in growth. Because they play an important role in cell division and brain development.
Bone growth, blood circulation, heartbeat, muscles, kidneys, lungs: there is hardly anything in the human body that is not dependent on the amount of calcium in the food. A toddler needs around 600 milligrams of calcium a day – and this need is covered, for example, with a slice of cheese and a glass of milk. Schoolchildren and, above all, teenagers need more: 1,200 milligrams of calcium should be included in the daily food in order to optimally care for the body, as reported, among other things, by the specialist portal "baby-und-familie.de".
Protein builds up cells and tissues. So for children it is an important part of the diet. About 20 percent of the daily food ration should therefore consist of protein. In order to achieve this value, a quarter of a protein-rich source should be on each plate. These include, for example, chicken, yoghurt, beans, eggs or cheese.
Dietary supplements for children: do you need that?
A nutritional supplement for children is not necessary. Because the vitamins that children need are contained in a normal menu – actually. However, you should provide your toddler with vitamin D and folic acid until their second birthday. Because vitamin D is only absorbed through sunlight, which toddlers are better off keeping away from. From the age of three, you can do without this nutritional supplement in children.
Eat right – but how?
Drink lots of water, eat whole grain bread and an apple for dessert? It all sounds great! But most parents struggle every day with vegetable gruffles that refuse to try green stuff at all. So now it’s time to be patient. And what else? Nutrition psychologist Thomas Ellrott provides the following five tips on the newspaper “zeit.de”, which you can use to make healthy eating tasty for your kids:
Do not offer alternatives right away. Because if your child refuses to eat carrots and plain yogurt, you cannot force it at first. Maybe try it all a few weeks later?
Create a nice atmosphere at the table and regular meal times.
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