Fretting over your kid’s eating habits? Is your kid a fussy eater or eats anything and still does not grow considerably? The reason for this could be the food you are giving to your kids. The food may be lacking essential nutritional requirements for kids’ overall growth and development and not resulting in the desired outcome.
So, it becomes crucial for you to give the right type of nutrition in the right amounts to support your kids’ health and development. This is especially important for kids in the age group of 4-13. During these years, your children grow faster and require all the essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals to support their physical and mental health and development.
Read on to know the top 5 nutritional requirements for your children.
Top 5 Nutritional Requirements for Your Kid’s Overall Health/Development
Kids or adults, we all need the same nutrition. Therefore, we must eat a healthy and balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products and healthy fats. However, the amount of nutrients, such as protein, minerals, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins may differ at different ages.
Here is a quick list of the most important nutrients essential for your kid’s overall health and development.
Protein is an essential nutrient for our bodies. Proteins are the building blocks and are present in our muscles, bones, hair, skin and all the cells and tissues. Protein plays a crucial role in building, maintaining and repairing the tissues in our body.
Kids from 1-3 years need 16.7g of protein a day. For the age group of 4-6 years, the requirement of protein increases to 20.1g per day. Children between 7-9 years need 29.5g of protein a day.
Boys between 10-12 years need 39.9g a day, whereas girls of the same age group require 40.4g/day. Boys and girls from 13-15 years need 54.3g and 51.9g a day, respectively.
- Lean meat
- Fish and seafood
- Peanut butter
Iron is a vital nutrient that makes your red blood cells or haemoglobin, carries oxygen across the body and aids in the physical and mental growth. It also prevents anaemia.
The daily requirement of iron for kids between 1-3 years is 9mg/day, which increases to 13mg/day for the age group of 4-6 years and 16mg/day for 7-9 years. The iron requirement for boys and girls of 10-12 years is 21mg/day and 27mg/day, respectively. For boys and girls between 13-15 years, iron requirement stands at 32mg/day and 27mg/day respectively.
- Red meat
- Tuna fish
- Dark leafy vegetables
- Beans, dried beans
- Whole grain
Calcium is an essential nutrient for building the bones and bone mass throughout the growing years and in adult age. This nutrient stays in the bones for years and support bone health.
If your children are lactose intolerant or do not like to drink milk, give them specially made calcium tablets for kids to fill the calcium gap.
Kids between 1-9 years need 600mg of calcium per day and between 10-15 require 800mg a day.
- Fortified soy milk
- Dry cereals
- Vitamin C
Vitamin c for kids plays a crucial role in building the brain, strengthening the immune system, absorbing iron in the body and healing from cuts and scrapes.
Vitamin C sources:
- Kiwi fruits
- Brussels sprouts
- Yellow & red bell peppers
- Vitamin D
Get sufficient vitamin D nutrient from direct exposure to sun and support calcium absorption and bone health. Lack of vitamin D may result in bone loss, rickets and delayed motor development.
For normal development, your children (all ages) need 400IU per day. You can give vitamin D supplements for kids who have limited sun exposure.
Vitamin D sources:
- Egg yolk
- Fish liver oil
- Orange juice
- Fortified Milk
If your kids do not eat a healthy and balanced diet, discuss with your paediatrician, and give nutritional supplements for children to fill any dietary gap. Though several manufacturers are making tasty and chewable multivitamins for kids, it is best to provide them with the right nutrition in the form of the right food. Some of the makers may use artificial colour, taste enhancers and added sugars to appeal to the children. Therefore, buy nutritional supplements for children from reliable and branded makers, such as NutriBears.
The recommended nutritional values in this blog are taken from: https://www.fssai.gov.in/upload/advisories/2020/01/5e159e0a809bbLetter_RDA_08_01_2020.pdf