4 Important Nutrients Your Child Might Not Be Eating Enough

As a parent, you try your best to raise a healthy child with a fulfilling life. But due to life’s challenges, providing the best becomes harder. You wonder what nutrients you are falling short on. Luckly, without having to source specialty foods and careful planning, you can make the best of what is available for bone development, immunity, digestive health and muscle function for your child. Here are four nutrients you should make sure your child is getting enough of.1

 

Calcium

The bones in your child contain most of their body’s calcium. Calcium is the best nutrient for bone and teeth development in children. It is also important for your child’s muscle function and their body’s cells’ communication.1, 2

 

How to increase calcium in your child’s diet:

Milk, yogurt and cheese contain high levels of calcium. For the lactose intolerant, include more leafy greens like mustard leaves, kale, broccoli, bok choy, soy products, and fortified packaged foods to get calcium.

 

Vitamin D

“Sunlight is good for the human soul” is not just a metaphor. It is needed inorder for Vitamin D to be produced in the body. It supports your child’s immunity health by activating the required cells and keeps bones strong by helping it absorb calcium.1, 5

 

How to get more Vitamin D to avoid VDD (Vitamin D Deficiency):

Besides being outdoors to get Vitamin D, some foods do contain it, though not in high concentration. Consider making dishes that have a healthy serving of fatty salmon, tuna (for canned, low sodium options), herring, rainbow trout and sardines. Vitamin D fortified milk, juice mixes and Cod Liver Oil supplements can be given for additional quality Vitamin D.

 

Potassium

This electrolyte essential nutrient is often under consumed. It helps carry electrical changes in cells for communication within the body so that it functions properly. It aids in removal of wastes and toxins through the kidneys.1, 4

 

How to get more of this nutrient:

Fatigue is one of the side effects when potassium is underconsumed. Natural plant foods, like the banana, watermelon, avocado and sweet potato, contain potassium in small amounts. Offering a variety of foods that contain potassium will not only help give the needed amount, but also build a general healthier diet.

 

Fiber

Fiber is key for a healthy gut in a child. The gut is responsible for 70% of their body’s immunity and it needs fiber for the nourishment of the good bacteria. There are two types of fiber, Soluble and Insoluble. Soluble fiber is found in many fruits and oats and is easily dissolved when mixed with liquids in the body. Insoluble fiber, found in whole grains, some fruits and vegetables, and kidney beans acts like a cleaner to help things moving in the digestive tract. A mix of both soluble and insoluble fibers are needed optimizes a child’s gut health.1, 3

How to get more Fiber:  Following portion control, your child per meal must have ¼ cup of fruits, ½ cup of vegetables, ½ cup of grains, and ¼ cup protein.

 

When Food Alone Isn’t Enough

An easy tell tale sign that your child is ill is that they are not eating well. If you feel that your child is not getting enough nutrition through food, you may look for oral nutritional supplements. PediaSure® has a range of products to fit your child’s needs for growth when food alone is not enough. Packed full of the key nutrients Potassium, calcium, Vitamin D, and Fiber can be served alone as a drink or mixed into other foods. To find out which one of the range of products in Pediasure works for your child, always consult a pediatrician.1

 

Reference(s):

  1. https://www.nutritionnews.abbott/pregnancy-childhood/kids-growth/is-your-child-getting-enough-of-the-right-nutrients/
  2. https://www.ecowatch.com/vegan-calcium–2631635056.html
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321522#high-protein-foods-for-weight-loss
  4. https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/hormonal-and-metabolic-disorders/electrolyte-balance/overview-of-potassium-s-role-in-the-body
  5. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/