Feed you child’s brain with the right nutrition

Article

Food Essentials for a Happy Healthy School Day

I don’t know about you, but if I let them, my kids might eat many different foods that may not all be healthy enough. Balancing their ever growing appetites with my desire to ensure a balanced child’s diet to promote healthy growth can be quite a challenge. But what exactly does a “balanced diet” look like? We all know that kids should eat fruits, veggies, whole-grains, dairy and lean meats but is that enough? Turns out, their diets not only have to balance food groups but also include certain nutrients to promote a healthy childhood. Here are a few nutrients that children should eat every day.

Protein

Our children’s growing bodies need protein to build cells, carry oxygen, help fight infections and breakdown other foods for energy. A few of the best sources of Protein include:

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    Chicken
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    Fish
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    Red meat
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    Eggs
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    Legumes
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    Fortified milk

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the number one way our bodies get energy which kids surely need for a demanding school day. Carbs also help our bodies build and repair tissue after injury so your child’s scraped knees will heal faster with an increased consumption of carbs. A few of the best sources of Carbohydrates include:

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    Whole-grain bread
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    Oatmeal
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    Crackers
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    Pasta
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    Rice
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    Potatoes
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    Corn
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    Peas

Calcium

Too much juice and soda pop and not enough milk has led to nearly 35% of children not getting enough Calcium. Calcium is essential to developing bone growth and strength, which are almost entirely created during childhood and adolescence. A few of the best sources of Calcium include:

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    Cheese
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    Yogurt
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    Vitamin D fortified milk
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    Egg yolks
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    Spinach
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    Broccoli

irons

Iron helps with the flow of blood throughout the body and brain development - a chronic deficit of Iron can actually lead to learning delays and behavioral problems. A few of the best sources of Iron include:

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    Lean beef
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    Chicken
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    Shellfish
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    Beans
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    Whole-grains
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    Lentils

Potassium

On average, children are only getting 60% of the daily recommended amount of potassium. Potassium helps maintain blood pressure, fluid balance and muscle contraction. A few of the best sources of Potassium include:

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    Bananas
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    Oranges
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    Prunes
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    Potatoes – both white and sweet
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    Soybeans

Knowing which nutrients your child needs for a balanced diet can help you plan and prepare nutritional, fulfilling meals that promote a healthy childhood and establish wholesome habits that will last a lifetime.