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5 Essential Nutrients for Healthy Growth in Children

1. Proteins

Proteins help your child in building new body cells, breaking down food into energy, fight infection, and carry oxygen. Foods that contain high levels of protein are meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, and dairy products.

2. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are as essential for your child as any other food. The body use fats and proteins for building and repairing tissues. Foods that contain high levels of carbohydrates include breads, cereals, rice, pasta and potatoes.

3. Fats

Fats are a great source of energy for kids and are easily stored in a child’s body. They are also important in helping the body to properly use some of the other nutrients it needs. Foods that contain high levels of fats include whole-milk dairy products, cooking oils, meat, and fish.

4. Calcium

Calcium is essential in helping to build a child’s healthy bones and teeth. It’s also important for blood clotting and for nerve, muscle, and heart function. Foods that contain high levels of calcium include milk, cheeses, yogurt, ice cream and egg yolks.

5. Iron

Iron is necessary for a child to build healthy blood that carries oxygen to cells all over the body. Foods that contain high levels of iron include red meats, liver and poultry. Folate deficiency can cause anemia in children. Foods that contain high levels of folate include whole-grain cereals, lentils and spinach.

Does Your Daily Diet Contain These 5 Essential Micronutrients?

Essential Micronutrients by Famhealth

1. Folate  


Folate is one of the eight types of B vitamins, and it helps with the formation of red blood cells. It is water-soluble, and also called vitamin B9. The best way to get your B9 is through fruits and vegetables. Legumes like lentils and beans, spinach and asparagus are all great, folate-rich options.


2. Iron


Iron is used to create hemoglobin, which is the substance in red blood cells that carries and delivers oxygen around the body. There are two types of iron: heme, which comes from an animal source, and non-heme, which is obtained through a plant. Non-heme sources are beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, broccoli and spinach.


3. Magnesium


Did you know that consuming sodas, sugar and caffeine actually causes your body to lose magnesium? Good sources of magnesium are dark leafy vegetables like spinach. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, cashews, sesame and pumpkin seeds; and whole, unrefined grains like brown rice are storehouse of magnesium.


4. Vitamin A


Essential for maintaining vision, vitamin A describes a group of fat-soluble retinoids, like retinol. Retinol is created from carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, which is often associated with foods of an orange hue such as carrots. Other sources come from animals, and can be found in foods like liver, grass-fed dairy products and egg yolks.


5. Vitamin D


The deficiency of this vitamin is linked to rising levels of depression and autoimmune disorders, laying the foundation for many chronic illnesses. Natural sources are fatty fish and fish oils, canned tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms, and tofu.