Parenting Tips

Important nutrients for children

Anyone who is growing is in a permanent state of emergency. In order to develop optimally, children need a healthy diet with lots of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. We show you the most important nutrients and in which foods they are found.

“No, I don’t eat my soup” – who doesn’t know him, the good old soup clown? When children react in a similar way to the hero of the classic children’s book when faced with healthy meals, many parents become quite uneasy. But don’t just take vitamin pills right now. Dietary supplements or foods enriched with these substances can sometimes be useful, but they are usually not necessary. And it’s not that difficult to meet the little ones’ daily requirements for important nutrients. Much can be lovingly offered in between as a small meal or snack. Of course, it always has a positive effect when you just nibble along as a parental role model.

Nothing works without water

Although water is not a nutrient in the true sense, it is absolutely necessary for metabolic processes. As a solvent, it is of central importance for the transport and excretion of substances. Since it is so extremely important, children should also drink enough water, herbal or fruit tea between meals. Low-energy juice spritzers (mixing ratio 1:4) are also useful for drinking. According to the German Society for Nutrition, children from one to four years of age should drink 820 ml of liquid, four to seven year old 940 ml of liquid, ie primarily water, per day. Anyone who doubts that they will ever be able to get their child to drink that much water gives them a glass of water with every meal and encourages them to drink.You can also eat water. Cucumbers, apples, zucchini or lettuce contain a lot of liquid.

Lots of nutrients, little sugar

According to the principle of the so-called “optimized mixed diet”, foods that have a high nutrient density are recommended for children. This means that the proportion of minerals, vitamins and trace elements clearly outweighs the energy content. So while you already cover 100 percent of your mineral and vitamin needs, your energy needs are only around 90 percent. The missing 10 percent can be filled with foods that are low in nutrients relative to their energy content. These are, for example, sweets and sweet drinks.

What nutrients do children need?

Calcium: important for bone formation and teeth

An essential element when it comes to bone structure and teeth. According to the German Society for Nutrition, children between the ages of three and six have a requirement of 750 milligrams of calcium. The main supplier of calcium is milk. Of course, this also includes products made from milk: cheese and yogurt, which parents can serve as a snack, are therefore excellent sources of calcium.

Vitamin D: important for bones and muscle building

Vitamin D is just as important for the bones, but also for muscle building. It enters our body through food through dairy products, eggs and fatty fish – but only in very small amounts. The human body forms the largest part of vitamin D through the skin itself – this is where sufficient sunlight helps above all.

Magnesium: important for bones and muscle building

In addition, a child of kindergarten age needs around 120 ml of magnesium every day to build bones and muscles. Magnesium can be administered in the form of whole grain and dairy products. It is also found in nuts, poultry and fruits such as bananas. A snack of yogurt with a portion of oats and a banana plus a glass of water is enough to cover the daily needs of a four-year-old child.

Vitamin C: important for a strong immune system

Our little ones need vitamin C to strengthen their body’s defense. It is found in many fruits such as oranges or kiwis – eat one of them a day and the needs of a three to six-year-old child are met.

Proteins: important building blocks for blood, cells and organs

They are the main nutrients, suppliers of energy and important in the body as a building material for cells, blood, tissue and organs. Protein is protein, and it’s found in dairy products and eggs, as well as meat, grains, and legumes. To put it in the form of a snack between meals, one cheese sandwich and one fruit quark a day is enough to cover the needs of the three to six years old.

Vitamin A: important for growth and the senses

Vitamin A is not only important for growth, but also enhances the senses – vision, hearing and smell. There is a proverb that says: If you eat a lot of carrots, you get good eyesight.

Vitamin E: important for cell protection

The need for vitamin E is covered with nuts, fruit or vegetables such as mango, avocado or peppers. It serves to protect the cells. The daily requirement of eight milligrams at kindergarten age is contained in one pepper and one portion of broccoli.

Iodine: important for growth and brain development

Through the iodine, the body forms the thyroid hormone, which influences growth and brain development. Seafood and fish species such as fish or cod are good sources of iodine.

Zinc: important for skin and hair

The body needs zinc for various hormones, for hair, skin, wound healing and the immune system. Five milligrams from eggs, cheese, meat or nuts are enough for your kindergarten child. That’s nothing more than a small wholemeal cheese bread and an egg.

Important nutrients for children

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