Who does not want a child with optimal growth and development? In order to achieve that, parents should be able to fulfill the good and balanced nutritional requirements and provide appropriate stimulations in accordance to the age of the child.
Nutrition is an important key for the growth and development of the child. Nutrients are substances present in food that assist the physiological processes of the body. Based on the amount required each day, nutrients are divided into two categories, which are macronutrients and micronutrients.
Macronutrients are food which are required in a large quantity by the body, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, to produce energy. Meanwhile, micronutrients include vitamins and minerals, which are often missed. However, to ensure that the growth and development process of the child proceeds optimally, both of these should be consumed in a balanced manner.
Even though micronutrients are required in a small quantity, they are highly required in the growth and development process of the child as they help the body to produce enzymes, hormones, and other substances. This is deliberated by the World Health Organization (WHO).
So, what types of vitamins and minerals are required by the child during their growth period? The following are some examples:
Beneficial to maintain eye, hair, nail, and skin health. Vitamin A also supports bone growth and protects the body from various diseases. Sources of Vitamin A include cheese, eggs, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, mangoes, and broccoli.
Vitamin B consists of several types, which are B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12. Vitamin B can be found in soy beans, rice, nuts, meat, chicken, milk, eggs, and fish. To help the growth and development of the child, vitamin B plays an important role in metabolism, energy production, and the health of the nervous system.
Serves to help the formation of red blood cells, bones, and tissue. Vitamin C also maintains gum health and blood vessel strength as well as help improve the immune system of the body so the child does not easily fall ill and the growth and development process becomes optimal. Sources of vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, guavas, papayas, mangoes, kiwi, and tomatoes.
Vitamin D is vital for bone and dental growth, as well as helps the absorption of calcium. Milk and its derivative products, such as cheese, yoghurt, and butter, are rich in vitamin D. Similarly, this also applies to eggs, salmon, tuna, and fish oil.
Vitamin E can limit the production of free radicals that can damage cells. This nutrient is also important for immunity and DNA repair. Sources of vitamin E are nuts, kiwi, broccoli, sunflower seed oil, canola oil, soybean oil, and spinach.
Calcium plays an active role in supporting the growth and development process. This mineral supports bone and dental growth, maintains nerve and muscle health, helps the blood clotting process, and helps the body convert food to energy. Sources of calcium are more or less the same as that of vitamin D.
Helps the process of muscle formation and is required in the production of healthy red blood cells. Sources of iron include red meat, turkey, spinach, nuts, and prunes.
Generally, the requirements for vitamins and minerals can be fulfilled by the variety of food consumed daily. However, parents can consult a pediatrician if required regarding the amount of intake required by the child and whether they require additional supplements or not.
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