Growing kids need all the vitamins
We need full amounts of nutrients throughout our lives, the amount changes according to age. A well balanced diet helps boost everyone’s health, but we need to know which nutrients require special attention at each period of our life.
The first 12 months.
Your baby only needs breast milk or formula up until 6 months, every baby is different and yours may be ready to start some solid food earlier after 6 months.
Breast milk and formula provides all the nutrients your baby need up until 6 months, It has the essential vitamins, minerals, fats, protein, lactose, and milk sugar that healthy baby’s need. Vitamins A, C, and D are vital for your baby’s growth and development. Your health nurse should tell you if they need any vitamin supplements. Milk or formula is still the best for their nourishment up to a year old.
From 1 to 4
At this age, you as a parent will see that they are bursting with energy. They need plenty of fuel to keep them going throughout the day, fruit, vegetables, starchy carbs, dairy products, protein and fats to build a healthy body with strong bones, teeth and muscles.
Keeping their immune system to function well would give them vitamins A, C, and D for healthy bones, muscles, and teeth. Vitamins help in the absorption of iron, Vitamin D helps with calcium, which you find in meat, fruit, eggs, vegetables.
Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. The best source is dairy products( cheese, yogurt and milk), but also in green leafy vegetables, almonds and sesame seeds. Iron and zinc are valuable at this age also. Iron is needed to carry oxygen around the body in the blood. Zinc is needed for hormones growth and immune system, these minerals are found in fish, dairy, nuts and green veg. You may want to puree for under 2s.
From 5 to 12
Children at this age need three good meals a day with a couple of snacks in between to give them energy to continue their busy day of school. A healthy full breakfast would be most important as it fuels their body to start the day, and continuing their day with healthy snacks, lunch and dinner.
Vitamin B is a huge role in releasing energy to boost concentration, healthy cells and immune system. These vitamins can be found in meat, chicken, fish, wholegrain bread and all green vegetables.
Calcium is still just as important at this age also. Your child is still developing and growing all the time. A great and delicious way to keep their calcium levels up is to give them milk shakes, you can add any fruit you like and they will love it.
From 13 to 18
Adolescence. It’s a time of big changes with growth spurts and hormonal changes racing through their developing bodies. They may have issues with body image, relationships, mood swing which may all come into play. With a healthy well-balanced diet it will help them go through that difficult stage.
Calcium is need for growing bones and also protein is needed for muscle growth and maintenance. The best sources are meat, fish, eggs and dairy. In some cases your teenager might be vegetarian and in that case it’s good to provide them with nuts, wholegrains and soy products.