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Are your kids being well
BY DANIELLE ROBERTS
Children's nutritional demands go beyond just maintenance. Nutrients are
needed to assist their growth and developmental stages as well as fuel their
brains to concentrate and learn at school. Schools can be a breeding ground
for nasty lurgies, thus putting extra strain on developing immune systems,
so additional nutrients are required to support a healthy - and happy-kid!
THE FIVE STAPLES
In times of increased nutrient demand
and in everyday life, setting a healthy
foundation of the five staple food groups
provides a good basis for the nutrients
needed by a growing kid.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Work with a variety of fruits and vegetables
that cover the colour spectrum which
contain a variety of vitamins, minerals
and phytonutrients (beneficial nutrients
that can only be found in plants). Each
colour corresponds to a different group
of antioxidants and phytonutrients. As a
general guideline, the richer the colour,
the greater the antioxidant levels.
GRAINS + STARCHY VEGETABLES
Include whole grains such as oatmeal,
brown rice, quinoa or wholegrain bread,
and starchy vegetables such as pumpkin
and kumara. These provide energy for their
brain and body, as well as micronutrients
for regular bodily functions.
The issue with fussy eaters
As many parents will know, one
roadblock to optimal nutrition comes
with the frustrations of fussy children
refusing to eat healthy foods.
These complexes often contain
essential vitamins, minerals and
antioxidants complemented by
superfood concentrates to provide
nutritional support for optimal brain
function and energy creation.
So, what can you do then to
ensure they get enough nutrients
to support their learning, growth
and immune system? Supplementing
with nutrients is often an easy and
convenient place to start.
Fish and other types of seafood, poultry,
beans and other legumes, nuts and
seeds, and lean meats are great examples
of protein-rich foods that provide the
building blocks for growing bodies.
IMMUNE BOOSTING COMPLEXES
These contain plant and herbal
extracts, combined with immune-
boosting vitamins and minerals
that support immune cells to
respond more effectively to signals
of an immune system threat. This
supports a quicker recovery process
for children who pick up ills and chills.
Low-fat milk, cheese, yoghurt and other
dairy foods provide fantastic sources of
calcium and protein for strong bones.
For kids who can't tolerate dairy, calcium
can be found in broccoli, leafy greens, and
calcium-fortified nut milks and cereals.
Probiotics protect the gut lining from
bad bacteria that can cause damage.
As immunity starts in the gut lining,
probiotics also protect the integrity of
immune cell function to help to keep
FATS (THE GOOD KIND)
Danielle Roberts is a
Healthy fats are an important part of
creating the integrity of cell membranes.
They allow nutrients to flow in and out
of cells. Examples of healthy fats are fish,
nuts and seeds.
nutritionist with a BSc
These provide healthy fats to support
and promote brain health and to
support learning and healthy behaviour.
Human Nutrition and Animal
Science who has a passion
for holistic health and
prevention of disease.
FEBRUARY 2020 • HEALTH 2000