In those early years (between 2-5 years of age), children need to consume foods in all the nutrient groups - proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals. The problem is that most children are picky eaters. They end up filling their tummies with foods high in carbs, protein and fats. They lose out on the vitamins and minerals that are essential for their growth and development.
Now you may ask - how do you ensure that your preschooler gets all their nutritional needs met? Their tiny tummies can only store a small amount of food. So, it is necessary to ensure that they eat nutrient dense meals. Each and every one of their meals is important to them.
Here is a list of nutrients that your child needs and how to get them:
Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are what constitute macronutrients.
Proteins are found in foods like dairy, meat, fish, lentils and pulses.
Fats can be found in dairy, oils, avocado, fish and meat.
Carbs are found in grains, cereal, certain vegetables like potatoes and pumpkin, and fruits like apples and bananas.
As you may have guessed from the name, your child needs macronutrients in higher quantities. With most picky eaters, it is not hard to ensure their daily macronutrient needs are met as they can be found in most of their favourite foods. They will happily consume them on a daily basis with no fuss.
Vitamins and Minerals constitute micronutrients:
These are further classified into fat soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, D, E and K) and water soluble vitamins (Vitamin B and C).
Vitamin A: Can be found in green leafy vegetables, red and yellow vegetables, fruits and vegetable oils. Deficiency can cause night blindness - inability to see in the dark.
Vitamin D: Can be found in fatty fish (salmon, tuna), fish liver oils and sunlight. Deficiency can cause rickets - soft bones and skeletal deformities.
Vitamin C: Can be found in citrus fruits, tomatoes and potatoes. Deficiency can cause scurvy (skin problems), fatigue and gum inflammation.
Iron: Can be found in chicken liver, mussels, beans and tofu. Deficiency can cause anemia - lack of RBCs (and thus oxygen) in the blood.
Calcium: Can be found in dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt and also in spinach, okra (bhindi) and soybeans. The body needs Vitamin D to absorb calcium. Deficiency can cause serious problems in the development of bones and muscles.
The good news is that your child needs micronutrients only in a small amount. The bad news is that they are present only in the very foods your baby will revolt from - fruits and vegetables. This is the main reason why children develop micronutrient deficiencies. This can hamper their growth and development.
So, in order to meet your little one’s micronutrient needs, you can include a bowl of Nestle CEREGROW in your child’s diet. Just one serving of CEREGROW (60 gm in 130 ml of warm water) is enough to meet 17% of your child’s daily iron requirement and 25% of your child’s daily requirement of Vitamin A, C, D, and Calcium. This iron-fortified cereal along with the regular healthy meals will ensure that your picky eater’s nutritional needs are met. To order it now, click here.