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Essential Nutrients For Growing Children

Pediatricians working with children have provided information that between the ages of 2 and 12, children need essential nutrients for their growth. During this period they are growing quickly and need foods like protein, calcium, iron and vitamins. These products are critical for their growth and development. When children do not get the essential nutrients they can have stunted growth and it can also impact the mental and motor skills of the child. The nutrients specified can be found in most food groups including grains, fruits, vegetables, protein and dairy foods.

Parents of young children will have no difficulties in finding essential nutrients for growing children because they can be found in the products we have mentioned above. Let us now look at some of the essential nutrients which growing children must be given.

I’m really into good nutrition and keeping healthy! That said, I’m also addicted to candy – It’s my biggest weakness.

~Kina Grannis

Essential Nutrients From Berries

When parents are looking for nutrients like vitamin C, antioxidants and phytochemicals they can rely on products like strawberries and blueberries. These products can protect the healthy cells of the child from damage and boost the immune system. Berries can be used as toppings for ice cream, pancakes, cereal, and yogurt. Blueberry pancakes can also be made by adding blueberries to the pancake batter.


Eggs are high in protein and are the richest sources of choline which is an essential nutrient that can aid in the development of the brain. Eggs can be boiled, fried, scrambled and also added to soups, porridge, rice, noodles or converted into desserts like custard.

Cows milk

This is a good source of calcium and phosphorus which are essential nutrients for building muscles and bones. Parents should be serving full-fat milk rather than low-fat or skimmed milk if the child is below two years old because the child is in need extra energy when growing unless the baby is overweight.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is high in monounsaturated fats and can provide children with energy and protein. Care must be taken during the purchase of peanut butter because a number of brands have ingredients such as added salt, sugar, palm oil and hydrogenated oil which can reduce the nutritional quality of the product. Peanut butter can be spread on biscuits or had directly from the jar and can also be drizzled over ice cream or waffles.

Whole-Grain Foods

The fiber in whole-grain foods is helpful in maintaining the digestive health of the child and preventing constipation. Giving the child whole-grain cereals and biscuits as snacks is a good way of giving them these foods. Whole grains can also be mixed with refined grains to get the child accustomed to the taste.


Meat is a fantastic source of protein and iron. Iron can optimize the development of the brain and function as well as supporting the immune system. Tender cuts of meat can be used to mix with eggs, bread crumbs, and mashed potatoes to make meatballs or patties.


Fish is a great source of protein and helps to build healthy muscles and bones. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines and these acids can support the development of the eyes, brain and the nerves. Fish can be mixed with rice or potatoes to make sushi, fish balls or fish cakes.


The content of protein, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D is high in cheese and it is a good choice for the growth of bones. Children usually prefer the milder taste of mozzarella and American cheese along with European cheeses like Edam and Emmental. Cheese can be served as slices, cubes or strings or can also be used on toast and pizza.

Colorful Fruits And Vegetables

Parents of growing children will have a huge option when looking around for colorful fruits and vegetables. They can use products like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato because these are high in beta carotene and various carotenoids which are converted into vitamin A within the body. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for growing children because it can promote good skin and vision, growth and repair of the tissues of the body. Vegetables can be cut into slices and steamed before being served to the child with dips.

Real nutrition comes from soybeans, almonds, rice, and other healthy vegetable sources, not from a cow’s udder. Ingrid Newkirk

These are some of the essential nutrients for growing children that you must be looking to include within their diets.

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