Did you know 9/10 children ages 4-8 fail to meet the minimum servings of fruit and veggies each day? WOW. Healthy meals for kids are the best source of both macro and micronutrients. This month I’ll be focusing on preventing long term vitamin and mineral deficiencies in kids and teaching healthy habits to prevent long term health conditions as adults.
For many parents, helping kids develop healthy habits is a struggle. With the hectic pace of most families’ lives it’s even more difficult. As a result, it has become easier to tolerate less than desirable eating habits. Many parents don’t want to struggle, so they give up and let their kids choose what to eat. It's best to start training children about foods as soon as they can talk if not before that! Kids are often attracted to the advertising and packaging in standard American diet foods (I seriously don’t take my kids shopping if I can avoid it).
Involve your kids in the growing and prep process of food. Give them growing responsibility with sensory access. Once kids are about 10-12 it’s hard to change their habits or palate. The goal is to build up long term nutrition IQ over many years. Teenagers especially are more likely to experiment with processed foods. Hopefully, as they grow older, they gravitate towards healthier choices. Another common issue is teen girls who often eat to be skinny with diet foods, and boys who overeat or take dangerous supplements to develop muscle. 35% of teens are already overweight unfortunately. They are undernourished yet overweight-getting calories without nutrition.
Here are some key vitamins kids (and adults) need and some foods in which to obtain them:
Vitamin A: eggs, salmon, carrots, leafy greens, mangos, papaya, sweet potatoes, red peppers, and watermelon
B Vitamins: beef, pork, fish, eggs, legumes
Vitamin C: oranges, strawberries, kiwi, watermelon, broccoli, kale and spinach
Vitamin D: salmon, shrimp, tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms
Vitamin E: nuts and seeds, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli
Vitamin K: leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, blueberries, eggs
Add interest to your child’s plate each day with new colors and new foods prepped in different ways!
I’m offering FREE kids vitamin consults for the month of September! Schedule your free phone call HERE and receive a free kid-friendly recipe guide!
Kids supplements I generally suggest are: omega 3, multi-n for brain health and general inflammation reduction , a multi to fill in the gaps due to standard American diet (SAD) foods. Vitamin D for bone health and immunity to infections, Vitamin C for a healthy immune system. A Probiotic can have great immune modulating effects and decrease respiratory and GI infections for kids.
Check out the lunch of the month!
Please reach out for any questions! 😊 Sarah