Is Your Toddler Getting These Essential Nutrients For The Right Growth?
As your toddler is growing, he/she is becoming more mobile, walking and running more confidently and developing balance and coordination. They are undergoing development in all areas such as cognitive, emotional, motor skills etc. This is the time when their nutrient needs are also growing, and it is critical that their diet provides them with all the essential nourishment to promote and support healthy development.
Studies have shown that adequate intake of Calcium is important for skeletal growth. Research has also proven that low Calcium intake during childhood may lead to decreased bone mass and low bone density.1 Some of the good sources of Calcium are Milk and Milk products (Cheese, Buttermilk etc.), Nuts, Green Leafy Vegetables etc.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a key role in Calcium and Phosphate metabolism and is an essential nutrient for bone health2 Certain studies done in India have shown that even in apparently healthy children a high prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency was noted.3 While Sun is known to be the best source of Vitamin D, food sources such as Fish, Eggs, Fats/Oils, Milk products etc. should not be underestimated.
Iron is a very important micronutrient that is required for transportation of oxygen in all tissues of the body and plays a pivotal role in muscle growth.4 Moreover, Iron deficiency can affect tissue function too. Indian children are especially prone to it since there is lesser consumption of Meat.
4. Proteins/Amino Acids
Key Amino Acids such as Leucine can stimulate muscle protein generation and hence growth of muscles. Not consuming enough Protein can lead to poor development of muscles. Protein also plays an important role in bone development and the maintenance of normal bones Some of the good sources of protein include Chicken, Eggs, Cheese and other dairy products, Nuts and Seeds, Soy etc,
5. Vitamin C
The body needs Vitamin C for normal physiological functions and is also essential for development and maintenance of connective tissue. It plays an important role in bone formation. Vitamin C contributes to collagen formation for normal function of bones.5 Citrus fruits, Kiwi, Mango, Broccoli, Tomatoes, peppers etc. are all rich sources of Vitamin C.
6. Vitamin K
Besides enabling blood clotting, Vitamin K also plays an important role in improving bone health. It is required for synthesis of a key protein needed in bone formation and studies demonstrate that Vitamin K also increases bone mineral density.6 Some of the good sources of Vitamin K are green leafy vegetables such Kale, Spring Onions, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage and Broccoli.
It plays a pivotal role in brain development in children and lack thereof can cause learning disabilities, ADHD, cystic fibrosis etc. DHA is found mostly in cold-water Fish and Seafood. Due to almost negligent vegetarian sources, it can be problem for vegetarian kids to consume enough DHA. Health drinks like Junior Horlicks can be of big help here.
It is an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in the development of the central nervous system. Choline enables signalling and message transmission in the body. Some of the good sources of Choline include Eggs, Meats, Legumes, and Wheat Germ.
It is essential for both length and density of bone and a lack thereof can result in growth failure. Zinc also plays a very important role in one’s immune system from the barrier of the skin to gene regulation within lymphocytes. Some good sources of Zinc include Meat, Cereals, Grains, Milk and milk products, Fish etc.
While it is very important to feed a growing child a healthy balanced diet, it can be a challenging task. Since toddlers have a small stomach and are not able to eat the variety and quantity of food like adults, they might not receive all the necessary nutrients. This gets more heightened when he child is a finicky eater. Hence, adding health drinks like Junior Horlicks# to your toddler’s diet helps complete the nutritional requirements as it is designed as per WHO guidelines^ to help meet the RDA (Required Daily allowance) of these vitamins and minerals.