All parents are aware that their little ones need good nutrition as it’s their best chance to grow and develop properly. Although some essential nutrients play a huge role during childhood development, children also need small amounts of micronutrients that are vital for their health. Severe micronutrient deficiencies lead to mental retardation, blindness, weak immunity and infections in children.
Micronutrients are nature’s wonder solution.
Check out these important micronutrients and their role in the growth and development of your child.
1. Vitamin A: 40-60% of children in India have Vitamin A deficiency, which could lead to eye problems or infections. Vitamin A is important in developing children’s eyesight and in improving their immunity. Some Vitamin A rich foods include butter, ghee, leafy vegetables, yellow and orange coloured fruits and vegetables.
2. Calcium: For healthy bones and teeth, your children require adequate calcium. It also has other benefits as it is important for blood clotting and good heart function. Some foods with high calcium content include cereals, legumes, green leafy vegetables, nuts and oilseeds, fish, milk and milk products
3. Magnesium: It is only required in small amounts every day, but is very important for healthy bones and a strong heart. It also improves immunity and maintains muscles in children. Some magnesium rich foods include cereals, legumes, milk and meat products.
4. Zinc: Zinc is very important in growing children as it improves immunity and brain function and fights off infections. Some of the best sources of zinc are roasted almonds, lentils and chickpeas.
5. Iron: 1 in 2 Indian children have iron deficiency, so it’s important that you give your little ones enough of this mineral. Iron contributes to motor skills and mental development in children. Some of the best sources of iron are green leafy vegetables like cauliflower greens, radish leaves, amaranth and bengalgram leaves.
6. Fibre: Fibre-rich foods are important as they improve bowel regularities in children. Some of the best fibre sources are cereals and pulses like wheat, jowar, bajra, ragi, maize, legumes and fenugreek seeds.
7. Vitamin C: It is excellent for combatting infections, especially seasonal colds and flu. It also holds the body’s cells together, makes the walls of blood vessels stronger, helps in wound healing and makes bones and teeth stronger. Some of the best sources of Vitamin C include citrus fruits like tomatoes, berries, amla and guava, green leafy vegetables and other vegetables like capsicum and chillies.