Vitamins in childhood – All you need to know
Eating the right stuff in childhood: it’s an age old battle between childhood wilfulness (or rather, unwillingness) and the wit, creativity and downright unrelenting dedication of the parent. But what’s a mum or dad to do when carrots won’t really make their kid see in the dark, and just how can they possibly ensure that those much protested against greens are accepted without a WWF worthy style wrestle each evening?
Taking stock: Which vitamins are essential for the healthy child?
Let’s begin by getting to grips with the vitamins that a healthy child needs for all that super-fast growing and developing. In fact, this particular topic needn’t be a matter of precise mathematical equations of vitamin D, Mineral Z and some impossible to produce protein compound. Instead you should focus upon a balanced diet that includes all of the following:
– Milk and dairy – Such as cheese and yogurt (although you should opt for the low fat versions for kiddies under 3);
– A good selection of fresh fruits and leafy green veg;
– Food with plenty of protein such as chicken, fish, meat and eggs;
– Foods with body-loving grains, such as steel-cut oats and brown rice.
Oh, and if you really need to know what specific vitamins and minerals you should be seeking out then here’s the list:
– Vitamin As (for growth and development as well as tissue and bone repair for all those childhood slips, trips and falls);
– Vitamin Bs (for energy and the development of healthy circulation);
– Vitamin C (for muscle that develops as it should and for healthy skin);
– Vitamin D (for healthy bone and tooth growth and to absorb calcium well);
– Calcium (for strong teeth and bones);
– Iron (for healthy red blood cells and muscle building).
Making meals both healthy and fun!
So now that you know what you need, how the heck do you get those many vitamins and minerals into your little one? Well, here are four fun ideas to begin with!
1. Get creative
So cheese, carrots and salad sound like every child’s worst nightmare. But a tiger with cheese for a body, carrot for fiery hair that is grazing in a field (made of salad)? Now that’s a different story! Creating fun scenes such as these is a great way of engaging your child.
2. Get them involved
Getting your child involved with cooking, baking and meal making is a great way of engaging them within their meals – and it also provides them with essential life skills.
3. Provide a little (reward based) encouragement
Ah, the good old star chart. It can always be relied upon for the trickiest of tasks, and this is no truer than when attempting to feed your child something new or particularly unappreciated. So provide a set reward for this task each week, and don’t resort to upping the star rewards or providing an instant fast track to a present – stick with consistent encouragement, not bribery.
4. Make meal times something to look forward to
It helps if your child actually looks forward to dinner times, rather than preparing themselves for a routine, epic tantrum. So consider the ways in which you can make meal time fun. Perhaps you could play table games, have a conversation jar or hold a themed night.
5. Put a (little) control into their hands
Kids are far more amendable to healthy food if they feel that they have had some choice in the matter. So why not try out a tapas self-serve style dinner? Simply print out a menu, from which they must choose at least two veg, and allow them to mix and match their own meal.
Image Credits: popsugar food