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The health and growth of children are one of the main concerns of parents. That is why it is vital to know which are the most important nutrients in your diet and how to properly introduce them into your diet.
A study carried out by the University of Granada, led by Dr. Cristina Campoy, has analyzed the eating habits of 161 young children, and presents some interesting conclusions to take into account when feeding children.
One of the key data revealed by the study has been the iron deficiency detected among the minor participants. In 64 percent of the cases studied, the child did not receive the recommended contributions of this mineral. The Institute of Medicine, an advisory body to the World Health Organization (WHO), recommends consuming 4 to 12 mg a day of iron, in children between one and three years of age. It is one of the most important nutrients during this stage, since it contributes to the cognitive and motor development of children.
Another of the conclusions of the study has referred to Vitamin D, whose levels were also found to be below the recommended rates. Despite its key role in children's long-term growth, none of the study participants reached the indicated levels.
Through vitamin D the absorption of calcium is facilitated, so it is directly related to the growth and strength of bones during childhood. Its deficit in the first years of children's lives is associated with chronic complications such as hypertension or type 1 diabetes.
It is very important to take care of the diet from pregnancy and in the first years of the child's life, since the chosen foods will have a long-term influence on the child's health. Omega 3 DHA fatty acids have been revealed as a fundamental element for the development of brain cells.
The level of Omega 3 fatty acids DHA, recommended from twelve months of age, is 100 mg. daily, according to the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority). For this reason, it is advisable to introduce foods to the children's diet, such as fish, nuts, and other fortified foods like milk.
A complete and balanced diet for children should contain between three and five weekly servings of fish (main source of Omega 3), as well as red meat, legumes (which provide iron) and eggs, due to their high vitamin D content. child shows rejection of these foods, or the rhythm of family life prevents developing a healthy diet, you can use growth milk, enriched with Omega 3 DHA and Iron, among other nutrients.
The most important thing is to achieve an adequate level of the recommended daily amounts in the following table, since they play a key role in the development of the cognitive, motor, immune or nervous systems, among others, of children.
Recommended amounts in children 1-3 years
|Foods that contain them||Features|
|Omega 3 DHA||100 mg daily (EFSA)|
|Fundamental to brain training|
4 to 12 mg daily (WHO)
|Legumes and red meat|
Development of the cognitive and motor system
|400 IU per day (AAP)||Yolk||Facilitates the absorption of calcium|
You can read more articles similar to Omega 3, Iron and Vitamin D in the children's diet, in the Infant Nutrition On Site category.