Children start to develop their personalities and a keen perception of their environment at an early age.
With their body active, parents need to provide their children with proper nutrients and energy boosters to help ensure that they grow up healthy and resilient from illness.
Making sure that they get a good balance of the main components of food. These are:
a) Protein – It is an essential part of a preschooler diet, protein is needed to build and maintain muscles, blood, skin, bones and other organs in the body. The best sources are beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and legumes.
b) Carbohydrates – This help a great deal in building the body strength by generating energy. Carbohydrates is the main provider of energy to enable children to carry out physical tasks effectively and efficiently. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates include rice, corn, wheat, cereals, potatoes, yams and starchy roots.
c) Fats – It plays an important role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs from shock and promoting healthy cell function. They fuel the body and help absorb fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Children need a certain amount of fat in their diet so that the brain and nervous system develop correctly. Oil, butter, nuts, meat, fish and some other dairy products are the prime sources of fat.
d) Beta carotene – known for supplying the body with anti oxidants that protect the cells of the body from damage. Beta carotene enhances the function of the immune system. It can be found in yellow, orange fruits, green leafy vegetables and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes and squash.
e) Zinc – It is an essential mineral that supports normal growth and development of children and is needed for wound healing. Red meat and poultry are the best sources of zinc. It is also found in beans, nuts, certain sea foods, whole grains, cereals and dairy products.