As parents, one of the most important things for us to be certain of is that our children are getting what they need in order to grow and develop normally and in a healthy fashion. In this blog post on children's growth & development, we'll cover some of what parents should be aware of and put into practice in order to see their children become healthy and happy.
According to Medline Plus, there are four periods of growth and development. Those periods include Infancy, Preschool Years, Middle Childhood Years, and Adolescence. The child's nutrients, then, need to correspond with these different periods. For instance, an infant needs more calories in relation to size than a preschooler or school-age child, and so on. It is important to recognize that, depending on where a child is in his or her life, nutrition and health can differ, and a "failure to thrive" at any point during development can have lasting, negative effects on brain development.
So, how can we, as parents, assure ourselves that we're doing the right things for our kids' health? Or more specifically, that they are learning to do the right things? Being sure that they get the right vitamins and nutrients is a good start. It has recently been found that, on a large scale, children and adolescents do not get enough calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin D & E. So, it's imperative that our children eat foods with fiber (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables), vitamin E (nuts and seeds), calcium (dairy products and spinach), vitamin D (salmon and sunflower sprouts), and potassium (potatoes and legumes), as well as other foods that give a boost to these areas.
But what if this isn't exactly plausible? In many cases a child's body may not be able to produce adequate amounts of various and necessary vitamins regardless of diet, or he or she might have poor or selective eating habits or a suppressed appetite. In this case, it is best to consider a supplement or supplements for some peace of mind. This way, we can be confident that our children are doing things like building strong bones and teeth with calcium and vitamin D, developing a smart, healthy brain with fish oil, and protecting against unhealthy "invaders" with probiotics.
Supplements can offer broad health and developmental benefits that even a solid diet cannot always provide. There are supplements available for all of the nutritional necessities mentioned above, as well as others like proteins and antioxidants. Daily vitamin supplements could be made into a routine at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even before bed so that the child can get used to it as a healthy habit.
Multivitamins may be the most effective way to ensure that kids get the required amount of nutrients.
These cover nearly all areas of the nutrient spectrum by filling nutritional gaps, supporting strong and healthy bones, maintaining immune function and energy, and creating a healthy brain. And since they come in a variety of tasty flavors and easy-to-take forms (chewable softgels, liquids, etc.), it doesn't have to be an arduous chore for kids to take them. Often, children even grow to look forward to taking their vitamin, and can be taught a certain sense of pride in knowing that they, themselves, are doing something to help maintain their health.
Parenting is hard, but being sure that our children are getting the right nutrients so that they can grow and be healthy does not have to be. To find out about the many children's supplements offered and learn more about this and other ways to give your children exactly what they need for growth and development, please contact us.
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