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Parent's Guide


C H I L D R E N ' S SN U T R I T I O N

Children grow at a much faster rate during their first few years than at any other time in their lives, stressing the need for parents to ensure optimal nutrition. Of special importance are macronutrients
(carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) that provide calories and essential vitamins and minerals critical to proper growth, development, and immune function—including all eight B vitamins and vitamins C, A, and D, as well as calcium, iron, and zinc. In addition, growing children should achieve adequate intakes of omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA, which is essential for early brain and eye development.

Although specific nutrient needs vary throughout the different stages of life, there is probably not a more critical time for optimal nutrition than during childhood—especially early childhood. Good nutrition is absolutely essential for the development of healthy bodies that will thrive with abundant energy, healthy brain function, a responsive immune system, and strong bones and teeth. Healthful eating and exercise habits established during childhood also will help reduce the risk of obesity as well as many degenerative and lifestyle-related diseases of adulthood, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and other conditions related to nutrition, weight, and lifestyle. In other words, acquiring beneficial lifestyle habits early in life—making nutritious and healthful food choices, being physically active, and filling in nutritional gaps with the appropriate dietary supplements—can provide a strong foundation for a lifetime of health and wellness.

10 Quick and Healthful Snack Ideas

  1. Peel a banana and dip it in yogurt. Roll in crushed cereal and freeze.
  2. Spread celery sticks with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese. Top with raisins.
  3. Make snack kabobs. Put cubes of low-fat cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks.
  4. Blend low-fat milk, a scoop of protein powder, frozen strawberries, and a banana in a blender for a delicious smoothie.
  5. Sprinkle grated Monterey jack cheese over a corn tortilla. Fold in half and microwave for 20 seconds. Top with mild salsa.
  6. Toast a whole-grain waffle and top with low-fat vanilla yogurt and sliced peaches.
  7. Make a mini pizza by drizzling tomato sauce on a toasted English muffin. Sprinkle with shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese.
  8. Spread natural peanut butter on a fresh sliced apple.
  9. Microwave a cup of tomato or vegetable soup and serve with whole-wheat crackers.
  10. Mix together ready-to-eat cereal, raisins, and nuts and place in a sandwich bag for an on-the-go snack.



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This site is not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of medical advice and/or treatment. ©2011 NutriFit Living. All rights reserved.