Breast milk and infant formula contain all the nutrients necessary for the proper development of your child. They contain proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins and minerals. As your baby grows, these nutrients are provided through a varied and balanced diet. Discover in detail the usefulness of each nutrient for your baby’s growth.
Soft drinks in small doses
Only water is essential for your child as a drink. However, the juice can be offered from time to time to expand the taste spectrum. In general, fresh fruit juice contains nutrients: especially vitamins and minerals.
Very sweet drinks such as soft drinks or syrups have no nutritional value: they do not contain vitamins or minerals. Note that 200 ml of juice is equivalent to 4 pieces of sugar! These drinks should be avoided by a child as they can lead to caries and overweight in the long term.
Zinc, an essential trace element for growth
Zinc is important for the development of the natural defense system and is involved in many enzymatic reactions. This is important for a harmonious growth of the child and is mainly found in meat, dairy products, but also in cereals. It is involved in the development of the immune system and thus contributes to the proper functioning of the child’s natural defenses. It is involved in the activity of over 200 enzymes. Daily zinc is essential for children, even if it is present in small quantities in the body.
Carbohydrates (sugar), the fuel of the body
Carbohydrates provide the energy that our body needs daily to function properly. Foods that contain natural sugars (fruit, cereals, pulses, milk …) should be eaten daily. However, it is advisable to limit the intake of added sugars such as cake or chocolate!
Fiber: undigested complex carbohydrates
Soluble fibers have a prebiotic effect on the health of the intestinal flora and stimulate calcium absorption. In addition, some of them contribute to a good sitting consistency. Fruit and vegetables are an excellent source of fiber. In fact, the cell walls of plants are particularly rich in fiber. This is one of the reasons why they should be consumed every day, they also provide vitamins and minerals.
Proteins have many functions in the body
Proteins consist of amino acids. They form the tissues of the body like muscles and skin, but they also have many other functions: Enzymes, antibodies and hormones are also proteins, among others. In the first weeks of life, proteins are extracted from milk. They are involved in muscle growth and development.
Calcium, an important mineral for bone development
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is found 99% in bones, which is associated with some phosphorus. It contributes to the proper bone development of a child and works with vitamin D. At the age of 0 to 3 years, the baby is growing fast and must therefore receive the recommended doses of calcium and vitamin D.
At the age of 6 months the child had extracted calcium from milk. Additional sources of calcium are dairy products, which are preferably suitable for small children, because they contain other minerals such as iron and the right amount of protein in addition to calcium. Finally, note that some minerals and some vegetables also contain calcium, but in small amounts.
Iron, an essential trace element for the immune system.
Iron is an essential trace element in the body. In particular, it is involved in the formation of hemoglobin, the protein in the blood that transports oxygen to the cells.
It is important for the immune system and helps in brain development and cognitive development of the child. You should know that 3 years ago between 20 and 30% of children suffer from iron deficiency. In extreme cases, this deficiency can lead to anemia.
Foods rich in iron are meat, fish, eggs, dairy desserts suitable for small children, vegetables (including legumes, but not before 18 months) and infant cereals. Note that on average only 10 to 25% of the iron is absorbed from food.
Magnesium for bone health
Magnesium helps bone development. But that is not all: it is also important for energy metabolism and muscle function. Where can we find it? In whole grain products, mineral water, lentils.
Together with calcium, magnesium contributes to the development of strong bones. It is important for the proper functioning of the body, which is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions, and is particularly important for energy metabolism (which contributes to metabolic reactions of carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and muscle function (e.g. muscle contraction).
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