With so much information available about kids’ nutrition – what to eat, how to supplement and more – it’s hard to get a firm grasp on what it takes to raise a healthy child. In the U.S., a significant portion of children are not getting enough essential vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins D, E and A, and omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2010.
We are sharing four important tips parents should follow to ensure their kids are getting adequate amounts of the essential vitamins and nutrients they need to build the foundation for healthy habits long after they leave the nest:
1.) Decorate your Plate – Create a colorful plate of salads with spinach, strawberries and blueberries or other fruits and veggies for meal and snack times. Kids need at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day! More is even better.
2.) Sport a Milk Mustache – Children need two to three glasses of calcium-rich milk or yogurt each day. Give them milk fortified with DHA – an omega-3 fatty acid shown to benefit brain development and support eye health – and you’ll add a punch of nutrition to each glass.
3.) Eat your ABCs – Listing essential vitamins is a lot like reciting the alphabet. According to recent research, though, kids are not getting enough of vitamins D, E or A as well as the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. Dark leafy greens, oily fish like salmon, sweet potatoes, milk and carrots are good examples of foods that can deliver these nutrients.
4.) Fill the Gaps – For both kids and adults, it’s very difficult to achieve optimal nutrition through diet alone. It’s especially difficult for picky eaters. Therefore, an age-appropriate, well-formulated multi-vitamin and mineral supplement provides extra insurance that your little one is getting all the nutrients he or she needs. And, if your child is not eating multiple servings of fatty fish (like salmon) per week, consider a quality fish oil supplement for omega-3s DHA and EPA.