There are many essential nutrients that your children need to enable them to grow fit and healthy. This guide will help you to understand what the most important nutrients are for your child through different stages of their life so that you are prepared to meet them as they grow.

How many nutrients does my child need?

0-1 years

  • Babies need calcium for strong bones, iron to increase blood cells and help the brain to develop, zinc to help cells to repair themselves, and a number of vitamins including vitamin A, B, C, D, E and K to protect against cell damage, infection, blood clotting and to keep the brain, nerves and bones healthy.
  • Babies can get the correct amount of vitamins through breast milk, which is specially formulated from colostrum, a thicker substance which is concentrated with nutrients, to the later stages of breast milk which tend to be thinner and adapt to your baby’s growth.
  • If breastfeeding is not an option, you should feed them with formula milk which contains the nutrients that they need to stay healthy. For instance, Bubbahood has a range of S-26 formula milk which has been scientifically created to meet your child’s nutritional needs.

2-3 years

  • Pre-school age children need 1 cup of vegetables per day, 1 cup of fruit, 2 cups of dairy and two ounces of protein for a healthy diet. You should ensure that they also have calcium, fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, C, D, E and Zinc.
  • If you believe that your child is not getting enough vitamins, then you should look at complementing their diet with additional vitamin supplements which can help your child’s body to develop healthily.

4-8 years

  • Early school age children should eat 1 and a half cups of fruit, 4 and a half servings of vegetables, 2 servings of dairy and 1 and a half servings of meat or protein to have a balanced and wide variety of food.
  • At this age, you should also ensure that they have enough water to stay hydrated. They should also be able to drink more on hot days or when doing strenuous activity as they will get dehydrated more easily.

8-12 years

  • Children should have a wide and varied diet with no more than 5g of salt a day. They should start eating 5 portions of fruit a day, wholegrains such as cereals, milk three times a day and protein twice a day.
  • This age group is very active due to starting school and making friends. They also tend to be growing rapidly and so it is crucial to ensure that their meals are nutrient packed for optimum growth. They should also be steered towards eating breakfast, and you should ensure that they are eating healthily throughout the day, especially when snacking.

It is important that you adapt your mealtimes to your child’s age and ensure that they are eating healthily and getting the right amount of nutrients at all times. By following this guidance in terms of the nutrients that they should be receiving, your children will be able to live full and healthy lives.