Because your little bundle of energy is back at school and most likely has a full day of play and activities ahead of him, he needs all the nutrients he can get to grow and develop healthy.
As a parent, you want to make sure your child’s diet is balanced and complete with all the essential nutrients. While it can be quite tempting to serve him something fast and convenient, know that serving healthy food need not be complicated or expensive. Meal planning and getting your child to develop a liking for healthy food are key.
Here’s a handy guide to get you started:
1. Meat and Poultry Chicken, egg, pork and red meat such as beef are good sources of protein and micronutrients like Zinc and heme Iron. What is heme Iron? This can be found in animal meat and is easily absorbed by the body. Choose lean cuts and prepare a one-pot dish like stew. Fried chicken (drumstick or breast) served with a generous helping of vegetables is also a good option.
2. Fish and Shellfish We’re talking about fish from the sea and fresh water. Try oysters that are rich in Zinc. Serve your child shrimps, crabs and most kinds of fish, since these are good sources of heme Iron, too. Why not make a seafood version of Filipino favorites like kare-kare and sisig? Your child will love the fresh, tender and mildly sweet flavor of these dishes.
3. Dairy products Milk and dairy products are nutrient-dense foods that provide energy and significant amounts of protein and micronutrients in the diet.
Make sure your little one gets his daily fill of milk. For snacks, serve a cheese sandwich or add fruits to a cup of yogurt.
4. Nuts and seeds Train your child to reach for a packet of nuts and seeds (peanuts, kasoy or kalabasa seeds will do) instead of chips when craving for something salty. Tuck a handful of these Zinc- and non-heme Iron-rich munchies in her baon, too.
5. Leafy vegetables Vegetables are packed with a variety of nutrients, but dark green leafy vegetables in particular are good sources of Vitamin C and micronutrients such as Iron and folate. Serve dishes with a side of spinach or cabbage slaw with light dressing. Steaming or stir-frying the vegetables also helps retain the nutrients.
6. Beans, mushrooms, peas These foods are packed with non-heme (or plant-based) Iron, among other micronutrients. Generously incorporate them in stews or turn them into delicious side dishes. Munggo soup goes well with fried or grilled fish. Lightly seasoned mushrooms and fresh peas are great with roasted meat or chicken.
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7. Citrus fruits and berries Let your child load up on oranges, lemons, dalandan, calamansi and the like for protection against the common cold. These fruits are naturally packed with Vitamin C.
8. Peppers and tomatoes Red and green peppers and tomatoes not only add flavor to dishes but they also infuse them with Vitamin C and micronutrients. Next time you prepare menudo or afritada, throw in an extra cup of these bright-colored ingredients.
Proper nutrition is a must and if there is a lack in feeding your child healthy food, he may develop Micronutrient Deficiency (MND). This condition can be considered an epidemic in most developing and even developed countries, affecting people of all genders and ages. Imagine what could happen to your child if he experiences this.
Protect your child from MND by ensuring his daily nutrient requirements are met. Replenish his nutrients everyday by getting three balanced meals. To help make these meals even more nutritious, add a glass of BEAR BRAND Powdered Milk Drink and to be consumed daily. Every glass is packed with 100 percent Vitamin C and has high levels of Iron and Zinc.
A glass of milk can indeed help prevent MND.
1. Muenhlhoff E, Bennett A and McMahon D., Milk and dairy products in human nutrition. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2013.
2. Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD000980. DOI 10.1002/14651858. CD000980.pub4.