Intensive growth of a child – what can’t be missing in its diet?
DevelopmentHealthy EatingNutrition
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Intensive growth of a child – what can’t be missing in its diet?

Proper nutrition of children is very important for their health and proper development. During childhood, intensive growth occurs. This is why a well-balanced diet is so important.

What does healthy nutrition mean?

A healthy diet means providing the right amount

  • calories,
  • nutrients and minerals,
  • water.

All nutrients should be supplied to the body through a properly balanced diet.

Correct diet

Your child’s diet should be based on properly balanced meals from 5 product groups:

1. Bread, potatoes and other cereal products

Products in this category should make up 33% of the daily diet, meaning they must be the basis of every meal or snack. Other grain products include:

  • pasta,
  • breakfast cereals,
  • corn,
  • millet,
  • beans,
  • legumes.

Products in this group provide:

  • energy, or carbohydrates,
  • b vitamins,
  • selenium,
  • calcium,
  • iron,
  • fiber.

2. Fruits and vegetables

Products from this group should constitute 30% of the daily diet. They provide vitamins A, C, E as well as minerals and antioxidants. For young children it is enough to give 5 small portions of vegetables and fruits every day.

3. Milk and dairy products

Products from this group should make up 15% of your daily diet, they are a great source of:

  • protein,
  • calcium,
  • vitamin B (in dairy products),
  • vitamin A and D.

Children should be given dairy products and whole milk.

4. Meat, fish, eggs, seeds and nuts

Products from this group should make up 12% of all meals, they are a source of:

  • protein,
  • zinc,
  • magnesium,
  • b vitamins,
  • fat,
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • vitamin D,
  • fiber,
  • phosphorus,
  • potassium,
  • iron,
  • folic acid,
  • vitamin E,
  • unsaturated fatty acids.

5. Fats and sugars

Should make up only 8% of the daily diet. Fat is necessary for better absorption of vitamin A and E. The diet should be dominated by monounsaturated fatty acids, which can be found in:

  • olive oil,
  • canola oil,
  • avocado,
  • nuts and seeds.

Products with a high fat content should not appear in the child’s diet. It is worth replacing sweet snacks with fresh or dried fruits.

What should not be missing in the diet of a child?

A child should eat varied meals, containing lots of fruit and vegetables. It is essential in the diet of a child:

  • protein – for muscle and bone health;
  • vitamin A – for proper vision development;
  • vitaminE – for the proper functioning of muscle tissue;
  • vitaminD – for the proper functioning of the nervous system, helps in the absorption of calcium by the body;
  • vitaminC – strengthens the body’s immunity, necessary for normal growth;
  • folic acid – needed for the production of red blood cells;
  • calcium – ensures proper functioning of the heart and nervous system, takes part in blood clotting, builds bones and teeth;
  • magnesium – regulates metabolism in the body;
  • phosphorus – necessary for the proper development of the skeletal and nervous systems;
  • zinc – essential for proper functioning of the immune system, building of muscles, bones.

Nutrient deficiencies

During intensive growth, the child should be provided with all necessary nutrients, and it is important to ensure a proper amount of balanced meals. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to e.g:

  • underdevelopment of the skeletal system,
  • anaemia,
  • malformations.

An excess of these nutrients can lead to overweight and obesity.

Main Photo: Ekaterina Shakharova, source:

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