Nutrition Needs of
By Karen Myers
Copyright © 2006 All Rights Reserved
"A child's nutritional needs differ dramatically from
those of a full-grown adult. Beginning at the moment of
birth, the internal environment of a child’s body is in a
constant state of growth and change.
Vitamins are assisting to convert food into energy. Minerals
are forming strong bones and teeth. Enzymes are working to
break down protein, fat and carbohydrate into amino acids,
essential fatty acids and simple sugars. Friendly flora are
beginning to establish a healthy intestinal environment.
These unique demands require a special profile of nutrients
-- nutrients that a low-potency version of an adult
multi-vitamin simply cannot deliver!"
About Nutrients, Both Vitamins
and Minerals, that Children Need
How often does your child eat fresh Broccoli? ...raw
spinach? ...Brussels sprouts? If they're anything like my son,
these are probably the foods they avoid, and unfortunately,
they're also chock full of nutrients that a young growing body
According to Dr. Kenneth Ellis, a professor of pediatrics at
Baylor College of Medicine in Houston;
- Most girls begin their growth spurt between the ages of
10 and 11 and reach about 95 percent of their adult height
between the ages of 15 and 16 ...however, her bones keep
growing in thickness and strength until her mid-20s.
- Boys experience a similar growth spurt, but it begins
about two years later and lasts until age 17 or 18.
Since a child's body goes through many important growth
changes, a child's nutrition needs are
different, and change significantly, on their journey
to being a full grown adult.
Vitamins A and C, iron and calcium have clearly defined
recommendations for children. For example,
- 1- to 3-year-old children need 500 milligrams of
calcium each day,
- while their 4- to 8-year-old siblings need 800
milligrams a day.
On the other hand, the nutritional recommendations for
saturated fat and total fat are linked to a child's caloric
intake, while calorie recommendations are based on a child's
age, sex, height, weight, and activity level.
- The recommended total fat intake for children ages 1 -
3 is 30 - 40% of total calories.
- For children over the age of 3 and adults, the
recommendation is no more than 25 - 35 percent of total
daily calories from fat.
Children who are very active (more than 1 hour per day on
most days) need more calories, while those who are relatively
inactive need less.
Free Online Tools Help Meet Your Child's Nutrition
When shopping for food for your children, it's become more
and more important to read the labels... but understanding what
the labels mean can be difficult if you don't know what to look
Here is a great quick table produced by the USDA/ARS
Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC) which may help -
check out the table "How Food Label Reference Values (DV)Compare
to the Nutritional Recommendations for Children".
For additional help, you might enjoy trying out the CNRC's
new Interactive Healthy Eating Calculator
designed to determine the calories needed for children based
on their activity level and giving a breakdown of
recommended servings per day of basic food groups where your
child should be getting those calories for optimum
Also available through this excellent Government resource
site, a free Children's Calorie Needs Calculator
with an additional link to check your child's BMI
Great Books on the Subject of Children's Daily
It can be difficult to find great books on the subject of
children's nutritional needs, but we've dug up a few and
provide links to them (through Amazon) here. Please note,
however... no book can replace the advice of a good
pediatrician. With that said, here are a few of our
Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids
In this book, Joel Fuhrman, M.D. provides a nutrient-rich
eating plan that he believes can have a significant impact on
your child’s resistance to dangerous
infections, and a dramatic effect on reducing the
occurrence of illnesses like asthma, ear infections, and
allergies. In addition to explaining the science behind the
need for giving your children a solid
nutritional foundation, the book includes
easy-to-prepare, kid-friendly recipes that will satisfy even
the pickiest eaters.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th
Again, don't consider this book a replacement for your
professional health care provider, but look on it as an
excellent guide to use the foods you eat in a supportive way
when facing any ailments. Although it isn't specific to
children's nutrition needs, it's a wonderful resource
to have on hand for all ages and stages of life and living.
Loaded (perhaps too loaded?) with information, including an A-Z
listing of many common disorders and what you can do about them
from a nutritional point of view.
Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern
Nutrition (3rd Edition)
Here's a gem of a book that
focuses on a subject near and dear to our own hearts here
at Best Liquid Vitamins. And for once, it appears the
author has "no axe to grind" in the materials that he
presents. When wondering which foods to mix with which for
your family meals, much of the guess work will disappear
on reading through this book. It also includes a
great section regarding food for children!
Eat This Not That! for Kids!: Be the Leanest, Fittest
Family on the Block!
From the very first chapter where
you will find eight simple healthy eating rules
for kids and families to follow, straight through
to the final chapter where you will find fun family
activities for the "exercise" component to healthy
lifestyles, this book is a great addition that
your kids will even enjoy reading. Both
educational and a helpful guide, in todays fast paced
world this will help you make the quick food choices in
your busy day.
Also Great For Children
With all the many pesticides used in fruit and vegetable
production these days, the less that gets inside your children
through the food they eat the better. We highly recommend you
use a biodegradable fruit and vegetable wash when preparing
fruits and vegetables for them.
And on the subject of cleanliness, don't forget to stock up
on purifying handwash. You'll want plenty on hand to reinforce
handwashing in your home.
Sources and Additional Resources for Children's
USDA/ARS Children's Research Center - How do the Daily Values found on food
labels compare to the nutritional recommendations for
USDA/ARS - When do kids quit growing?
FreeLife International® - Select your country from the map,
then look for DinoPals®, children's chewable