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Food and Nutrition

Fit, Smart & Happy! The Promise of Micronutrients to your Child

Harlene Bhasin
7 to 11 years

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Fit Smart Happy The Promise of Micronutrients to your Child

Most parents make the mistake of feeding their children with a diet rich in macronutrients such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and evaluate the value of a meal or their child’s daily intake based on these three food components. While macronutrients form the basis of a diet, it is equally important to feed your child “micronutrients”.

 

Micronutrients, like the name suggests, are nutrients that a child needs but in small quantities. However, these micronutrients make a big impact on the well-being of a child. A deficiency can cause growth and development issues, physical weakness, lethargic mind, irritability, weight and skin issues, low immunity, low bone density… and so on.

 

Just to give you an example you are bound to feel easy when your child eats his/her two roties at lunch and dinner, but the fact that s/he has barely finished a bowl of mixed veggies is something to worry about – on a regular basis, poor intake of veggies can easily lead to a deficiency of Vitamin A and Iron (micronutrients). 

 

While there are many types of micronutrients, I have shortlisted the “5 treasures of health here, that are a must for every growing child: Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Iron, Calcium and Zinc. These five have a crucial role to play in your child’s body and at times normal home food is not enough to make up for the daily requirement – in such cases, health food drinks can help cover the gap. Here are some benefits and sources:

 

  • Vitamin A is needed for the development and maintenance of healthy skin, eyes and immune function. Foods that are rich sources of vitamin A include yellow and red vegetables, milk, cheese and eggs.
     
  • Vitamin D is needed for the development and maintenance of healthy bones, teeth, muscles, and immune function. The primary source of vitamin D is the sun, and so outdoor day activity is essential for growing children.
     
  • Iron is needed for the formation of healthy blood cells, and has a role in transporting oxygen around the body – in turn it keeps the child’s energy levels on an even keel. Good sources of iron for children include meat, dark green vegetables and fortified breakfast cereals.
     
  • Calcium is required for the growth, development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, and also has important roles in nerve and muscle functions. Good sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soya.
     
  • Zinc is a must for healthy growth and development, and normal neurological and immune function. Good sources of zinc for children include beef, pork, chicken and yogurt.
     

During my consultations, I often give this analogy to parents: In a growing child's life, micronutrients play the role akin to a movie director who stays behind the scenes, but who eventually plays a decisive role in a film’s box office success. So be it through diet or through health food drinks such as Horlicks – which contains all the above micronutrients – do ensure that your child is getting these micronutrients on a daily basis. That glass of milk with Horlicks decides your child’s bone health and immunity not only because of the calcium but also because it contains Vitamin A and Vitamin D absorbing properties. So do the food sources, as mentioned above.
 

Ensuring that your child meets the daily micronutrient requirement will help his/her to be a cut above the rest. They will be healthy and fit which will ensure their success in all fields of life. Quite simply put – they will be more productive since they will have the energy to meet their daily challenges, be it studies or sports.

 

Did you find the information shared by our clinical nutritionist, Harlene Bhasin, useful? Are you likely to pay more attention to your child’s need for micronutrients?  Do share (in the comments section below) – your learnings and experiences may help fellow parents achieve more of their child

 

Disclaimer: This is an awareness drive powered by Horlicks to emphasise the importance of micronutrient’s in a child’s diet.

 

 

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Hina

| Jul 04, 2017

nice

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Aman

| Jul 04, 2017

It’s a great way to keep healthy

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Nishtha Dutt

| Jul 04, 2017

We could avoid major deficiencies if we eat properly

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Parul Ankita Gupta

| Jul 04, 2017

with the huge marketing of fast foods it is very dificult to contain our children and restrict them not to have it.

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Nisha

| Jul 04, 2017

We should give importance to micronutrients

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Vicas Rajvnashi

| Jul 04, 2017

In our childhood days we were so fond of drinking milk but why do our children creating fuss around it.

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Nikki

| Jul 04, 2017

Nice and informative

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Shalu Gupta

| Jul 04, 2017

my child drinks milk easily thanks to the school

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Parul Ankita Gupta

| Jun 29, 2017

Good to have shared the information. I want to know how safe is it to give children fruits as written actually the place wheere I live do not have the fresh fruits its all expensive and old.

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Nishtha Dutt

| Jun 29, 2017

Hey Canisha. I face similar issue. we have had so much ghee in our childhood days.

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Canisha Kapoor

| Jun 29, 2017

Thankyou for sharing this valuable info. Could you please answer why doctors restrict children to consume ghee. Is it not necessary to have them ghee in order to get Vitamin D absorbed?

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Tanya

| Jun 21, 2017

Yes this is helpful, Thankyou Harlene

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Shreya Rajvanshi

| Jun 21, 2017

I think Zinc as a micronutrient is something we as parent overlook. Interesting read

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