12 must-have nutrients to include in junior’s diet

Food nutrients help junior stay healthy and function well. These provide them the energy to grow, learn and be active.

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Your little one is growing and developing every day, so his body needs all the help it can get from nutritious and healthy food. Junior will avoid nutritional deficiencies if you give him a balanced diet with the right nutrients.

Parkway East Hospital dietitian Louis Yap points out that your munchkin is likely to experience insufficient iron, calcium and fibre intake because of our culture, diet and lifestyle.

Yap also notes that parents prefer feeding porridge to their children out of convenience. Under such circumstances, he says, “There is a potential lack of variety and diversity in food texture and fun which can reduce your tot’s interest to eat a wide range of foods.”

“There is a potential lack of variety and diversity in food texture and fun which can reduce your tot’s interest to eat a wide range of foods.”

The limited food choices results in a reduced intake of vegetables, fruits, proteins, as well as nuts and seeds which are rich sources of iron, calcium, folate and fibre. Also, if your mini-me is fussy about food or has dietary restrictions because of allergies or religious reasons, making sure his food features the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients can be a challenge.

Yap advises, “This requires further consultation with the dietitian and doctor to identify alternative food sources [or supplements] without jeopardising any nutrients.”

That’s why it is crucial not just to feed healthy fare to your sweetie but to expose them to a wide variety of food groups — fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, poultry, beans and legumes — from a young age. Here’s a handy list of nutrients and food sources to include...

Infographic: Paulyn Ng 

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Find out how much of each nutrient to feed your mini-me… Next!