SMART CHILDREN EAT THIS

Healthy child 2

For a child to be strong and healthy, they must have a diet containing sufficient protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. If you want a smart child, feed him this:

Protein

Protein is needed for growth and repair and although a small amount is present in fruit, it is about the same percentage as that found in mother’s milk.

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb for the first two years of life is 1 – 2 grams of protein per kilogram of Ideal Body Mass. Thereafter 0.5 g – 1 gram of protein per kilogram of Ideal Body Mass per day will meet the growing child’s needs. This is very easy to achieve on a natural and even vegetarian diet.

Good protein choices for children:

Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, macadamias, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and tahini, pumpkin seeds. Almonds, sunflower seeds and sesame paste contain 20 – 25 % protein – as much as chicken or fish, but in a more usable form.

Greens: Broccoli, spinach, dark green lettuce, endive, baby marrow, Brussels sprouts and celery.

Organic chicken, ground meat and fish.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy for all body functions and fruit are an excellent source of natural, unrefined, unprocessed carbohydrates. For toddlers about 165 g of carbohydrates are needed per day.

Refined carbohydrates (refined sugar and flour) should be avoided at all costs. They provide absolutely no nutrition whatsoever (apart from excess glucose), and over stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin, affecting endocrine (hormonal) function in the long run.

Carbohydrates also cannot be used by the body efficiently without the presence of B Complex vitamins. In the process of refining sugar and flour, the B complex vitamins are destroyed. For this reason it is important that your child gets enough green vegetables and raw fruit in his diet so that carbohydrate-rich foods can be properly digested and absorbed.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants retard and prevent deterioration, damage or destruction of the cells by free radicals. Free radicals are produced naturally by the body in small amounts, but we are also exposed to them in large quantities through cigarette smoke, pollution, stress and disease.

Although free radicals are needed for certain chemical reactions, when produced in excess and not checked, their destructive effects on cells, tissues and organs are very serious. An enormous amount of research has shown that free radicals damage is implicated in a wide variety of disease and disorders, including coronary thrombosis, angina pectoris, heart failure, strokes, brain damage, ageing, kidney disease, cancer, inflammatory disorders, cataracts, radiation sickness, arthritis, infertility and eye disease.

Foods rich in antioxidants

Blueberries, red cherries, apples, pecans, plums, black beans, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, red kidney beans, pinto beans, artichokes and Russet potatoes.

Something to think about: How much calories does your child need?

Between the ages of one and two years the amount of energy required is approximately 1000 and 1200 calories per day. Aim for the following proportions: 20 – 30 percent fats and oils, 60 -70 percent in carbohydrates and 10 – 15 percent in proteins. However, it is important to focus on the overall weekly diet, rather than to embark on rigorous daily calorie count.

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