Calcium is not only a critical mineral for strong bones and teeth, it promotes heart and muscle function, and blood clotting. Dairy is one of the best sources of calcium, with most kids needing three servings per day.
Another bone-building mineral is magnesium, which can be found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and fish, such as halibut, pollock, and haddock.
You may think your kids have boundless energy, but if their diets are lacking in iron, they may end up fatigued and even anemic or suffer growth and behavior problems. Iron is a nutrient required to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells (RBCs). Without enough iron, the body can't make enough RBCs, and tissues and organs won't get the oxygen they need. Girls who are menstruating are at a slightly greater risk for iron deficiency.
For both kids and adults, exposure to sun, pollution, stress, unhealthy foods, and cigarette smoke or other toxins can cause oxidative reactions, or free radicals, in the body that are believed to cause maladies such as cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants, primarily vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene, are believed to be the most beneficial in protecting against cell damage and boosting the immune system.
Fiber will boost your children's digestive health, help them maintain a healthy weight, and reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease as they get older.
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