Your child’s nutritional needs
A child’s dietary needs will vary depending on age, growth rate, amount of exercise and eating habits. The advice given here is intended as a general guideline only and is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional. A wide variety of foods will give your children all they need to grow up healthy.
To enjoy good health, grow normally and meet their daily energy needs, children need the following nutrients:
- Protein: used to build and repair cells in the body. Found in dairy products, meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, legumes, grains and cereals.
- Carbohydrates: provide fuel for the brain and muscles. Obtained from breads, cereals, potatoes, rice, pasta, legumes, fruit and sugar.
- Water: the main component of the human body. Obtained from drinks but also from foods such as fruits an vegetables.
- Minerals: (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, etc) for good teeth, energy, strong bones and healthy blood cells. Calcium can be found in dairy products; phosphorus in dairy products, meat and fish; magnesium in cereals; and iron in meat, legumes and cereals.
- Vitamins: are important to ensure that the processes in the body function optimally. Vitamins are essential because the body cannot make many of them and, therefore, we need to get them from food. There are several types of vitamins and any one food does not contain all of them in adequate amounts. Eat a variety of foods from the core food groups in order to meet your daily requirements for all vitamins.
Visit Children’s Nutrition Fact Sheet for more information on Children’s Nutrition.