Must-Have Nutrients for Kids

must have nutrients for kids

Kids are a bunch of picky eaters. But it is very important that they must eat a well-balanced and healthy diet on an everyday basis. These are some of the nutrients that are essential for a child to have every day.


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This is one of the most critical nutrients that not just help to build and strengthen the muscle mass but also helps to build the cells, break down food into energy and fights infection. Here are some foods that your child must eat:

Eggs, meat, fish and poultry, nuts, beans, and dairy products.        


While diet charts usually recommend on ditching the carbohydrates, but that is not the same in case of children for children. This is the most important source of energy for children. It helps using the fat and protein for building and repairing the tissue. Sugar, starch, and fiber are the three forms of carbohydrates but for kids, starches and fiber are important and they should give up sugar.

Cereals, rice, bread, pasta, and potato are some important sources of carbohydrates.


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Fats give a child a lot of energy and they are easily stored in a child’s body. This nutrient is also required as it helps the body to use other nutrients properly.

Ghee and butter, meat, nuts, fatty fish and whole-milk dairy products contain high levels of fat and must be a compulsory inclusion in a child’s diet.


(Are you lactose intolerant? Did you know the non-dairy foods that can meet your calcium needs?)

Calcium is another most important nutrient and is needed by a child since its birth for the build and maintenance of strong teeth and bones. Calcium is also needed for a blood clot and the function of nerves, muscles, and heart.

High levels of calcium are found in foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, egg yolk, ice-cream, spinach, broccoli, and tofu.


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Iron carries oxygen to cells all over the body and is important to form healthy blood.

Foods like liver, red meat, poultry, shellfish, beans, nuts, and whole grains are rich sources of iron.



(Learn why Folate/Folic acid is important for pregnancy)

Folate is a B vitamin and is important since the time a child is in the womb. It is important for the healthy growth and development of the brain and cells. Lack of folate in diet can lead to anaemia.

High levels of folate are included in food like lentils, chickpeas, whole-grain cereals, spinach, asparagus, kidney beans, and Brussell sprouts.


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Fiber is an important part of a regular diet and it is no different in kids. Fiber regulates bowel movement and it can also play a role in reducing the chances of heart disease and certain types of cancer in the future.

Some foods that have high levels of fiber in them are lentils, whole-grain cereals, chickpeas, kidney beans, plant seeds, and nuts.

Vitamin A

(Read why Vitamin A is an unavoidable nutrient

One of the most important vitamins needed for good health, Vitamin A serves a purpose in kids’ must-have nutrients. It is needed for growth, improving vision, fighting infections and keeping skin healthy.

Vitamin A is found in foods like carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, apricots, and spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and egg yolk and fish oils.

Vitamin C

(Read why Vitamin C is important for a healthy immune system)

(Learn more about the food sources of vitamin C)

Common cold and flu are effectively fought off with Vitamin C, there are more important functions of Vitamin C than believed. It strengthens the walls of the blood vessels, holds the body cells together, aids in healing wounds and builds strong bones and teeth.

High levels of Vitamin C are found in citrus fruits (oranges and lemon), tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, melons, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and papayas.


Zinc is a vital nutrient for the kid as it helps in proper growth and development of the brain and the reproductive organs. It also helps the body to function well and boosts the immune system. It has often been found that kids with a zinc deficiency in their diet suffer from a weakened immune system, frequent cough and cold, infections, decreased growth, low memory, and learning disabilities and poor concentration.

Red meat, whole-grain bread and cereals, nuts, dried beans, potatoes with skin, mushroom and seafood have adequate zinc in them. 

A child must get these nutrients on a daily basis for good health, growth, and development. 


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