By Whitney Crouch, RDN, CLT
Filling nutrient gaps in kids’ diets
A large study of 16,110 individuals aged 2 years and older, known as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found 25-70% of those surveyed to be eating less than the EAR for vitamins A (34%), C (25%), D (70%), and E (60%); calcium (38%); and magnesium (45%).1 Enrichment and fortification within the food supply largely contributed to the levels of vitamins A, C, and D, thiamine, iron, and folate reaching levels that were attained by diet.1 These statistics shed light on both the importance of nutrient fortification of certain foods in our food system and on the importance of nurturing healthy nutrition habits early and often.
Top 5 foods to help fill the gaps:
You may be thinking, “Okay that’s great, but my child will not eat liver, mushrooms, or broccoli.” According to child feeding specialist Ellyn Satter, there is a division of responsibility between parent and child when it comes to meal and snack time nutrition intake.3 What does this mean?
A parent’s job is to:
Part of your feeding job is trusting that your child will:
When it comes to optimal growth and development, filling nutrient gaps is an important factor. Even children with the best of diets and diverse palates can enjoy including new ways of incorporating fruits, veggies, and other nutrients into their diet. For children with more narrow palates, these ideas can be great ways to introduce flavors or nutrients using new delivery methods:
Whitney Crouch, RDN, CLT Whitney Crouch is a Registered Dietitian who received her undergraduate degree in Clinical Nutrition from the University of California, Davis. She has over 10 years of experience across multiple areas of dietetics, specialising in integrative and functional nutrition and food sensitivities. When she’s not creating educational programs or writing about nutrition, she’s spending time with her husband and young son. She’s often found running around the bay near her home with the family’s dog or in the kitchen cooking up new ideas to help her picky eater expand his palate.Whitney Crouch is a paid consultant and guest writer for Metagenics. Whitney Crouch is a paid consultant and guest writer for Metagenics.