Eating Disorders Week is the 1st March – so what can we do to support our children’s diets and food choices?
Vegan or vegetarian is a common first choice children make themselves and is to be applauded. But sometimes a change of diet can bring on fussy eating – you can be a very unhealthy vegetarian or vegan! Why might this happen? One of the reasons can be a lack of valuable micronutrients need for our children’s growing body that can result in lowered appetite, taste and smell.
We must encourage our children to swap the missing protein and essential fats from their diet with pulses, legumes, tofu, vegetables, nuts etc to support healthy growth and for all those hormone changes whizzing around their body! PLUS the all important micronutrients – the spark plugs which are the essential vitamins and minerals: Zinc, B12, iron, vit D, omega 3 are all critical for mental wellbeing.
So where do we find these nutrients?
- Zinc rich foods: tofu, tempeh, black and green soybeans, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, raw cacao, oats, nuts and seeds especially pumpkin, sunflower seeds and walnuts
- Omega 3: Hemp, linseed, pumpkin, walnut oil and seeds
- B12: eggs, cereals, brown rice fish, asparagus and dark green vegetables
- Iron: leafy green veg, brown rice
- Vit D the sunshine vitamin – catch the sun wherever possible!
Supplements can also help here, although not to be a replacement for quality food – I like the Teen Girl/Boy range by Wild Nutrition plus a vitamin D supplement as many of our kids have spent a lot of time inside during lockdown (especially the teens!).
Karen Newby, Nutrition Specialist