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10 Foods that can not be missing from the children's plate

10 Foods that can not be missing from the children's plate

Food is very important for the growth of children and the more nutrients, the better! "Among the most important nutrients at this stage are carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins A and C, iron, zinc and calcium," explains nutritionist Helen Lopes, specializing in nutrition in childhood and adolescence at the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp)

Girl plays with two slices of orange instead of her eyes - "Photo: Getty Images"

However, even though variety is the key, some foods alone can guarantee these nutrients and are indispensable in the children's menu. We talk to experts to understand what they are. Check the list below:


The egg is a great source of fats and proteins. In the clear are proteins like albumin, much used by athletes for muscle growth. The yolk has several fat-soluble vitamins, such as A and a little vitamin D and K.

This part of the egg is also rich in choline, "a nutrient closely related to the development of brain structures, by participating in the formation of neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which helps in the transmission of nerve impulses, "explains Clarissa Fujiwara, nutrition coordinator for the Child Obesity League at the Hospital das Clínicas (HC-FMUSP).

Rice and beans

This combo is important for health at any age, especially in childhood. "There is a balance in this mixture, since rice is deficient in the amino acid lysine and has methionine, and beans are just the opposite," explains nutritionist Paula Crook, a member of PB Nutrition Consultancy and a specialist in child nutrition. > In addition, each of them has complementary characteristics: while rice is a good source of energy, the beans carry proteins and fibers. So much so that even when you consume white rice with the legume, the absorption of carbohydrates in the meal becomes slower and therefore healthier.


Banana is one of the best accepted fruits among children and brings characteristics. As Nutritionist Alessandra Coelho, Specialist in Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition (SBNPE), is rich in magnesium, potassium, B vitamins and tryptophan, which help in the health of bones, muscles, nervous system and cardiovascular system and in the maintenance of good humor.

In addition, fruit can help in school! "Recent studies show that children who eat bananas in the morning maintain a good level of attention during the day," says Helen Lopes. Therefore, it is worth investing in the fruit.


Avocado is often frowned upon by the high amount of fats. "The fruit contains monounsaturated fats, essential for the proper development of the baby's central nervous system and for controlling the level of cholesterol," Helen says. Avocado is not the only source of this type of fat, which is also present in olive oil and oilseeds.

For better acceptance, avocado can be mixed with other fruits in vitamins such as mangoes or bananas. > Orange

Orange is one of the most well-known sources of vitamin C. "This vitamin is important for healing, bone formation and collagen, and helps iron absorption," explains Clarissa Fujiwara. it is only from this nutrient that it is composed: the bagasse of the fruit is rich in fibers, which help in satiety and also feed the bacteria of the intestine.

Other fruits rich in this combination are gossip, papaya, acerola, lemon, strawberry and others red fruits, kiwi, pineapple and passion fruit.


The orange color of the carrot signals that it is a food rich in carotenoids. "These nutrients are precursors of vitamin A, a potent antioxidant that helps the health of the eyes and skin," says nutritionist Dyandra Loureiro, a postdoctoral fellow in pediatric, school, and adolescent nutrition at Gama Filho University. is also rich in fiber and potassium, and is interesting for growing children. In addition, it is easier to be consumed because of the sweet taste.


Broccoli is not always well accepted by children.

"Vegetables are a good source of vitamin C, carotenes, and folate. It also has good amounts of protein, calcium, iron and high fiber content, "explains Paula Crook.

The ideal is to present it to children in different ways, taking advantage of its flower shape to create more playful dishes. "You can put it in preparations that the child likes, like pies, prepared with rice or even cooked with the meat", enumerates Clarissa.


Here we are talking about a group, but that is usually offered together with the children through a mix with nuts, nuts, almonds and others.

"They have a high concentration of omega 3's, 6's and 9's, good fats for brain development and to give more energy to the little ones," explains Helen. In addition, it is very easy to offer them in snacks for children. Its crunchy consistency helps to make them more acceptable. Just be careful not to offer ready-made, high-sodium versions!


This food is more controversial but brings a lot of benefits for children. Meat, whether beef, pork, chicken or fish, is high in protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins.

"Vitamin B12 is important for cognitive and neurological development. well absorbed by the body, "explains Clarissa.

For non-meat-eating families, there are options for replenishing these nutrients in other foods. While egg-lacto-vegetarians may consume protein from milk, eggs, and cheeses, other groups of vegetarians may find it more difficult not to eat these foods.

But it is possible to circumvent the situation: "Legumes are rich in plant proteins : not only soybeans, beans, lentils, chickpeas, among others, "says the expert, indicating the possible substitutions.

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