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King Prawn Rice For A Fussy Eater

This is what you’ll need to prepare your king prawn rice for a fussy eater:

3/4 cup wholegrain Basmati rice

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (rapeseed)

1/2 red onion, chopped finely

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/3 cup green peas

2-3 tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon Cooks Ingredients Frozen Thai Mix

250ml fish stock (optional)

200g cooked king prawns

1 large handful baby spinach

Learn how to nurture a fussy eater one bite at a time. Bahee is based at one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals and offers premium one to one nutrition consulting services.

Bahee Van de Bor

Paediatric Dietitian

How to make the king prawn rice for a fussy eater

If you are looking for dinner ideas for picky eaters, then this king prawn rice for a fussy eater is perfect.

It’s naturally gluten free, wheat free, egg free, soy free and of course milk and dairy free.

If your child doesn’t need an egg-free diet, then don’t hesitate to throw it in.  Eggs can be useful for increasing the protein value of recipes for your fussy eater.

You can also mix up the vegetables in this recipe, you could try sweetcorn, spring onions, red or yellow bell peppers/capsicum, mushrooms or even chickpeas and lentils to reap the benefits from plant proteins.

This popular recipe is basically a one pot dish so it’s quick and easy for nannies and busy parents to prepare after work.

Did you know that this popular king prawn rice can be whipped up and ready on the table within 30 minutes?  You could even prepare some of the ingredients the evening before so that you can get started straight away.  If you are short on time, you can use white Basmati rice which cooks in 15 minutes.

If you are worried about introducing prawns to little people, remember that early introduction of high allergenic foods is actually beneficial.  You can read more about that here in this article: When To Start Weaning High Allergenic Foods.

If you have babies under 12 months of age in the house, then a no added salt diet is necessary.  Rather than preparing a separate meal for your baby, skip the stock and use fresh herbs such as coriander and dill to flavour the dish.  I didn’t have any at home or they definietely would have gone in.

Method For The King Prawn Rice For A Fussy Eater
  1. Bring a pan of water to boil then cook the basmati rice until half cooked.  Drain excess water and set aside.  If using frozen peas, you could also add these to the pan five minutes before the rice is cooked.
  2. Whilst the rice is cooking, heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan and saute the onions, garlic and frozen Thai mix.
  3. Next, add in the tomatoes, frying a little before adding in the stock and rice.  Cook until the stock is fully absorbed by the rice.
  4. Finally, mix in the peas, baby spinach and king prawns.
  5. Dish out to hungry bellies.

I’m pleased to report that this king prawn rice for a fussy eater is a favourite amongst both my toddlers.

This popular recipe gets a star rating of FIVE BANANAS as determined by the enthusiasm that it was eaten, aroma as it arrived at the table and finally, the empty plates of my children.

Let Me Help

Would you like to meet a children’s dietitian who has successfully helped families solve their nutrition problems from around the world?

Whether you are worried about picky eating, food allergy or need to help your child build a healthy relationship with food, I’ll help you manage these with confidence.

For bookings and enquiries email me on bahee.vandebor@gmail.com or book a free initial consultation here.

Bahee Van de Bor

Paediatric Dietitian

The post How To Cook Popular King Prawn Rice For Fussy Eater appeared first on UK Kids Nutrition.

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King Prawn Rice For A Fussy Eater

3/4 cup wholegrain Basmati rice

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (rapeseed)

1/2 red onion, chopped finely

1 garlic clove, chopped 

1/3 cup green peas

2-3 tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon Cooks Ingredients Frozen Thai Mix

250ml fish stock (optional)

200g cooked king prawns

1 large handful baby spinach

 

 

Learn how to nurture a fussy eater one bite at a time. Bahee is based at one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals and offers premium one to one nutrition consulting services.

Bahee Van de Bor

Paediatric Dietitian

How to make the king prawn rice for a fussy eater

If you are looking for dinner ideas for picky eaters, then this king prawn rice for a fussy eater is perfect. 

It’s naturally gluten free, wheat free, egg free, soy free and of course milk and dairy free.

If your child doesn’t need an egg-free diet, then don’t hesitate to throw it in.  Eggs can be useful for increasing the protein value of recipes for your fussy eater.

You can also mix up the vegetables in this recipe, you could try sweetcorn, spring onions, red or yellow bell peppers/capsicum, mushrooms or even chickpeas and lentils to reap the benefits from  plant proteins .

A one pot dish is quick and easy for nannies and busy parents to prepare after work.   

Did you know that this popular king prawn rice can be whipped up and ready on the table within 30 minutes?  You could even prepare some of the ingredients the evening before so that you can get started straight away.  If you are short on time, you can use white Basmati rice which cooks in 15 minutes.

If you are worried about introducing prawns to little people, remember that early introduction of high allergenic foods is actually beneficial.  You can read more about that here in this article: When To Start Weaning High Allergenic Foods.

If you have babies under 12 months of age in the house, then a no added salt  diet is necessary.  Rather than prepare a separate meal for your baby, skip the stock and use fresh herbs such as coriander and dill to flavour the dish.  I didn’t have any at home or they would have gone in.

Method For The King Prawn Rice For A Fussy Eater
  1. Bring a pan of water to boil then cook the basmati rice until half cooked.  Drain excess water and set aside.  If using frozen peas, you could also add these to the pan five minutes before the rice is cooked.
  2. Whilst the rice is cooking, heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan and saute the onions, garlic and Thai mix.
  3. Next add in the tomatoes, stock and rice.  Cook until the stock is fully absorbed by the rice.
  4. Finally, mix in the peas, baby spinach and king prawns.
  5. Dish out to hungry bellies.

I’m pleased to report that this king prawn rice for a fussy eater is a favourite amongst both my toddlers.

This popular recipe gets a star rating of FIVE BANANAS as determined by the enthusiasm that it was eaten, aroma as it arrived at the table and finally, the empty plates of my children.

 

Let Me Help

Would you like to meet a children’s dietitian who has successfully helped families solve their nutrition problems from around the world? 

 

Whether you are worried about picky eating, food allergy or need to help your child build a healthy relationship with food, I’ll help you manage these with confidence.

 

For bookings and enquiries email me on bahee.vandebor@gmail.com

Bahee Van de Bor

Paediatric Dietitian

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The first step to making a vegan yoghurt recipe is to choose your base.

I strongly recommend choosing a calcium fortified plant milk. 

Soy is perfect as it has the best profile for protein.  If your child is following a milk and soy free diet, you may wish to choose a nut, oat or coconut based drink.

Just remember to check for the following:

  • has the plant drink of choice been fortified with calcium?
  • does it have any B vitamins?
  • any added vitamin D?
  • any added sugar?
  • any other bonus nutrients e.g. Vitamin B12 or iodine?

It’s a small commitment of your time but did you know that it’s apparently very easy to make?  You will also be in control of any added sugars, meaning, if you struggle to choose the best children’s yoghurt you will thoroughly enjoy making your own!

  Try this recipe that I found online:

1 L of plant drink

1 dose or 1 capsule of milk-free probiotic

2 teaspoons sugar

Mix the ingredients together and follow the instructions of your yoghurt maker.  If you don’t have one, mix the ingredients in a glass jar, cover with a cheesecloth and allow the vegan yoghurt to develop for up to 24-48 hours in a warm place.  

This vegan yoghurt recipe is brilliant as it has very little added sugar.  When you start reading nutrition labels of sweetened non-dairy based yoghurts, you will notice that although marketed as “healthy”, some brands of vegan yoghurts do contain sugar by up to 12g per 100g.

What’s more, some brands offer a blend of added sugar with fruit which also contributes to the overall sugar content of the yoghurt.

Keep it simple

No time to follow through with this vegan yoghurt recipe?  You’ll find that the supermarket branded ‘plain’ or simple non-dairy and milk free yoghurt-like offerings are suitable, but they just may not have any added calcium or bonus vitamins and minerals.

A dessert quick enough to please is to blitz a large handful of fresh or frozen berries and/or mango.  Now pour the delicious fruit puree over any unsweetened milk-free yoghurt.  Simple yet delicious.

Mastering Food Allergy

Does your child have a food allergy? Do you also worry about fussiness and tantrums at the dinner table? 

Does it feel like your child has regressed from what used to be good eating and you just need help expanding the variety of their free from diet?  Get in touch to see how I can help you.

 

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Spooning a bit of yoghurt onto my children’s breakfast cereal this morning, I realised how overwhelming choosing a children’s yoghurt is for parents.  Outbursts from the media suggest that there are shocking amounts of sugar in children’s yoghurts.  Should you be worried?

 

And I bet you are wondering whether low sugar yoghurt really is the best? 

 

So, do you need to worry about the sugar in children’s yoghurt and surely it’s a staple snack that makes up healthy lunches for kids, right?

 

Less than 5g of sugar per 100g

Just when you think you’ve got it right, Public Health England announces that you should be looking for children’s yoghurt that provides no more than 5g of sugar per 100g. 

 

Fabulous, except that in reality unless manufacturers comply immediately, this means that children will no longer be able to eat any of the children’s yoghurts on the supermarket shelves today.

 

Yes, you read that right.  If you know how to screen nutrition labels (or read how to screen breakfast cereals), then you know that there’s a mathematical sugar problem.  

 

You see, there’s more than one type of sugar in yoghurt.  The most important type is a carbohydrate called lactose.  It’s not an added sugar, it’s just the type of carbohydrate found in milk and dairy products that are commonly referred to as “milk sugar”.

 

In my opinion, this is a smart carb.  Meaning, you don’t need to restrict it as it’s unlikely to spike your child’s blood sugar level.  Unless the yoghurt is laced with sugar of course.

 

Yoghurt is also a source of protein, may have added vitamin D and for kids, it’s a tasty way of getting in their daily dose of calcium.

 

Now I know what you are thinking, will the added vitamins and minerals in children’s yoghurt compensate for the added sugar?

 

 

“Choose a brand providing less than 10g sugar per 100g”

Dealing with sugar in children’s yoghurt

If you want to offer children’s yoghurt then the best type will be a brand that offers less than 10g per 100g.

The first 5g of “sugar” in any type of yoghurt will usually be lactose.  The rest will be added sugar.

The only brand and best children’s yoghurt to meet the golden criteria of less than 5g/100g will be natural, Greek or Greek-style plain yoghurt.

As soon as the fruit or added sugars and syrups are thrown into the recipe, the yoghurt will easily provide over 5g per 100g.

Added sugar obviously improves taste and if it’s from fruit that’s perfect.  For a happy balance between getting in calcium and a healthy snack for children, I allow a teaspoon of sugar per 100g (so that’s a total of 10g per 100g after factoring in sugar from lactose).

 

Ingredients list reveals all

So a bit of sugar is forgivable?  It depends.  A valuable way of screening children’s yoghurt is to factor in the source of sugar.

One of the greatest things about UK labelling is that heavy ingredients are listed first according to its weight.  Foods high in sugar will be listed as one of the first three ingredients.

This might not tell you much if there are only a few ingredients in the yoghurt, but if there’s fruit listed then not all of the sugars above 5g in the nutrition table will be from added sugars.

“Sugar, organic sugar, honey and syrups regardless of type all mean added or free sugars.”

Added vitamins and minerals

Added vitamins such as Vitamin D or minerals in children’s yoghurts are a bonus, yes, but it shouldn’t be the main reason for choosing a brand.

In fact, I would be highly suspicious of any packaging that positions the yoghurt as a mighty choice for children due to its added vitamins and minerals.

The shocking truth is that the product is bound to be hiding lots of added sugar.

Take this example of a children’s yoghurt.  There’s 12g of sugar per 100g.  If we allow up to 5g of sugar from lactose, then there’s at least 8g of added sugar.  

If you have a toddler, they are ideally taking a daily vitamin D supplement so there is no nutritional benefit from choosing this brand of children’s yoghurt for its vitamin D. 

Yes, there are groups of children who are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency and would benefit from foods fortified with it.  The focus of this post is about choosing a brand of yoghurt from a sugar perspective.

What’s the verdict?  Of course, this range of children’s yoghurt isn’t ideal.  But let me tell you a little secret.  You’ll find this Peppa Pig range of yoghurt in my own fridge.

Why am I sharing this with you?  My daughter loves to select this brand of yoghurt when we go shopping.  I indulge her and let her buy it and she’s offered a single pot once or twice a week.  That seems to satisfy her.  It’s about balance and considering what else your child eats during the week.  There are also alternative protein and calcium-rich foods that can help bridge the gap in meeting requirements if you choose not to give yoghurt as a snack or dessert most days of the week.

A valuable way of balancing sugar: remind kids that all foods are delicious.  Vegetables are delicious and so are high sugar foods.  My philosophy with food is that my children shouldn’t feel deprived or restricted in any way.  Instead, we are aiming for balanced eating.  Could that approach work for you?

 

Should you go organic yoghurt?

That’s entirely up to you.  Whilst many organic brands of yoghurt may be high in added sugar they may, in fact, have a decent chunk of fruit contributing to the total amount of sugar.  

 

Valuable ways of reducing sugar: keep a tub of natural or Greek yoghurt in the fridge.  This means that you can go half and half.

 

 

For every spoonful of ‘high sugar’ yoghurt, you can swirl in a spoonful of organic plain or Greek yoghurt (if you are that way inclined).  Congratulations – you’ve managed to reduce the sugar content by fifty percent.  Simple, but effective.

It’s a portion thing

I hate to break it to you, but apart from any added vitamins and pretty packaging, children’s yoghurts are just regular yoghurt.

The advantages:

  • full fat – children need the calories for growth
  • portion size – they are ideally packaged into 60g pots 
  • added vitamins e.g. vitamin D, but just be aware that if your child is under 5 years of age, they require a daily 10ug vitamin D supplement and won’t need the added vitamin in the yoghurt
  • no artificial sweeteners – if you choose reduced-fat or sugar yoghurts for yourself, then you may prefer to buy a children’s brand of yoghurt.  You can also stock up on regular yoghurts and portion out the amount required to suit your children.
How to choose the best children’s yoghurt

In summary valuable ways are by:

  • choosing brands of children’s yoghurt offering less than 10g per 100g of sugar
  • go half and half by swirling in natural or Greek yoghurt without added sugar
  • add your own fruit to sweeten plain or natural yoghurt
  • any added vitamins and minerals are just a bonus, the main factors to drive your decision should be the amount and source of any added sugar
  • if your child has been diagnosed with diabetes, your dietitian may recommend allowing for brands containing artificial sweeteners
  • there’s nothing wrong with regular adult yoghurt, just be mindful that portion sizes are appropriate for little bellies

 

How do you select children’s yoghurt? Do share below.

Let Me Help

Would you like to meet a children’s dietitian who has successfully helped families solve their nutrition problems from around the world? 

 

Whether you are worried about picky eating, food allergy or need to help your child build a healthy relationship with food, I’ll help you manage these with confidence.

 

For bookings and enquiries email me on bahee.vandebor@gmail.com

Bahee Van de Bor

Paediatric Dietitian

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What are tryptophan foods?

In a nutshell, tryptophan is an amino acid, a building block used to make protein.

It’s, therefore, no surprise that foods abundant in tryptophan are found in foods that provide protein.

If you are wondering how tryptophan in protein foods can help you and your child sleep better, the secret lies in tryptophan’s special role in making a chemical called serotonin.

    Examples 

Before I explain how serotonin is used by the body to promote sleep, let’s look at which foods contain the amino acid tryptophan.  As plant-based diets have been believed to  extend life  by preserving heart health and improving the quality of sleep, plant tryptophan foods have been listed first.

Seeds: pumpkin, chia, sesame, sunflower and flaxseeds

Nuts: pistachio, cashew, almonds, hazelnuts

Soya: tofu, boiled soybeans

Oats

Beans and lentils

Cheese: all types especially parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella, romano, Gruyere

Meat: lamb, beef, pork, chicken, turkey

Fish & shellfish: tuna, salmon, trout, snapper, mackerel, snapper, haddock, cod, lobster, crab, shrimps

Whole eggs

How to use tryptophan foods

Encourage your children and family to eat from a range of the above plant proteins daily.  Ground nuts and seeds can be added to breakfast cereals or even a breakfast smoothie.   Just remember to add oats which double up as a smart carb and also a source of tryptophan for a natural sleep aid.

A spread of cashew and almond nut butter on toast is a nutritious breakfast or after-school snack option whilst lentils are tasty and an easy weaning recipe for babies and toddlers.   Adolescents will benefit too from this plant source of iron food.

Tofu is fantastic in a stir-fry whilst cheese, meat and eggs can be used to stuff sandwiches.  You can also cook fish with vegetables for a nutritious and tasty meal.  

Better still, prepare casseroles using beans and lentils for an extra boost in tryptophan to help you and your family sleep better.

What is serotonin?

Did you know that tryptophan is an essential ingredient by the body to make serotonin?

Seratonin is a neurotransmitter that is produced in the gut and brain.  It has a wide variety of functions including regulating mood, appetite, digestion and making the sleep hormone melatonin.

But I’d like to let you in on a little secret.  For children who suffer from ongoing chronic sleep problems, a doctor may prescribe melatonin as a medication.  This may help with sleep as melatonin’s role in the body is to take care of the body’s sleep-wake cycle and rhythm. 

However, for a natural sleep aid, keep reading to find out how to sleep better using tryptophan foods.

Why tryptophan foods for sleep?
Without tryptophan foods, your child’s body is unable to make serotonin and subsequently  melatonin .  Melatonin is a hormone, that helps children’s bodies know when it’s time to sleep and wake up.  The amount of light, as well as children’s internal clocks, help the body decide how much to make each day.  Whilst melatonin levels drop by day, there’s a peak in the evening to alert the body that its time to sleep.
Vitamin B6 foods

Now here comes the good part. 

Vitamin B6 is another water-soluble micronutrient that has a role in the production of melatonin in the body.

But there’s more.  Zinc, magnesium and folic acid are also micronutrients required to make melatonin.

If you are feeling worried that it’s a lot to take on board just for the possible promise of a good night’s sleep, hear me out.  When you encourage your child to eat a balanced diet from a variety of foods, they are most likely eating enough of the essential  vitamins and minerals  to aid sleep.

If you are interested in vitamin B6 foods, keep scrolling down for a full list of foods.

FRUIT & VEG

  • Sweet potato
  • Potato with skin on
  • Carrots
  • Prunes
  • Avocado
  • Banana

PLANT FOODS

 

  • Wheat Bran
  • Oats
  • Pistachios
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chickpeas, pinto beans, soybeans and lentils

 MEAT

  • Meat
  • Chicken
  • Fish

If you’ve optimised your child’s diet for tryptophan foods and still experience sleeping problems have you considered the following?

 

Sleep routine

Regardless of age, stick to your child’s usual bedtime routine.  If it’s dinner, quiet play, brush teeth followed by bed, then stick to the routine and repeat this at the same time every day.

Children crave routine and relaxing activities such as a story before bed or a glass of warm milk.  It’s relaxing and gets your child prepared for the act of sleep.

If your child is a little older, encourage reflective practice at the end of the day. Encourage them to divulge what’s on their mind and tease our anything that’s troubling them so that they go to bed relaxed and worry-free.

 

Fluids/bed wetting

Encourage fluids earlier in the day and ask children to visit the toilet each night prior to bed.  If they forget, try reminding them to always use the toilet immediately after brushing their teeth so that it forms part of their bedtime routine.

Sugar foods are not linked to bed wetting, however, some foods can have a lot of hidden salt which can drive thirst.  Offer snacks that are light and nutritious such as fruit or yoghurt versus salted crisps, or cheese and crackers.

Be wary of any hidden salt in foods which can drive excessive thirst particularly by the end of the day.

Here are 9 easy ways to cut back on salt.

  Screen time & physical activity

Remember to switch off electronic devices and the television at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed.

Don’t allow children to keep electronic devices in their bedroom.   This reduces temptation by older children from engaging with social media late into the night.

Replace time restrained or sedentary screen time with additional energetic play, and trade indoor for outdoor time, to promote sufficient sleep.

Remember toddlers need up to 180 minutes of play whilst older children need at least one hour of activity that is of moderate intensity.  Walking, dancing, rollerblading, sports and running around in the park all count towards their daily activity scores.

 

Is dairy useful in promoting sleep?

There isn’t sufficient evidence that milk promotes sleep, but to a child, the act of drinking a warm glass of milk may be comforting.  There is some thought that tryptophan present in milk may help promote sleep and hence why it is a popular drink before bed.  You now know that tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin which is required to make melatonin in the brain so if you are worried about bed wetting and prefer to skip it, offer a good range of tryptophan foods throughout the day instead (see the list above).

 

Are there any foods that help promote a deeper sleep level for children?

Include tryptophan foods and vitamin B6 rich foods across meals during the day.  You should also consider  smart carbs  which are essentially carbohydrate foods that are rich in fibre.  What this means is that the glucose from carbohydrate foods is released slowly priming your child’s body for hopefully a restful night of sleep without any night wakings from hunger or generally feeling unwell.

If you need a guide for screening carbs for fibre, follow this  breakfast screening tool here.

The advantage of offering regular meals and snacks to children is that there won’t be any peaks or troughs in their blood glucose levels overnight.  

Foods such as sliced banana over toast with a spread of nut butter are easy after school choices for snacking, whilst vegetable sticks with hummus make excellent lunch box foods. 

 

The bottom line

Encourage a diet that is abundant in a range of foods consisting of smart carbs, fruit and vegetables, meat, chicken and fish as well as plant sources of protein to naturally aid sleep via tryptophan foods.  A solid sleep routine is important, as is plenty of physical activity to relieve any built-up stress before preparing tired children for a night of restful sleep.  How do you manage sleep in your household?

 

Let Me Help

Would you like to meet a children’s dietitian who has successfully helped families solve their nutrition problems from around the world? 

 

Whether you are worried about picky eating, food allergy or need to help your child build a healthy relationship with food, I’ll help you manage these with confidence.

 

For bookings and enquiries email me on bahee.vandebor@gmail.com

Bahee Van de Bor

Specialist Paediatric Dietitian

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Let your teenage children discover the authentic way to glowing hair and skin. Contrary to popular belief, popping vitamin supplements won’t necessarily guarantee hair growth and thickness. 

If you worry about your child’s hair health, read the following hair growth tips for all-year-round expert advice to vitamins and minerals for healthy hair.

 

Biotin (vitamin B7)

 

 

Biotin is a B vitamin that is bound to protein and therefore found in most foods.  It is required by the body in very small amounts, making deficiency very rare, particularly as the bacteria in your gut can also make some. 

Nevertheless, if your child doesn’t get enough of this crucial vitamin then deficiency can cause hair loss.

How much biotinshould children eat?

The amount required is so small that it’s best to focus on encouraging your child to eat a variety of foods.  Foods that are particularly high in biotin include organ meats, eggs, fish and meat.

If your child follows a vegan or vegetarian diet, then seeds, nuts and certain vegetables such as sweet potato are also a source. 

If your child refuses to eat fruit and vegetables, then see how to get children to eat vegetables for tips and further advice.

It’s always best to encourage vitamins from food versus a supplement as taking large quantities can be harmful.

Children with poor intake of protein and eating disorders resulting in protein to energy malnutrition may also experience hair loss. Fixing any gaps in your child’s diet is therefore favourable than reaching out for a vitamin and mineral supplement.

Iron

 

Iron is an unexpectedly important mineral to consider for healthy hair.  It’s not surprising that children and adults with hair loss may have an underlying iron deficiency. 

There isn’t enough evidence to routinely recommend checking iron levels when children experience hair loss.  But if your child’s doctor plans to run any blood tests, you could request iron testing to be considered and added to the list of investigations.

  How much ironshould children eat?

Animal foods such as meat, chicken, fish and eggs are sources of iron.  If your family follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, then make sure that family meals are built on dark greens, lentils, pulses, nuts, seeds, tofu and vitamin C rich foods to help absorb plant sources of iron.

Also, see ‘Five Perfect Iron Rich Plant Foods‘ for further information.

Zinc

An advanced guide to vitamins and minerals for healthy hair wouldn’t be complete without mentioning zinc.

Zinc supports the immune system, aids wound healing and play a role in maintaining healthy hair.  If your adolescent aged child is complaining of hair loss, then do ask your family doctor to check for zinc deficiency. 

Like iron, zinc deficiency can be corrected and reversed, so do consult with a paediatric dietitian for personalised nutrition advice.   

How much zinc should children eat?

Zinc is usually found with iron-rich foods such as meat, chicken, fish, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, peas, lentils as well as in cereals such as wheat germ, all-bran, shredded wheat and oatcakes.  

Nuts are brilliant for snacking and don’t forget that sunflower and sesame seeds can be sprinkled over breakfast cereals and stir-fries for an additional boost in zinc.

If your family doctor prescribes zinc supplements, make sure that your child’s levels are monitored regularly to avoid high blood levels of this mineral.

Work with your specialist paediatric dietitian to find out how you can optimise your child’s diet for zinc.

  Boron, Selenium and Vitamin A supplements

In this guide to vitamins and minerals for healthy hair, I recommend exercising caution when supplementing your child’s diet with a vitamin and mineral supplement.

If your child eats a wide range of food and does not have any diagnosed vitamin and mineral deficiencies, chances are your child probably will not need a supplement.

Be careful as overdoing vitamin and mineral supplements can lead to excess intake of nutrients such as boron, selenium and vitamin A. 

Vitamin A is also a fat-soluble vitamin, so unlike water-soluble B and C vitamins, any excess intake that is not required by the body cannot be excreted by the kidneys or in stools.

Accumulation of vitamin A, selenium and boron can manifest as hair loss, therefore, encourage children to eat a variety of foods.   This beats relying on supplements to meet the daily requirements of vitamins and minerals for healthy hair.

If you need recipe inspiration, head over to the recipes section where you will find many of the above hair loving vitamins incorporated into family recipes.

Bottomline

In this guide to vitamins and minerals for healthy hair, I recommend including protein foods at every meal to maximise opportunities for children to eat the three essential hair nutrients (biotin, iron and zinc).  

If your child eats a variety of foods, then skip the vitamin counter.  They probably won’t need a vitamin and mineral supplement.  

Unless your child eats livers daily, vitamin A toxicity is rare.  Nevertheless, do consider whether that over the counter vitamin and mineral pills are necessary.  Could they meet their requirements for essential nutrients from food instead?

For further tips, head over to my expert comments on ‘How To Eat Your Way To Healthy Hair, As Told By Experts‘.

Let Me Help

Would you like to meet a children’s dietitian who has successfully helped families solve their nutrition problems from around the world? 

 

Whether you are worried about picky eating, food allergy or need to help your child build a healthy relationship with food, I’ll help you manage these with confidence.

 

For bookings and enquiries email me on bahee.vandebor@gmail.com

Bahee Van de Bor

Specialist Paediatric Dietitian

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