Kids are not small adults, and their physical and nutritional requirements differ from a grownup. A child has a larger proportional body surface area, thinner skin, higher heart and breathing rate and an immature immune system. They have a higher metabolic rate as they are growing rapidly, and their cognitive functions are still developing.
Children also face different physical challenges to adults – they have a greater requirement for nutrients due to their dynamic development, and the environmental risks they face - from infections, injury or pollutants, are handled differently by an immature set of body systems. And kids are especially susceptible during their ‘development windows’, which are the growth phases they experience. If the nutrients they need during these times are not available, function and structure may be permanently altered.
Nutrition is a significant factor that influences a child’s development. Kids require a variety of nutrient-dense foods in order to grow and develop properly, and evidence shows that nutrition in the early years is linked to a child’s health outcomes (and academic performance) in later years. Good nutrition in childhood is crucial in preventing nutrient-related disorders such as short stature, delayed puberty, poor bone health and obesity. While severe nutritional issues in Kiwi kids are rare, it is not uncommon for nutrient deficiencies to contribute to illness. For example, iron deficiency is high amongst New Zealand children, which can leave a child susceptible to infection. A lack of vitamin D is also common, and this can increase the risk of respiratory illnesses. New Zealand diets are also typically energy rich, which means that our children could be both undernourished and obese.
The best way for a child to get all the nutrients they need is through a healthy, varied and balanced diet. Protein builds growing bodies, carbohydrates are their most important energy source, fats are used for energy, nervous system development and nutrient absorption. Healthy foods can provide all the micronutrients their bodies need for normal growth and development.
So why supplement? Kids can be picky, have additional requirements or a restricted diet, and they may not get everything they need every day. A child’s nutrient requirements increase when they experience ‘growth spurts’ or when they are unwell, and an over consumption of junk food may mean they overlook healthier snack options. This is when good quality supplements, like Radiance Kids, can help cover their nutritional bases, ensuring they receive all the essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements they need to set the stage for their life-long health and wellbeing. To learn more about the the Radiance Kids range of supplements, click here.