The word “comprehensive” is used to describe sources of nutrition that contain an absorbable selection all nutrients that are normally represented in a child’s regular diet every day. This is provided that the diet is balanced and nutritious, but importantly, the nutrients are balanced. In the real world, we know this is not always the case, because children love convenience foods that are high in sugar and fats, and low in nutrients, also called “empty calories” .
Nutrient formulas are a convenient way of providing all these nutrients in one place, especially if:
- parents don’t have access to enough variety of foods
- children need nutrients sooner rather than later
- children are not tolerating home-cooked foods very well
Focusing on foods with the following nutrients are particularly important for kids to develop properly:
- Calcium & phosphorus: dairy foods, shellfish,
- Iron, magnesium, zinc: beef, chicken, fish, rice
- B-vitamins: fruits and vegetables, nuts
- Less common minerals: sources of molybdenum, chromium, selenium, copper, iodine can be hard to find in regular foods, especially for kids with allergies, or low appetite (eg broccoli, nuts, lentils, fish etc).