Special Nutrients for Healthy Children

Special Nutrients for Healthy Children


Come, Nellie, let me see how tall you are
growing! I can tell you have been getting plenty of
calcium – did you know that our bodies use small amounts of minerals like calcium to
build strong bones and teeth – like yours! Thabo’s teeth are strong too – I know
because last week, I was trying to feed him a piece of squash and he bit me! And that
really hurt, Thabo! Yes, Sisi, every day I try to give the children
at least one or two foods that are rich in calcium, like milk, maas, yoghurt or canned
fish with soft bones. Excellent. Are they also getting enough foods
with Vitamin A? I try to give them plenty of carrots, butternut,
sweet potato and spinach. Sho, I have to get creative with these two, Sisi. They will not
eat unless I make it tasty! But they also get Vitamin A when they eat their eggs, milk,
yellow and orange fruits like mango,peaches and apricots…they love eating those.
Mama says some of the rainbow colours give us special kinds of nutrition. Orange, yellow
and dark green are good colours for getting Vitamin A! So, we eat lots of orange and yellow
fruits and vegetables… and I don’t mind eating dark green vegetables either, unless
Gogo is cooking them. I thought of a catchy saying HOORAY FOR VITAMIN A! 
Nellie, it sounds like you know a lot about healthy foods. Do you know anything about
iron? Mama says iron is important for pregnant women,
breastfeeding mothers and their children. It helps them to grow and stay healthy. We
only need a small amount of iron, but when we don’t get enough, it makes us feel weak
and tired. People can get enough iron by eating some meat – especially meats like liver
and kidney…which I don’t really like but I will eat them if Mama cooks them) OR they
can get iron by eating spinach, cooked dry beans or fortified mielie meal.  The iron
found in vegetables, like spinach can get into our bodies more easily if we eat it with
foods that are rich in Vitamin C, like oranges naartjies or guavas. So, Mama gives us juicy
oranges or naartjies when they are in season. Nellie, I can see that you are growing into
a healthy AND smart young person! Nomsa, you must be so proud of her… Sisi… Sometimes I feel like Nellie is teaching
me how to be a better parent! Mama, you are the best mother in the world. Thank you for looking after us and feeding
us with love and good sense so that we will always stay healthy… I love you.

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