Spring is a period of vitamin deficiency – this is a well-known truth. So how do you plan your children’s spring meals to protect them from vitamin deficiencies and the so-called “spring fatigue”?
After all, it is easy to see that with the beginning of spring, many children become disturbed by sleep, apathy, lethargy, irritability, resentment, and tearfulness; they are often capricious, suffer from acute respiratory infections, their appetite changes – it goes down, then up; discipline violations are constantly repeated at school.
It is during this period of the year that the biorhythms of organs and systems are desynchronized, the balance in immune defense changes, and there is a particularly high need for physiologically active substances: vitamins, trace elements, and antioxidants. Experts have found that in the spring, vitamin C deficiency is detected in the blood of schoolchildren in 40-90% of cases, vitamin E – in one-third, and vitamin A – in more than a quarter of the subjects.
Therefore, parents should, first of all, pay attention to a healthy, balanced diet for their children.
What should parents do if they notice signs of spring fatigue in their children?
First of all, it is necessary to establish good sleep for the child: 6-7 year-olds should sleep at least twelve hours, 8-9-year-olds – ten to eleven, 10-12-year-olds – ten, 13-15-year-olds – at least nine and half hours.
Children need to spend at least 1-2 hours outdoors every day.
It is recommended to limit TV viewing and computer work at this time of year.
Children’s diets should be rich in both proteins (meat or fish should be on the menu every day) and vitamins.
Fruit juices, dried fruits (they are poured with boiling water, insisted, but not boiled), and bananas are very useful. Green tea has a healing effect.
Rosehip infusion is an indispensable source of vitamins and a good immunostimulant. For greater benefit, it can be sweetened with natural honey.
And honey is known to be a storehouse of vitamins, biologically active substances, and trace elements.
Citrus fruits and kiwi will help us replenish our vitamin C stores. But such exotic foods can cause allergies. Include sauerkraut (not store-bought with preservatives, but your own, fermented on the windowsill), and black currants, which are in the lead in terms of ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, compared to citrus fruits.
When planning spring meals for children, it is very important not to forget about fresh greens. Every day, you should eat familiar and unusual green crops: lettuce, parsley, dill, cilantro, watercress, green onions, and sauerkraut. By the way, it is not difficult to grow green onions and watercress at home on the windowsill.
The child’s lethargy and pallor can be explained by low hemoglobin due to iron deficiency. Pomegranates, fresh apples, and carrots will help you with this. By the way, nibbling on carrots just like that is not as healthy as eating them dressed in a salad. Carrots contain provitamin A, which is absorbed only when dressed with sour cream or any other sauce containing fat (mayonnaise is not desirable).
Fresh cabbage salads have a beneficial effect on memory.
If a child works at a computer, he or she needs foods containing beta-carotene: carrots, tomatoes, and red peppers.
Dairy products, eggs, and fish, especially sea fish, are essential for replenishing B vitamins.
Children should receive 150-200 grams of vegetables, fruits, and berries daily. At least part of the vegetables and fruits should be given raw.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are also good for a healthy diet, but remember how to prepare them properly: wash them with running cold water and, without defrosting, put them in boiling water (there should be little water), so the loss of vitamins will be minimal.
Be careful when introducing early vegetables and fruits, as they are often packed with growth stimulants and nitrates. There is no benefit from them, and there will be plenty of stomach problems.
Rosy cheeks, a surge of energy, and an improvement in the child’s mood are the best proof of your fight against vitamin deficiency and reduced immunity. With this mood, let’s go to meet spring!