Children continue to grow until they’re 16 or 17 and so often have higher needs for certain nutrients than adults. That’s why it’s so important to provide a balanced diet that provides a wide variety of nutrients. In particular, children and teenagers need plenty of protein, which supports the growth and maintenance of muscle. And that’s where fish is a winner. All types of fish including white, oily and shellfish, are excellent sources of protein. Plus, many varieties including cod, haddock, coley, crab and mussels are also rich in iodine, which contributes to the normal growth of children between the ages of three and 18 years.
Calcium and vitamin D are needed for the normal growth and development of bone throughout babyhood, childhood and the teenage years until the age of 18. And for babies and toddlers, oily fish such as mackerel, sardine, herring and fresh tuna are naturally rich in long-chain omega-3 fats, including DHA, which contributes to the normal development of the brain in babies and supports normal brain function throughout life. Meanwhile, iodine, zinc and iron contribute to normal cognitive function, which affects our ability to think, reason and remember things, and pantothenic acid (a B vitamin) supports normal mental performance. This makes these nutrients especially important when children are learning, taking exams and using up a lot of brain power!
Meanwhile, certain varieties of fish contain other nutrients that are especially important for babies and toddlers. In children under the age of three, magnesium contributes to the normal development of bone, iron and iodine contribute to normal cognitive development, and zinc contributes to normal growth.
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