A-Z of healthy foods for kids daily_blabber February 17, 2011 Whatever their age, eating a balanced diet is crucial to a child's development and general health. Check out our A-Z guide of foods that will ensure your child is healthy in mind and body. kids diet 1AntioxidantsAntioxidants are substances in foods that protect the body's cells and DNA from damage caused by free radicals (by-products of use of oxygen in the body).< kids diet 2BreakfastBreakfast really is the most important meal of the day: in the morning your child’s blood sugar is low, so skipping breakfast means they will be lacking the kids diet 3Calcium Calcium is a vital part of any child's diet, since it strengthens bones and helps to keep them active. From our partner kids diet 4Vitamin DProduced by the skin when it is exposed to direct sunlight, vitamin D helps to keep your child’s immune system strong. kids diet 5Essential fatty acids (EFAs)Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are polyunsaturated oils found inseeds, vegetable oils and oily fish, vital for allbodily functions, including bra kids diet 6Fresh fruit, vegetables and saladsFresh fruits, vegetables and salads, particularly organic, are excellent sources of immune boosting vitamins, minerals and enzymes. kids diet 7Hummus (and other plant proteins)Hummus is a puree made from chickpeas and tahini (sesame paste), both of which are plant proteins. From our partner kids diet 8IronIron appears to play a vital role in concentration. kids diet 9Juice and fizzy drinksStick to one glass of juice per day for children, as too much can contribute to tooth cavities and other dental problems. kids diet 10LabelsRead them! kids diet 11MineralsMinerals have very varied functions in the body, including nerve and muscle function and as structural components such as bones and teeth. From our partner kids diet 12Nuts and seedsAs long as there is no nut allergy, nuts and seeds are a great form of protein for your child, and rich in fibre and antioxidants such as selenium and vitami kids diet 13OatsOats really are a 'superfood', since they are not only a fibre-rich energy food, they are also packed with vitamins B and E, potassium and zinc, which all help kids diet 14ProteinProtein is vital for growing children – needed for repair and maintenance of the body, but also for energy. kids diet 15QuinoaA type of seed used in South America to make bread, quinoa is a great alternative to pasta or rice. From our partner kids diet 16Refined carbohydrates and sugarRefined carbohydrates are starches that have had the fibre and nutrients removed during processing - foods such as white bread, white pasta, kids diet 17SaltCurrent advice for salt intake for children from the Food Standards Agency recommends the following: kids diet 18Trans fatsAlthough trans fats occur naturally in some meat and dairy foods, the biggest source in the Western diet is from processed foods such as cakes and biscuits. kids diet 19VitaminsVitamins (particularly the water-soluble vitamin C and B vitamins) can be vulnerable and easily destroyed. From our partner kids diet 20WholegrainsChoosing wholegrain varieties of bread, pasta and rice is best for optimal nutritional value, as wholegrains are good sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins kids diet 21WaterWater makes up more than half of body weight, and is essential for all bodily functions. kids diet 22ZincZinc is vital for your child’s immunity, and has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, so helps to fight off infections. 1 / 22 Previous Next JOIN THE CONVERSATION FROM OUR NETWORK What's Popular 1Louise Dixon married a man who was serving a life sentence. Last week, he walked free. 2Kate Middleton played an unofficial key role in her friend's wedding. 3The tough love advice Michelle Bridges gave Steve Willis before he left for Survivor. 4One of your favourite, affordable fashion brands has just launched a maternity collection. 5Olivia Newton-John's husband hadn't seen Grease. Until John Travolta intervened. FROM OUR NETWORK Want more from mamamia?