Nutrition & The Body
Nutritionists, pediatricians and other health professionals have long recognized the importance of good nutritional practices during childhood.

Diet and exercise habits acquired during prime developmental years become the foundation for your child’s health and vitality as he grows and matures.

From birth to two years is a critical time in the growth, health and behavioral development of your child. If your youngster’s diet is nutritionally deficient during this early period, it can have immediate consequences such as delayed motor and mental development – and longer term consequences in the form of problems with intellectual performance, work capacity, and overall health throughout adolescence and adulthood.

Clearly, good nutrition is essential to the achievement of your child’s potential.

Protein
After water, protein makes up the largest percentage of a child’s body weight.

Children need protein for
  • Growth
  • In order for their bodies to grow, children need protein. Without sufficient protein in their diets, children do not grow to normal height.
  • Tissue repair
  • As with adults, protein builds, maintains, repairs and replaces tissue within your child’s body. A child’s muscles, organs and immune system are made up primarily of protein.
  • Production of essential hormones and enzymes
  • Protein sources provide a child’s body with essential amino acids which are crucial to the production of hormones, enzymes and antibodies.
  • Energy
  • Protein provides a source of energy for children, especially when stores of dietary fat and carbohydrates are depleted.

A 3-oz. serving of Pediagro supplies your child with 10 grams of the highest quality protein.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the most important and readily available source of energy for your child.

The two major forms of carbohydrates are:
  1. Simple sugars (simple carbohydrates) such as fructose, glucose, lactose and those found in nutritious whole fruits
  2. Starches (complex carbohydrates) found in starchy vegetables, grains, rice, breads and cereals
All carbohydrates are broken down by the body into simple sugars which are absorbed into the bloodstream.

As the sugar level in the bloodstream rises, the pancreas releases insulin (a hormone) which moves sugar from the bloodstream into cells where it is used as a source of energy.

Some carbohydrates (such as those that come from simple sugars and highly refined grains like white flour and white rice) break down easily and cause your child’s blood sugar level to rise quickly.
  • Eating a diet that is high in carbohydrates that cause rapid rises in blood sugar may increase the risk of developing health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
Complex carbohydrates, by contrast, break down more slowly, allowing blood sugar to rise more gradually.

The glycemic index (GI) is a system of tracking how fast a carbohydrate triggers a rise in blood sugar levels. A high GI food will trigger a dramatic upward spike, while a low GI food will cause a small rise.

A 3-oz. serving of Pediagro supplies your child with 10 grams of
low-glycemic carbohydrates.

Vitamins and Minerals
The human body doesn’t manufacture vitamins or minerals. We receive these vital nutrients from the food we eat and the supplements we take.

The vitamins and minerals in your child’s diet
  • boost the immune system
  • support normal growth and development
  • help cells and organs do their jobs
Fat Soluble Vitamins
(stored in the body)
Vitamin A
is essential for eyes, skin and proper function of the immune system
Vitamin D
builds and maintains teeth and bones and enhances calcium absorption
Vitamin E
is an antioxidant and helps form red blood cells, tissues and muscles
Vitamin K
helps blood to clot so cuts and scrapes stop bleeding
Water Soluble Vitamins
(not stored by the body - must be consumed daily)
Vitamin B1 – Thiamine
aids in muscle coordination and proper nerve function
Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

necessary for the metabolism of all foods and the release of energy to cells
Vitamin B3 – Niacin

helps to convert food to energy, contributes to a healthy digestive tract and nervous system
Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid

necessary for the manufacture of adrenal hormones and chemicals that regulate nerve function
Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

aids in the metabolism of protein and carbohydrates, promotes nerve and brain function
Vitamin B12 – Cyanocobalamin
builds genetic material, helps form red blood cells
Biotin
essential for proper body chemistry
Folic Acid
necessary for the manufacture of genetic material
Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid

strengthens blood vessel walls, helps maintain healthy gums, aids in the absorption of iron
Minerals
Calcium
helps build strong bones and teeth, aids muscle and nerve function
Phosphorus

works with calcium to build bones and teeth, aids metabolism and body chemistry
Magnesium
needed by cells for genetic material and bone growth
Potassium
maintains regular fluid balance, aids nerve and muscle function
Iron
essential for making hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to body cells
Zinc
essential to digestion and metabolism
Selenium
antioxidant
Copper

necessary to make skin, hair and other pigments, red blood cells, connective tissue and nerve fibers
Manganese
necessary for normal tendon and bone structure
Molybdenum
aids in metabolism, helps regulate iron storage
Source: http://www.changingshape.com/resources/references/vmchart.asp

A 3-oz. serving of Pediagro supplies your child with 12 essential vitamins and minerals.