- Essential nutrients are most important for children in that you don’t get a second chance to nourish them during growth. Nutrition is key for early childhood development. Children, who fail to get all of the essential nutrients that they need, do not reach their full height potential and do not fully develop neurologically. This means that children are shorter and not as smart as they could be from the lack of essential nutrients. The World Bank refers this as “hidden hunger,” because often these outcomes (i.e., short stature and lack of mental ability) are not realized until the child is fully grown.
Foods should be fortified with vitamins and minerals to prevent malnutrition and hidden hunger (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.06.053). However, without care in selecting which nutrients are added to foods, children may still fall short of needs. Studies from the U.S. showed that children, who just eat regular meals, don’t get all of the essential nutrients that they need. As such, early childhood development does not occur properly.
Even if children ate regular foods, fortified foods, and took a vitamin supplement, they wouldn’t get the right amount of and all of essential nutrients. It is ill-advised to give children multivitamin/multi-mineral supplements, because they have been show to provide too much of some of the essential nutrients, which could be toxic over the long term (http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(12)00512-4/abstract).
The most important thing that a parent can do for their children is to provide nutrient-rich foods to support optimal growth and development. The Nutrient Shake contains every essential nutrient appropriate for a child aged 4 years and older. Children are often picky eaters so using fortified foods is an excellent option to assure that nutritional needs are met during childhood development (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2013.10.012).