Needed for

Good sources



bone building

dairy, fortified soy products, bok choy, broccoli, almonds, dried figs, oranges

Nut and plant sources have less calcium but are excellent supplements to other higher-calcium foods. Children need adequate physical activity in combination with calcium for healthy bone-building.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs)

brain and nervous-system development

nuts (particularly walnuts), almonds, nut oils, flaxseed oil, cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel), fish oils (cod liver)

Studies show that the typical American diet is low in EFAs. For younger children who don’t like fish or are allergic to nuts, try ground flaxseed in hot cereal.


brain and healthy cell development

meats, beans, fortified grain products, leafy green vegetables

Nonmeat sources of iron need to be combined with vitamin C for proper absorption.


healthy development of entire body

meats, dairy, beans, nuts and seeds, nut butters, whole grains, soy products

Nuts and seeds pose a choking hazard for small children. Some children have allergic reactions to dairy, nuts, and soy products.