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Growth Nutrients
Newsletter • Wednesday 23 September 2020

Dear Friend

What “Growth Nutrients” do children require in their first 6-years of life?

The answer is technical. Let me use an analogy to assist us:

A house is a combination of foundations, floors, walls, windows, doors and a roof. Inside the house can be beds, a fridge, a TV, a mirror and many other things.

Similarly, food is a combination of fat, proteins and carbohydrates. These are called the macro-nutrients. Inside the food can be Calcium, Iron, Vitamin D, and many other micro-nutrients.

As a bath is not very useful without a house, micro-nutrients cannot be eaten as food. They form important minuscule parts of the food we eat.

Food processors’ marketing departments craft convincing messages about micro-nutrients being the be-all and end-all for childhood growth. This is simply misrepresenting facts. They do this because micro-nutrients can cheaply and more importantly, profitably be added to recipes.

As with foundations and walls of houses, the pillars of food are the quality and bioavailability of its fats and proteins. Food scientists agree that animal-sourced fats and proteins are important to child growth and building of their immune systems.

Carbohydrates are one of the macro-nutrients that provide some energy and fiber to the body and assists in carrying some of the micro-nutrients.


What are the good quality, bioavailable protein sources for growing children?

Animal sourced proteins are important to growing children as they carry all the 9 essential amino acids our body cannot produce. 

A growing child requires about 1g of bioavailable protein for each kg of body weight. 

This means a 3-year old toddler weighing 11kg will need about 11g of good quality proteins every day. 

This is found in; two eggs, one small chicken drumstick, 45g cooked beef mince, 330ml full cream milk and 50g StartWell Nutrient-dense cereal. Supplementary to the animal-sourced proteins, some plants like beans, peanuts, chickpeas and tree nuts do carry good quality proteins.


What are the good quality, bioavailable fat sources for growing children?

More than 35% of growing children’s calorie intake should be healthy fats. This will support the development of a healthy immune system. Although difficult to measure and manage, this means at least 55g or about 4 tablespoons of healthy fats are required every day.

Saturated fats (found in dairy and meat) and especially Omega-3 fats (fish) are great for healthy growth. Supplementary to the animal-sourced fats, healthy plant-based fats are available in beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, avocados and chickpeas.

Grain oils and margarine (sunflower and canola fats) should be avoided as they are processed, and so they do not count as healthy and bioavailable fats needed to support child growth.

What about micro-nutrients?

Children must receive enough iron, zinc, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C and a few others, in their diet.

Nutrient-dense meals carry all our micro-nutrient needs. A good example is a simple egg’s egg white & yolk transforming into a chicken with flesh, bones, beak, feathers and all. Yes, the micro-nutrients are invisible but available to shape a perfect chicken!

As children growing up in poor communities don’t have access to enough quality macro-nutrients and variety in their diets, they develop specific micro-nutrient deficiencies.

Micro-nutrient fortification of nutrient-poor food (like porridges) is like trying to warm children with blankets while there are no doors and glass in the openings of the house.

There are no short-cuts. Our growing poor children need daily access to good quality bioavailable fats and proteins, as this is the foundation of healthy physical and mental development.

The Inani Start Well Foundation strives to provide growing children with a nutrient-dense cereal that not only fills the children’s tummies, but also provides their bodies as a whole with those nutrients they need to healthily grow.

We have much work to do!

Friendly regards,

More readings:

Online show available from 10 - 25 Oktober 2020
We have an exciting proposal for our Afrikaans supporters

A unique concert and wine tasting in your own home!

Invite your friends and enjoy a special evening of Wine- and Gin tastings, excellent music and poems by brilliant artists and most important of all - you support our fundraising campaign! 

The concert hamper will be sent to all concert hosts, so you can participate in all the tastings and readings with the artists on stage!

You receive this hamper valued at R 1 500 at your front door prior to the concert:

Book Tickets
The Meal

StartWell is a highly nutritious morning meal aimed for underprivileged communities in South Africa. Due to the value of the ingredients, the product is too expensive to be channeled through normal retail and government sponsored feeding schemes. Therefore, an innovative business model was designed and endorsed by various industry specialists and social impact strategists.

Learn more
Inani Start Well Foundation
Registered NGO: 207-917 NPO

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