WHY KIDS NEED IT: By flushing out heavy metals like lead and aluminum found in vaccines, zinc is absolutely essential to brain and nerve development and a strong immune system, says Bonnie Minsky, a nutritionist and president of Nutritional Concepts in Northbrook, Ill. Zinc is critical for proper growth and normal sexual development.
SIGNS YOUR CHILD ISN’T GETTING ENOUGH: A weak immune system (getting every “bug” or illness that goes around), low attention span, poor motor function, and slow growth
HOW MUCH KIDS NEED: 5 mg for kids ages 4 to 8; 8 mg for children ages 9 to 13
WHERE TO FIND IT: High-protein foods like grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, nuts, beans, legumes, whole grains, and some seafood like crab and lobster
FUN ZINC-RICH FOODS: 3 ounces free-range turkey (3.8 mg) Shred for turkey tacos. 1 ounce cashews (1.6 mg) Fold into baked goods for a sweet zinc boost. 1/2 cup chickpeas (1.3 mg) Add to pastas, salads, or soups for a flavorful, nutty topping.