We need vitamins and minerals to grow, to see properly, to make bones, muscles and organs, and to battle infections. If we don’t get enough of all the vitamins and minerals, it can lead to serious problems.
Vitamins and minerals are vital for healthy growth as well as development in children. Youngsters who eat a well-balanced diet do not normally need a vitamin or mineral supplement. However, some kids are at risk for deficiencies and may require a supplement.
Which Children Require Vitamin Supplements?
Given the truth of time-crunched parents, those well-rounded, home-cooked meals aren’t always a possibility. That’s why paediatricians may suggest a daily multivitamin or mineral supplement for:
- Children who aren’t eating regular, balanced meals which are made from fresh, whole foods
- Finicky eaters who simply aren’t getting enough nutritional value
- Children with persistent medical conditions such as asthma or – alternatively – digestive problems, particularly if they’re taking medications. (Check to make sure to talk with your child’s doctor before beginning a supplement if your child is on medication.)
- Children who consume a tonne of fast food, convenience food in addition to processed food
- Kids who are on a vegetarian or a vegan diet (they may require an iron supplement), a dairy-free diet (they may require a calcium supplement), or other limited diets
- Children who drink heaps of fizzy drinks as these can lead to leaching vitamins and minerals from their bodies
Vitamins Your Children Need
You find vitamin A in liver, meat, milk, eggs, and orange fruit and veggies such as carrots as well as sweet potatoes. You require vitamin A for eyesight, skin, growth, development in addition to immune functioning.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
You will find vitamin B1 in fish, meat, yeast extracts (like Marmite), wholemeal breads as well as fortified breakfast cereals. Vitamin B1 assists with releasing energy from foods, so that the nervous system and muscles can work properly.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
You find vitamin B2 in milk, yoghurt, meat, cheese, yeast extracts, eggs, wholemeal breads as well as fortified breakfast cereals. Vitamin B2 assists with releasing energy from food.
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
You find Vitamin B3 in meat, fish, chicken, nuts as well as yeast extracts. Vitamin B3 also helps to release energy from food.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
You find vitamin B6 in meat, fish, wholegrain foods, vegetables and nuts. Vitamin B6 is responsible for releasing energy from protein and helps with red blood cell production in addition to brain functioning.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
You will find vitamin B12 in animal foods including meat, fish, eggs and milk, and also in some fortified breakfast cereals. Vitamin B12 assists promoting growth.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
You find vitamin C in fruits as well as vegetables, particularly citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, capsicums and potatoes. Vitamin C develops collagen and helps you fight infections as well as absorb iron from food. It also maintains teeth, bones and gums in a healthy state. You could lose some vitamin C when you cook food.
Our bodies make the vast majority of the vitamin D we need when we get sufficient direct sunlight on our skin. There are tiny amounts in oily fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks, butter and margarine. Vitamin D assists you with absorbing calcium to keep bones strong and healthy.
You will find vitamin E in sunflower and canola oils, margarine, seeds and nuts. Vitamin E improves your immune system and assists with the development of healthy skin and eyes.
You find vitamin K in green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, and also from eggs as well as beans. The bacteria in your body also makes vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for helping your blood to clot.
Are you anxious to discover more about nutrition for children? If you are, then you should really do our Nutrition for Children Course. For more information, please follow this link.