“Vital for life” – this is the meaning of the word vitamin. Together with minerals, vitamins are important compounds that are needed to maintain our bodies functioning properly. Aside from their main role to keep bones strong and organs healthy, vitamins and minerals have the power of battling infections. Certain deficiencies may trigger severe issues. Kids in particular, are predisposed to lacks because they’re picky eaters and they don’t like to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your children are in good health.
Split into two main categories (water and fat soluble), the following are vitamins you might want to include into your kid’s diet.
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamin. It helps discharge energy from carbs and it is required for the proper functioning of the heart, nervous and digestive systems. Parents should include more breakfast cereal and fortified bread into the diet of the little ones. Whole grain cereal should substitute other common cereals that are packed with sugars. Nuts and seeds are also excellent sources of vitamin B1.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Riboflavin is extremely important for the proper growth of the tissues. It is a vitamin that makes sure the skin and eyes are preserved in the best health. Food if the finest source of vitamin B2, and parents should add more dairy products to their kids’ diet plan. Cheese, milk and yoghurt should play an important role, as well as mushrooms and green veggies. Even though it may be tough to persuade your toddler to eat his broccoli, you can always prepare him a delicious treat afterwards with yogurt and delicious fresh fruit.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. This means it won’t remain inside the body for too long, but it does feature a wealth of benefits. It promotes healthy connective tissues, healthy muscles and great skin. Excellent sources are citrus fruit (oranges, grapefruit, lemons), kiwis, strawberries, tomatoes, vegetables. Most parents are used to supplementing the diet of their kids with a vitamin C tablet. This is not the healthiest approach, especially since pills in general are not advised for children. It’s best to sick to freshly-squeezed orange juice every morning instead.
Vitamin D helps absorbs calcium, and it promotes tooth and bone formation. Excellent sources are dairy products, milk in particular, but also fish oil. One of the healthiest forms of vitamin D is natural sunlight, and in special circumstances a pediatrician may advise parents to supplement their children’s diets with a tablet.
Calcium is required in kids because it helps with bone growth and strengthening. Excellent sources of calcium are dairy products, including yogurt, milk, cheese, tofu and orange juice that it calcium-fortified. This essential mineral prevents the development of certain bone-related diseases as kids get older; one of the most common illnesses is osteoporosis. Fractures are extremely common when the body doesn’t get the right amount of calcium.
Kids need amounts of iron in different quantities. Usually, this depends on age. Breastfeeding kids have enough iron from their mothers; however, due to the growing process a child’s necessities will begin to alter. Infants between 7 and 12 months require 11 mg of iron/day. Babies under 1 year should receive iron-fortified cereal apart from breast milk. As for toddlers, they necessitate 7 mg of iron/day, whereas kids with ages between 4 and 8 need 10 mg/day. In terms of food sources rich in iron, we should mention: tuna, salmon, poultry, eggs, tofu, dried fruit, and leafy greens.
EFAs – essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids help with the regulation of the nervous system. They also aid with cell regeneration and strengthening of the cardiovascular system. EFAs help the system absorb important nutrients and they build immunity; they’re incredibly necessary for healthy vision and brain health. Essential fatty acids are omega-3s and omega-6s. Both are help decrease cholesterol and reduce inflammation. Excellent food sources of these healthy fats are: salmon, kale, flaxseeds, sardines, and walnuts.
Potassium is an important mineral that works with sodium to make sure the water balance of the body is properly maintained. Potassium helps with the proper maintenance of blood pressure too, it keeps the muscles functioning properly and it may even diminish the risks of certain health conditions as kids grow older, such as osteoporosis and kidney stones. Great sources are vegetables and fresh fruit, although for a parent is can be a challenge to persuade their kids to include these into their diet.
Vitamin A is vital for kids. Its role is to help with bone growth and vision health. It can also help protect your toddler’s body from unpleasant infections. Vitamin A also promotes cell and tissue growth and health inside the body; it strengthens the nails and hair, as well as preserves the healthy aspect of the skin. Best food sources of vitamin A are: colorful fruits and veggies.
Vitamin E helps keep children in good health. It is also recommended for their proper growth and development. Vitamin E helps the system ward off germs by boosting the immune system; it makes sure that the blood vessels are maintained wide enough for the blood to flow properly, and last but not least, it is a great help for the cells of the body too. A lot of kids don’t get enough vitamin E into their diet, and it is because fruits and vegetables are not among a toddler’s favorite foods. In this case, a pediatrician may recommend supplementation.
Both vitamins and minerals are a crucial part of the diet of any health child. Sadly, very few parents pay attention to their needs, and are rather focused on their wants. Sweets are never a good idea to persuade a child to eat his/her veggies. Opt for healthy snacks instead like yoghurt with honey and berries for example. There are hundreds of other alternatives too, and as a parent you have to be dedicated and informed if you want your little one to grow strong and healthy.