Vitamins and minerals are crucial for healthy growth and development in children. As children grow, it’s important for them to get adequate amount of vitamins and minerals to ensure complete health. Children who eat a well-balanced diet usually do not need any vitamin or mineral supplement. But under certain circumstances, some children develop vitamin and calcium deficiencies and may need a supplement.
So, yes if there are vitamin and mineral deficiencies in your child than do consider a supplement.
When to Supplement?
Those well-rounded, home-cooked healthy meals aren't always possible as they are also loaded with chemicals and preservatives that are harmful for the health and growth of kids. Studies show that almost every kid nowadays take nutritional supplements which include multivitamins, fish oil, gummies, protein and energy shakes such as boost, bars and probiotics though they eat a healthy and well balanced diet. Nowadays, foods that your children are consuming (even healthy food) lacked in essential nutrients and contain artificial ingredients from the day they are manufactured. So parents need to re-examine their children’s nourishment decisions now like never before. That's why pediatricians recommend a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement for:
- Kids who eat well-balanced meals made from fresh, whole foods but still lacks in nutrients
- Choosy eaters or have poor appetite.
- Kids with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, digestive problems, celiac disease or take certain medications.
- Kids eating a lot of junk food, convenience food, and processed food
- Children who follow vegan or vegetarian diets maybe at a risk of calcium, vitamin d, b12, iron and zinc deficiencies
- Children with cystic fibrosis have trouble absorbing fat and, may not absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K adequately
- Kids who drink a lot of carbonated sodas, which will leach essential vitamins and minerals from their bodies
A mother should consider that without a daily supply of essential nutrients to your child would lead to mind and body deterioration because they are not able to fully replace the dying cells in their internal and external organs.
Understanding Essential Vitamins and Minerals
- Vitamin A is important for healthy skin and growth in children. It also helps to strengthen vision and repair tissue. Vitamin A is found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables such as carrots, papaya, mango, bell peppers and so on.
- Vitamin B helps in the production of red blood cells and guide in metabolic activities. Vitamin B is found in eggs, fish, meat, soy, milk, whole grains, and whole grain enriched breads and cereals.
- Vitamin C helps in healing and fighting off several infections such as cold, cough, flu. It also strengthens muscle and tissue. For healthy and standard doses of vitamin C, consider citrus fruits such as lemon and oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, spinach, and broccoli.
- Vitamin D maintains strong teeth and bones, a proper body form, and assists with the absorption of minerals such as calcium. Exposure to sunlight is also a great way to get enough vitamin D as sunlight stimulates the vitamin, which occurs inside the skin. (Remember not to stay in the sun for a long time without SPF protection.) Vitamin D is found in dairy products and fish oils.
- Iron is important for kids, especially during the period of their growth as it contributes to the production of blood and the building muscles. Consider leafy greens, fish, beef, turkey, beans, and fortified breads and cereals as they are excellent sources of iron.
- Calcium is vital for the development and of healthy bones, joints and teeth. Consuming inadequate amounts during childhood can affect their growth and development. It also leads to weak, fragile, and porous bones. Calcium is mainly found in dairy. It is also present in vegetables such as broccoli.
Nutrients needed for kids
It is important to ensure that kids get essential nutrients in the foods they eat because the body cannot naturally produce all the vital vitamins and minerals. A well-balanced diet takes it all to guarantee that kids are getting necessary vitamins and minerals.
But do you have any idea of how much of everything do they need daily?
Following the recommendations can help eliminate your worries:
- Kids need whole grains every day around 1.5-4 ounces depending on age. Consider whole wheat as all brown breads didn’t use whole grains, so check the label.
- An appropriate serving of vegetables (especially leafy greens) means getting 1–3 cups of it per day.
- For fruit, kids should get 1–2 cups or 1-2 whole fruit per day. Fruit juice may count towards it, but it’s important to check the label before buying.
- To meet daily calcium requirements, kids need at least 2 cups of milk a day. Yogurt and cheese are also good milk alternatives. Look for low-fat options to get the healthiest serving.
- Kids should get 2–6.5 ounces of protein per day, depending on age. This is best found in eggs, chicken, beef, and fish. For vegetarian protein choices, look forward to nuts and nuts butter, beans, and peas
Children’s vitamins and minerals supplements may come in fun colours, shapes and sizes. Make sure you’ve explained your child about vitamins and minerals. You also have to explain them that vitamins and minerals supplements are a kind of medicine—not a snack. Do follow label instructions about serving size and dosage instructions. Keep vitamins and supplements out of their reach make sure the items are stored in child-proof containers. For more advice ask their health care provider and doctor.