Vital Vitamins for Children

Vital Vitamins for Children

Children need certain vitamins and minerals in their diets in order to stay healthy. Different vitamins perform different functions in the body. Most vitamins can consumed through a child’s diet, which is why it’s important for kids to eat a variety of healthy foods each day. If your child is deficient in any vitamins, her doctor may recommend vitamin supplements.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for optional immune function. It also helps protect the skin, eyes, and respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts from infections. Children who suffer from vitamin A deficiency may be affected by night blindness and the inability to fight off infections. While most children in the United States are not at risk for vitamin A deficiency, some children especially at risk include those without access to proper health care, those living in poverty or with poor diets, and those with diseases or conditions that cause malabsorption of fats. Foods rich in vitamin A include beef liver, carrots, spinach and kale. Too much vitamin A can be toxic, so speak to your child’s pediatrician about the appropriate amount of vitamin A that he should have.

Vitamin C

Children must have an adequate level of vitamin C in their diets to prevent scurvy and to boost their immune systems. For children living in older housing where lead paint may be present, vitamin C can lower their risk of lead poisoning. Children can take vitamin C supplements if their diets are lacking in foods high in vitamin C. These foods include citrus fruits, strawberries, red peppers and broccoli.

Iron

Kids need enough iron in their diets to prevent iron-deficiency anemia. Iron allows the red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Toddlers and teenage girls are especially at risk for iron-deficiency anemia. Symptoms include fatigue, paleness, rapid heartbeat and dizziness. Good sources of iron include red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes and leafy green vegetables. Too much iron can be toxic, so speak to your child’s doctor before supplementing with iron pills.

Calcium and Vitamin D

Children need calcium in their diets for good bone growth. Calcium during childhood and teen years is important to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis later in the adulthood. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb and use calcium. Deficiencies in vitamin D and calcium can cause rickets, a bone disease. Good source of calcium include dairy products, calcium-fortified orange juice and collard greens. Sources of vitamin D include fortified milk and sunshine.

Most children do not need supplemental or minerals, but if your child is very picky eater or has a poor diet, they may. Some vegetarians may also need vitamins to meet all of their nutritional needs.

Children’s Multivitamins

Many do not have all of the recommended amounts of the vitamins and minerals and most don’t have enough calcium. Multivitamins for older children are usually given as chewable tablet. Finding yours child’s favorite character may make taking vitamins easy and fun.

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