Growing years are the foundation of our health for life. The body and its functions develop and grow fastest during the initial years of our lives. So it is apparent and understandable that most mothers spend sleepless nights worrying about their children’s food intake, which in so many cases is abysmally low and their taste for healthy food is non-existent.
It is a known fact that most of the kids are fussy eaters and infants on breast milk are also deprived of a few nutrients in which breastfeed is deficient. In this feature we will discuss various vitamins that are absolutely essential for infants and growing children.
Best Vitamins For Children And Babies
Vitamin A is also known as retinol and rightly so because it is essential for good eyesight. Retina which reflects the light hitting the eye and makes us capable of seeing has its functionality dependant on vitamin A. Apart from this primary function it also maintains and strengthens our immune system.
Vitamins also aids production of red blood cells and absolutely necessary especially among the infants as the breastfeed is low on iron and babies usually have to survive on their iron reserves in the body for the first six months of their lives. Deficiency of vitamin A is associated with night blindness among children. Food items like liver (Pate’), spinach, broccoli, carrots, dried herbs, dark leafy greens like mustard, beetroot are some rich sources of this vitamin.
Vitamin B is a group of Water soluble vitamins and is called vitamin B complex. It includes vitamin B1,2,3,5,6,7,9 and12. All these vitamins play an important role in our daily nutrition. Vitamin B helps in synthesizing fats and carbohydrates to convert them into readily usable energy.They also have a key role in regulating the metabolism of our body.
Deficiency of Vitamin B like biotin are known to cause retarded growth and neurological disorders among the growing children. Fish, cheese, eggs, fortifies soy, whole grains, potatoes etc can help your child in getting their daily vitamin B requirement.
Vitamin C is water soluble nutrient and is very easily flushed out of the body and therefore regular intake of food items rich in this vitamin is necessary. It is responsible for maintaining healthy gums and teeth. Its deficiency is associated with loose teeth, swelling and painful gums. Children and infants have milk and secondary teeth protruding every now and then, this makes this vitamin absolutely indispensable.
Vitamin C is a strong anti-oxidant as well. Its effectiveness is also proven in avoiding cold and flu which is a companion of children and infants who seem to be contracting this condition very easily. The nature of food sources which are rich in vitamin C also have high water content which levels up the fluid intake. Example of such food items are lemons, oranges and other citrus fruits. Broccoli, carrots, guavas, papaya and kiwi fruit are also healthy sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin D is responsible for calcium absorption in the body which is necessary for bone growth, density and strength. In fact it is a norm in many cultures to expose small babies to sun light for sometime in the day. Countries which receive limited sunlight usually have doctors administering vitamin D supplements to babies and children.The single largest source of this vitamin is direct exposure to sunlight which synthesizes this vitamin in the body using fat reserves available in the tissues. Apart from sun light , mushrooms, cod liver oil, oily fish, fortifies breakfast cereals are the food sources of this vitamin.
This is a fat soluble vitamin and is essential for skin health. Growing children facing issues around acne and its marks can benefit largely from this vitamin. Ointments based on this vitamin help the marks from outside and oral intake acts as an anti-oxidant cleaning the body from inside.It also plays a role in conversion of nutrient to energy. Children are also prone to injuries and wounds that are expeditiously healed by this vitamin. Nuts like peanuts, pine nuts, almonds are some of the richest sources of vitamin E.