Parents want to ensure that their child is healthy and strong. Nothing is more important than eating a well-balanced diet; however, many children can be picky eaters, which makes it challenging to ensure that your child is eating the foods that they need to thrive. Vitamins and supplements are the best way to ensure that your child is receiving the vitamins and minerals that they need to maintain health.
A multivitamin should be used to fill in any nutritional gaps that your child may have. This occurs when the child is not receiving enough of vitamins or minerals to maintain health. Children can have a nutritional gap even if they are not picky eaters, which is where a multivitamin comes into play. Children's multivitamins contain the nutrients that your child needs to grow properly. Let's take a look at some of the most important vitamins that a child needs to maintain his/her health.
Vitamin D – Vitamin D is used by the body to properly absorb calcium. In fact, WebMD reports that clinical trials suggest that children may need ten times the current recommended dose of vitamin D. One reason that children do not get enough of this vitamin is the increased use of sunscreen to protect against skin damage and skin cancer. Sunscreen blocks the body's ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight. In addition to this, many children spend the daylight hours in school and are not exposed to sunlight. When enough vitamin D is not consumed, growth delay can occur. The body uses this vitamin and calcium to help build strong teeth and bones.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to boost the immune system and decrease oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress is one of the leading causes of chronic disease. Vitamin C improves connective tissues, the skin and builds healthy muscles. This all-important vitamin is found in colorful fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and citrus fruits.
B Vitamins – B vitamins are used by the body to support the circulatory and nervous systems, aid in metabolism and energy production. These vitamins are found in beef, pork, chicken, fish, nuts, dairy products, eggs and soybeans. Children who eat a strict vegan diet are at an increased risk of developing B vitamins deficiencies. Therefore, it is recommended that all children eating a strict diet take a multivitamin.
Vitamin A – Vitamin A is used for bone and tissue repair, normal development of the eyes, skin and immune system. This vitamin is found in yellow and orange vegetable, including squash, yams and carrots. Vitamin A can also be found in dairy products and eggs.
Iron – Iron is essential for the development of healthy red blood cells and muscles. Iron deficiency often occurs in females after they begin menstruation. Iron can be found in red meats, beans, spinach and prunes.
Who can develop a nutritional deficiency?
Children who are picky eaters and those with food allergies are at an increased risk of developing nutritional deficiencies. In addition to this, certain chronic illnesses like celiac disease, Crohn's disease and imbalanced gut flora in the intestinal tract can increase the risk of a nutritional deficiency. If your child has digestive problems, is a picky eater, has food sensitivities or follows a vegan diet, they are at an increased risk of developing a nutritional deficiency and could benefit from a multivitamin.
Healthline reports that the following symptoms can be an indicator of a nutritional deficiency.
• Breathing difficulties
• Concentration problems
• Crowded teeth
• Delayed growth
• Delayed speech
• Frequent illnesses
• Hair loss
• Heart palpitations
• Menstrual issues
• Pale skin
• Unusual food cravings
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, he/she may require a multivitamin. Multivitamins provide our child with the nutrients that they may not be receiving from their diet or that their body cannot extract from the foods that they eat. Malnutrition can lead to a number of health issues that can affect your child's ability to grow in stature and develop in mental acuity.
Nutrition starts with the foods that you are serving your children. To help prevent nutritional delays, feed your child a diet filled with whole foods rather than convenience foods. Your child's diet should include whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats and colorful fruits and vegetables. If you believe your child may be suffering from a nutritional deficiency, talk with your doctor. Then, begin giving him/her a high-quality multivitamin made specifically for children.