Some important chemicals required for the building of right structure and functioning of the organs include vitamins. Vitamins come entirely from plants and plant foods. To get sufficient quantity of vitamins we must select foods for our children from fairly a wide variety. A good diet for a kid is not so much a question of money as of knowing how to choose and prepare foods properly. One cannot live very long on an unbalanced diet, no matter how much we may spend for food of our children. If we try to get along on a poor diet our children will soon find themselves in need of medical care.
Kids and teenagers grow fast. To maintain that growth, they need good nutrition, including plenty of vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, kids today don’t always get what they need. One out of every ten children are deficient on iron, for example, and teenage girls need extra. Many teens, male and female, are low on zinc.
Vitamin and mineral supplements can be very helpful here. Give children under age two vitamin and minerals supplements only if doctor recommends them. Many doctors do suggest an iron supplement or a formula containing iron for babies under 24 months, especially if mother is breastfeeding. For young children over age two, liquid multi supplements are convenient—all you have to do is add a squirt to their morning milk or juice.
How can one be sure that their children are getting their vitamins? The standard answer is to make sure they eat a variety of foods, including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s tough enough to get a six-year-old to eat vegetables—just try getting a sixteen-year-old to eat them!
Kids need vitamins in order to see the world around, to grow, to make bones and connective tissue, to fight infections and cancer, to heal wounds, to stop from bleeding to death, and to keep their teeth from falling out.
Diets of our children not self-sufficient. We have to depend on a steady supply from outside sources for these vital compounds to fulfill the needs of our children. Vitamins cannot be manufactured in sufficient amounts by the body and must be taken in from the environment. They occur naturally in many foods (vitamin D is manufactured by the body in response to sunlight exposure–15 minutes a week is all that is needed). Vitamins are also available as commercial nutritional supplements.
By eating whole foods (fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, etc.), your child can get the necessary vitamins in the healthiest way. Vitamins occur in foods in forms that are the easiest for the body to use and are accompanied by important related compounds.
Kids are often picky eaters. As children grow, their tastes change, and over time they should begin to eat a well balanced diet. A vitamin “safety net” takes the pressure off feeding issues during the early years. Without pressure or worry, one can be free to be creative about increasing whole foods in their child’s diet, knowing that vitamins are present to help your child grow strong and healthy. Preschool children often love food that is shaped like something interesting–a face, a clown, a dinosaur, a favorite hero, etc.
Parents should persuade their kids to eat nutritious diet, which is essential for their proper growth of brain and physique.
Deficiency of vitamin D in children can cause rickets. The bones become soft and easily bent. In young infants there may be a marked softening of the bones of the skull. Premature infants are more prone to have rickets. They must therefore be given adequate amounts of vitamin D.
Babies need just an average of 400 IU of vitamin D per day to prevent rickets. Nursing mothers should also take lots of vitamin D and to try to get their babies outside the house several times a week, but please avoid sunburn. Vitamin D supplements should be given to make sure the child is getting something he or she critically needs. Check the milk formula you are giving your child to make sure it contains vitamin D and in sufficient amounts.
Not many of us eat a balanced diet, nor do many of us give our children a daily balanced diet either. The busy schedule of parents and the stresses of modern living have made sure we are not home long enough or have enough time to prepare regularly balanced meals for our children and ourselves. Indeed, more people are eating out most times. Now, this is a serious problem for us as adults, but is even more serious for children still growing. It doesn’t take a genius to get a feeling that fast food is extraordinarily damaging to one’s health.
There are periods of life in children when they are most choosy about their food, what they eat; we are all familiar with the fast-food phenomenon. In fact, some of them don’t even want to eat at all. One of the challenges of parenting is to ensure their children to eat a balanced diet, but how often does this actually happen?
Indeed, it is recommended that children who began eating solid food at six months be given vitamin supplements by age one. Due to the likely difficulty in getting your child to swallow a pill form of a vitamin, it might be easier to try a liquid form. Most children acquire adequate vitamins in breast milk and infant formula before their first birthday if they do not suffer from any disease preventing them from doing so.
Children that are deficient in vitamins suffer from the same symptoms and signs specific to the vitamin they lack. Indeed, because children’s body and immune systems are not developed as those of adults, they are more susceptible to the harmful effects of vitamin deficiencies that only grow worse over time. At least as kids they have an opportunity to correct these deficiencies – as adults it may be too late.
Giving your children vitamins will free you from worrying about their diet and make it possible to be more creative in feeding them in an effort to ensure they are well nourished. Note, however, that giving them excessive amounts of certain minerals such as iron can be unhealthy.