Chocolate and cereal brands often load their products with vitamins for extra nutrition and strength. Do you wonder if, despite our regular diet, these additional nutritional doses are essential for us?
Some children tend to be picky eaters and cut out many food groups, particularly micronutrients from their diet. If you don't know whether your child is getting enough, check out when you should consider giving them vitamin supplements.
Why are vitamins essential for children?
Vitamins are essentially required to improve our immune system and food assimilation to enhance growth and development. We need vitamins to build and develop our bodies from a very young age.
Vitamins are of several types, and each one has its unique properties and functions, which can't be replaced by any other. Check out further which vitamins are essential for children.
- A (fat-soluble) - It is necessary to keep your child's vision and immunity in good shape. It also helps organs like the lungs, kidneys, and heart function better. Vitamin A is present in carrots, broccoli, fish liver, and dairy products.
- C (water-soluble) - It boosts the body's immunity, reduces uric acid levels in your child’s body, prevents anaemia, and improves internal strength to fight chronic diseases. It is found in citrus fruits and vegetables like lemons, oranges, Indian gooseberry, capsicum, and kiwis.
- B (water-soluble) - Vitamin B has various categories as B12, B6, and B9, which possess several health-boosting qualities. B6 prevents anaemia, improves cell health, and boosts the immune system.
Vitamin B9 or folate regulates mood swings and helps reduce anxiety or depression, whereas B12 boosts RBC production and helps develop our DNA. They are abundant in legumes, meats, jaggery, and fresh vegetables.
- D (fat-soluble) - Also called calciferol, Vitamin D is primarily responsible for children's healthy growth and body development. It helps calcium and phosphate to build bones and strengthen their developing gait. Sunlight, fish liver, and nuts are major sources.
- E (fat-soluble) - This skin and eye-friendly vitamin is essential for young ones to avoid early ageing signs and poor vision. It is abundant in nuts, vegetable oils, seeds, and avocados.
- K (fat-soluble) - This vitamin helps with quick blood coagulation, improved heart health, and rigid bone development. It's abundant in green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, lettuce or blueberries, eggs, and pumpkins.
Does every child need them?
Vitamins and minerals are always present in adequate amounts in our diet; thus, children don't need supplements if they have a balanced diet. But as young ones tend to avoid many foods or take fewer quantities, parents need to look for external supplements to fulfil the requirements.
However, improper quantities or unnecessary administration can be harmful, and they need to be taken only under the paediatrician’s guidance. You can find multivitamin gummies that are easy to consume and safe for every body type without any potential side effects.
Is extra dosage harmful?
If you feel your child's diet doesn't have all the required groups, shouldn't you start giving them supplements every day? But if you aren't aware, mega-doses of these healthy vitamins can also lead to vitamin toxicity, adversely affecting them in the long run. Since some vitamins like A, K, and E are fat-soluble, they can also lead to fat storage and unintentional obesity.
Extra-fortified cereal, vitamin-loaded drinks, or candy bars can lead to nausea, dizziness, vision issues, and diarrhoea. They can also develop chronic organ failures and nerve damage that can lead to fatal situations.
Moreover, you should never replace vitamin supplements with any food item as natural nutrients are always essential. You can additionally add plant-based multivitamins like gummies under the special guidance of doctors.
Signs of deficiencies you can spot
You should seek viable signs to justify that your child isn't taking proper vitamins. Since children have different requirements based on their age and daily diet, parents should keep an eye out for the following symptoms of deficiency:
- Brittle hair, extreme muscle pain, fatigue, poor blood count, constant dizziness can show vitamin B deficiency.
- Scurvy or bleeding gums is a major sign of vitamin C deficiency. Lack of vitamin C can also reduce immunity.
- Vitamin A or retinoids are essential for proper eyesight and radiant skin. If your child faces difficulty in near or far sight or has very patchy and dry skin, it could indicate a deficiency of this vitamin.
- Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets or brittle bones disease. It could also lead to hormonal imbalance that can lead to mood swings and anxiety.
- If your child has weak muscles, easily gets affected by any flu or disease, has poor vision, or has pale and lifeless skin, it could be a Vitamin E deficiency.
- If your child gets hurt frequently, but the blood doesn't clot quickly, it could indicate a vitamin K deficiency. It can lead to blood loss and minor wounds may take a lot of time to heal.
How to administer vitamins safely?
We can find all types of vitamins in green leafy vegetables, fruits, fresh vegetables, milk products, nuts, seeds, eggs, and fish of all kinds. In addition, these foods can help maintain a balanced diet and ensure healthy growth. If your child follows a vegan or strict vegetarian diet, with only some of these food groups, try to increase the quantity so that your child gets all the natural vitamins.
However, if a need for supplements arises, you can get syrups, chewable tablets, gummies, or candies to make children have them easily. Check out Chewwies for authentic and plant-based vitamin gummies; fit for all age groups. However, you should ensure that children don't overeat these candies and gummies as they can lead to toxicity.
Children also need micronutrients like vitamins to grow and maintain a fit body along with energy-providing carbs, proteins, and fats. All the vitamins - A, B, C, D, E, and K -have distinct properties, which our bodies need in adequate quantities. This article discusses when your child needs extra supplements, and how you can administer them properly.