As the cold weather draws in and the appeal of playing outside without the sun shining lessens, it is time to ensure that our children are still receiving the right number of vitamins, either through their diet or via supplements, in order to keep growing and healthy as well as ward off those nasty, autumn and winter infections.
Vitamin D is obtained naturally from sunlight, meaning that less hours spent outside leaves children unable to synthesise this essential vitamin. As well as contributing to an optimally functioning immune system and helping in growth and bone development, vitamin D also keeps the teeth strong and muscles working so it is clear to see that the right amount of vitamin D is a must to keep our children active and well.
Vitamin D can be obtained from healthy diet by eating foods such as oily fish, liver, egg yolks, red meats and is also found in items such as cereals which add it into their make up to ensure good health. If the list of food types fills you with dread at the prospect of feeding it to your fussy child, try to disguise it in other foods that they like. Make mackerel pate or make your own salmon fish fingers. Liver is another food which can be blended for pate, increasing its appeal when spread on warm bread or toast.
Other autumn essentials are vitamin A, vitamins C, vitamin E, and vitamin B complex.
Vitamin A is found in carrots, a colder season staple when used in stews and casseroles but also often a child’s favourite when chopped raw with an enticing dip.
Vitamin C has long been associated with helping to fight against colds. The popularity of fresh orange juice is a great source of this vitamin and is appealing to most children too!
Vitamin E is a great antioxidant. Seeds and nuts and snacks will provide this for your child.
Vitamin B complex is found in vegetables, with potato being a good source. Jacket potatoes are often a popular choice with children, and don’t be afraid to try making home-made wedges and potato slices instead of buying them ready-made from the supermarket.