The ABCs of Children’s Vitamin Requirements
As parents, you have a huge responsibility to ensure your children get the nutrients needed to support health. This normally means fighting at the dinner table, screaming at breakfast, or sending your child to school with lunches they hate. Let’s face it: Trying to get children to love their broccoli is enough to send any parent running for the hills. And yet nutrients are vital for supporting your child’s health. Here is a list of some of the most important vitamins for children, and what the vitamins do. The most important vitamins (and one mineral) include: • Vitamin A • Vitamin B • Vitamin C • Vitamin D • Calcium Vitamin A Vitamin A plays a very important role in supporting bone growth in children. Vitamin A encourages health cell and tissue growth in children and it is therefore vital to ensure your children get abundant sources of vitamin A. Vitamin A also supports eye health and vision. Your children’s immune systems rely on sufficient amounts of vitamin A to keep them protected from attacks by pathogens, viruses, and bacteria. Vitamin A includes carotenoids that are found in plants, and retinoids, which are found in animal sources. Abundant sources of vitamin A include dairy foods like cheese, milk, and yoghurt. A glass of whole milk contains 2% of your child’s daily vitamin A requirements. The best natural sources of vitamin A are sweet potatoes and carrots. Vitamin B Vitamin B consists of a number of different compounds, and the functions of vitamin B are diverse. For children, vitamins B2, B3, B6, and B12 are particularly important for supporting healthy growth and development. Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is vital for supporting healthy energy production. You probably think your children have enough energy as it is, but B2 is vital for supporting healthy cellular energy production, and cellular energy is the currency of growth and development. Every time new cells are formed, the body uses enormous amounts of energy, so growth requires an abundance of vitamin B2. Vitamin B3, also called niacin, supports energy production and provides your children with vital antioxidant protection. Vitamin B6 allows your children to use carbohydrates for energy, it plays a vital role in the production of red blood cells, and it promotes healthy brain and nervous system development. Vitamin B12 supports brain and nervous system growth and development, and vitamin B12 is essential for supporting DNA production. Since every cell your children needs to grow requires healthy DNA, sufficient vitamin B12 is vital for healthy growth. Vitamin C Vitamin C is essential for the formation of healthy muscles, connective tissue, and skin. Your children need vitamin C to support the formation of collagen in the body. Collagen is the vital connective tissue that holds your body together. Vitamin C is also essential for supporting bone health and strength, and a vitamin C deficiency results in soft bones, a loss of strength, and even loose teeth. Vitamin C is needed for the production of serotonin. Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters, and it is vital for supporting thought, reason, and memory, and for healthy mood regulation. Vitamin D Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, plays a number of essential roles in the formation of healthy teeth. Your children need vitamin D to regulate and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. With childhood obesity and diabetes reaching epidemic proportions, vitamin D is vital for reducing your children’s risk of developing diabetes. Blood sugar spikes result in fatigue, mood swings, and cravings for sweet and salty foods, all of which can be detrimental to your children’s health. Vitamin D is essential for ensuring the body can absorb calcium. Calcium Calcium is not a vitamin, but the importance of sufficient calcium cannot be underestimated in your children’s growth and development. Calcium is not only important for supporting healthy bone development, but in fact supports muscle and nervous system function as well. Calcium also regulates the overall systemic pH. Your pH levels in the body must remain within normal levels for each organ and for the entire system. Dietary intake, health, and medications can affect pH levels. To maintain healthy pH levels, the body can remove calcium from the bones. This is why it is vital to ensure your children get the calcium needed to support overall health. A calcium supplement may also be beneficial to ensure your children receive the proper amount of calcium. Children’s Vitamins – A Blessing from Science Knowing which vitamins are vital for growth and development is important, but knowledge is only power if you use the knowledge. Trying to convince your children to eat their Brussels sprouts can be impossible. Science has made nutritional support for children effective, efficient, and, most importantly, fun and tasty with delicious vitamins formulated to support your children and keep them happy.