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Nutrition Supplements for Kids

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 01, 2013
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

Most parents try to teach their children healthy eating habits but children love to eat refined, fried, fast, and junk food. Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are essential for your child’s healthy growth and development. Several researches have shown that nutrition and learning are related and well nourished children possess the mental capability needed to learn and retain even difficult concepts as compared to poorly nourished children.


Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your child needs

  • Calcium: Calcium is an essential mineral which growing children need. It is needed for making your child’s bones strong and teeth. Whether or not your child needs calcium supplement will depend on his or her dietary intake of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D. Foods that are rich in calcium include milk and milk products and to a lesser extent in leafy green vegetables. Children who do not consume dairy products are at risk for calcium deficiency.
  • Iron: Iron is needed for making blood. Iron deficiency anemia is a common problem in children in India. Besides formation of blood iron helps in improving concentration and attention as well. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables, and iron fortified cereals are good source of iron. Iron from vegetarian foods is absorbed better when served with a food rich in vitamin C. Several other minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, manganese are needed for proper growth and development of school aged children. Your child will get most of the minerals and vitamins needed in appropriate amount if he or she eats healthy food in appropriate amount.
  • Essential fatty acids (EFAs): They are needed for building cells, proper functioning of nervous system function, cardiovascular system, immune system and for healthy brain function and vision.
  • Vitamins: Your child needs vitamins such as (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, vitamin B and K) for healthy skin, good growth and development and fighting infections. Vegetables and fruits are a rich source of fiber, several vitamins (A and C) and micronutrients like magnesium, potassium. Foods rich in B vitamins include grain products, meat and meat substitutes and dairy products. Skin can make vitamin D in response to sun exposure. Hence the amount of vitamin D needed daily is determined by how much time a child spends outside and on geographical location.

Calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B6, B12, folic acid, and vitamin A can be deficient in your school aged child as a result of poor dietary habits. To avoid deficiency of minerals and vitamins ensure that your child eats the recommended number of servings from each of the food groups.


Do all school aged children need vitamin supplement?


American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend use of routine supplementation of vitamin and mineral for normal, healthy kids. Experts consider that if your child eats a varied and healthy diet supplements are not needed. But AAP does consider that multivitamin/mineral supplements are not harmful if it does not exceed the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Where as some experts consider that as it may not always be possible to ensure you’re your child eats a well balanced diet, a daily supplement is a good way to overcome any gaps in your child's nutrition. Always start a supplement after consulting your child’s pediatrician. Supplemental vitamins are recommended for children with chronic diseases, eating disorders, liver disease, problems absorbing nutrients or certain other diseases.

 

Research has show that supplements are more likely to be taken by children who do not need them, such as those with better nutrition, more active lifestyles, greater food security and greater access to health care. Ch...

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