Different Nutritional Deficiencies In Children, As Per Paediatrician

Picky eaters are prone to nutritional deficiencies. Parents must keep a check on their kids' nutrition.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarUpdated at: Oct 20, 2022 13:44 IST
Different Nutritional Deficiencies In Children, As Per Paediatrician

Adequate nutrition is essential for the growth and development of children. But, a large number of kids do not get enough vitamins and minerals and tend to encounter nutritional deficiencies. In this article, we will discuss various nutritional deficiencies that are commonly seen in children. Take note of them and make sure that your child is getting enough nutrition from the diet you provide for them.

Dr. Vrushali Bichkar, Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Lullanagar, Pune, suggests taking help of an expert in order to know about the foods to avoid and eliminate from the diet. After all, you cannot take things lightly when it comes to your child’s health.

A child’s growing body needs various nutrients that play a pivotal role in the development and prevention of diseases that can arise due to poor eating habits. The body is unable to produce micronutrients or vitamins and minerals in a natural way. A nutrient deficiency or micronutrient malnutrition in children is seen when there is an inadequate intake of a specific nutrient as the body doesn’t absorb a specific nutrient properly. Nutritional deficiencies can invite a plethora of health problems such as improper growth, digestive issues, skin problems, and poor bone development. Here are some common deficiencies in children.

Iron deficiency

Nutritional Deficiencies In Children

This is commonly seen in kids. A child requires iron for carrying out various body functions. It is a part of haemoglobin, a protein that is responsible for delivering oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body where it assists the muscles in storage and oxygen usage. Thus, it helps to transfer oxygen to the body cells. Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia in children, which can later cause lethargy and improper cognitive functioning. The sources of iron are seafood, beans, peas, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, and dried fruits.

Vitamin D Deficiency

This is seen due to minimal exposure to the sun. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for the absorption of calcium (along with iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc) in the gastrointestinal tract. Proper vitamin D intake is essential for bone growth and keeping problems such as rickets, and osteoporosis at bay. The symptoms of it are irritability, slow growth, muscle pain, back and thigh pain, bone tenderness, and tiredness. Aside from supplementation, having egg yolks and fatty fish (like salmon, mackerel) can be helpful to manage vitamin D deficiency.

Calcium deficiency

Nutritional Deficiencies In Child

Calcium allows the mineralisation of bones and teeth, which is needed during the period of growth and development. Calcium deficiency can lead to problems with the child’s heart, nerves, and muscles. The child with calcium deficiency will have low bone mineral density. Low calcium intake can affect muscle functioning, heart regulation, blood clotting, enzyme functioning, and the transmission of nervous system messages through the body. Get enough calcium from milk, dark leafy green vegetables, tofu, fish (like salmon and sardines), nuts, seeds, white beans, chickpeas, almonds, makhana, and fortified cereals.

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