Being a parent means you need to look after the nutritional needs of your kids and not just depend on packaged food and their labels. If you are wondering about the essential vitamins and minerals your kids need, we are here to help you identify them and learn how you can include them in your family’s diet.
Calcium is essential for the healthy formation of bone and teeth. It is especially important for kids because the more calcium they consume the stronger and denser their bones will be, which will prevent bone related health issues in later stages of life.
1-3 years old: 700 mg daily
4-9 years old: 1000 mg daily
9-18 years old: 1300 mg daily
Foods that have Calcium: All dairy products, salmon and green leafy vegetables.
Iron is present in red blood cells which are tasked with carrying oxygenated blood throughout your body. Iron deficiency can have several impacts on your kid’s health, which is why it is important to ensure adequate consumption.
Under 13: 7-10 mg daily
13 and above: 11 mg for boys and 15 mg for menstruating girls
Foods that have Iron: All red meats and animal foods are usually rich in iron. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale along with kidney, navy and lima beans are also good sources.
The B group of vitamins is very important for metabolic processes which are responsible for energy and the proper functioning of the heart and nervous system. Vitamin B12 is one of the B group vitamins and is one of the most important of the bunch.
Vitamin B12 Requirements:
Infants: about 0.5 micrograms daily
Toddlers: 0.9 micrograms daily.
4-8 years old: 1.2 micrograms daily.
9-13 years old: 1.8 micrograms daily.
14 and above: 2.4 micrograms daily (2.6 micrograms for pregnant teens)
Foods that have Vitamin B12: Most animal foods including meat, fish, eggs and poultry. If your family consumes vegetables only you might have to include foods fortified with B12 in the family diet to ensure adequate intake of B12.
Vitamin D is important because it helps your body absorb Calcium efficiently and properly. It is essentially as important as Calcium itself for healthy bones.
Vitamin D Requirements:
All ages: 400 IU daily
If you are breast feeding your baby you might need to use Vitamin D drops as a supplement till your baby starts feeding on formula.
Foods that have Vitamin D: A few varieties of fish, including salmon, sardines and mackerel. Eggs and fortified foods like cereals and formula milk.
Vitamin E helps in making the immune system stronger, which protects your kids from diseases. It is also important for the smooth functioning of the blood circulation system.
Vitamin E Requirements:
1-3years old: 9 IU daily
4-8 years old: 10.4 IU daily
9-13 years old: 16.4 IU daily
14 and above: 22 IU daily.
Foods that have Vitamin E: Nuts and seeds like almonds, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts are great sources of Vitamin E along with vegetable oils.
Image courtesy: irishcentral.com