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Vital Vitamins for a Child

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 6 Mar 2012 | comments*Discuss
Children child kids vitamins

Children need vitamins for optimal health and it can be hard to reach the recommended daily amount (RDA) from diet alone. Vegetarians and picky eaters in particular may be at risk of consuming too few vitamins from their diets.

Supplements such as children's multivitamins can help ensure that a child reaches the RDA of the most important vitamins. However, no child should begin taking vitamins unless their GP has agreed that it is in his or her best interest. Below is some information on the some of the most vital vitamins for a child.

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Vitamin A helps to build good eyesight, helps children grow and helps with appetite and taste. It can be found naturally in foods such as liver, carrots, leafy green vegetables and products made from milk.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 aids the nervous system, digestions and muscles including the heart. It can be found naturally in foods such as liver, rice, peanuts, pork and milk.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 is necessary for growth, healthy skin, hair and nails, eyesight and internal processes such as the breaking down of protein, fat and carbohydrates from food. It can be found naturally in foods such as liver, milk, cheese, leafy green vegetables and fish.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 is important for the production of red blood cells and the formation of nerves within the body. It can be found naturally in foods such as liver, fish, beef, pork and dairy products.

Vitamin C (Abscorbic Acid)

Vitamin C helps build up the immune system which helps protect against bacteria and viruses, it speeds the healing of wounds, helps reduce cholesterol and is needed to keep cells healthy.

It can be found naturally in foods such as oranges and citrus fruits, berries, peppers, potatoes and leafy green vegetables.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for strong teeth and bones. It can be found naturally in sunlight as well as fish such as tuna, sardines and salmon, and in dairy products.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps fight toxins in the body. It can be found naturally in foods such as nuts, sprouts, soya beans, eggs and broccoli.

Folic Acid

Folic Acid also assists in the production of red blood cells. It can be found naturally in foods such as liver, carrots, eggs and leafy green vegetables.

Children's Multivitamins

Getting enough of each vitamin can be tricky from food alone. Though everyone should "strive for five" different fruits and vegetables each day, very often it can be hard to get a good mix of these foods - particularly if a child is a fussy eater.

For very young children these multivitamins may come as a liquid, but for older children they are usually available in chewable form. They are also often tied to favourite children's characters or shaped like animals, so for some children this might be a great way to get them to take their vitamin. In addition to vital vitamins, multivitamins may also contain iron, calcium and fluoride.

Again, it is imperative that a GP or other medical professional says that it is appropriate for a child to take a multivitamin before (s)he begins such a routine. Also, children should be taught that although they taste good and look fun, multivitamins are not candy and only one should be taken at a time.

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