So what are the best vitamins for kids to consume in order to sustain a healthy lifestyle? It’s vital for parents to consider the essential vitamins that children need in order to grow and nourish a healthy body. By starting to consider these things early on, parents will be able to instill in their children the importance of a healthy lifestyle that will hopefully carry on through adulthood.
If given the choice, kids would live on a steady diet of macaroni and cheese and hot dogs that’s why it’s up to us as parents to make sure that we’re providing the best vitamins for kids when choosing their daily meals. Besides giving your child a daily multi-vitamin keep these tips in mind when label reading to make sure that they are getting all that they need from their food:
- Calcium: Getting enough calcium is important to everyone, especially children. That’s why children require at least 800 mg of calcium for children ages 4 to 8, and at least 1,300 mg of calcium for children 9 and older.
- Iron: Many multi-vitamins do not contain iron, so be sure to supplement your child’s meals with iron-rich foods to be sure they get the recommended 10 mg of iron a day.
- Folic Acid: Important for so many reasons, including the production of red blood cells and healthy skin, hair and gums, a typical child’s dose of folic acid is 75 to 150 mcg daily.
- Vitamin C: Especially during cold and flu season, be sure to increase your child’s daily intake of Vitamin C to at least 1 gram per day.
- Vitamin D: Children’s growing bones require plenty of Vitamin D, so many pediatricians recommend that children take a supplement with 800 to 1,000 IU of Vitamin D daily.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is also important for a growing child’s body, but too much Vitamin A can also be toxic, therefore many pediatricians suggest increasing your child’s beta carotene intake, which is converted into Vitamin A in the body.
Another trick to ensuring that your children are consuming the best vitamins for kids is to make sure that they are eating fruits and veggies in an array of colors. According to msn.com the colors represented in foods are indicators of nutritional value and different colors mean different vitamins and minerals.
Red-colored fruits and veggies offer an essential antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that is associated with a multitude of health benefits, including protecting the skin from sun damage and decreasing the risk of heart disease and certain forms of cancer. It’s also been shown to decrease symptoms of wheezing, asthma, and shortness of breath in people when they exercise. Good red sources of lycopene include red tomatoes, bell peppers, guava, watermelon and pink grapefruit.
Beta-carotene is the nutrient responsible for fruits and vegetables’ dramatic orange color. Once beta-carotene is inside the body it is converted to vitamin A which contributes to immune-system health. Orange foods also help improve eyesight and night vision due to the fact that vitamin A is vital for creating the pigment in the retina responsible for vision in low-light situations. A few good orange fruits and veggies rich in beta-carotene include winter squash, oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots and cantaloupe.
Yellow foods are close relatives of orange foods and are likewise rich in carotenoids. The more common yellow carotenoid is beta-cryptoxanthin, which supplies about half the vitamin A as beta-carotene does. Studies show it decreases the likelihood for such diseases as lung cancer and arthritis. Research also shows that foods rich in beta-cryptoxanthin help decrease inflammation in the joints and improve the functioning of the respiratory system. Yellow foods high in beta-cryptoxanthin are yellow bell peppers, pineapple, corn, bananas, and yellow squash.
Green foods are among the most abundant sources of lutein and zeaxanthin which promotes healthy vision. They’re also capable of strengthening bones, muscles and brains. Green fruits and veggies get their color from chlorophyll, which studies show play an important role in stimulating the growth of new tissue and hindering the growth of bacteria. As a topical treatment, it can speed healing time by 25 percent. Green fruits and veggies high in vitamins and nutrients include avocado, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, romaine lettuce, broccoli, kale, spinach and green peas.
Blue and Purple
Blue and purple foods get their color from the presence of flavonoids called anthocyanins. These are known to improve cardiovascular health and prevent short-term memory loss, but the deeply pigmented anthocyanins go even further. Blueberries have been found to make brain cells more responsive to incoming messages and might even spur the growth of new nerve cells. Purple and blue foods high in flavonoids include eggplant, blackberries, beets, blueberries and plums.
Here are a few suggestions for making sure that your children are consuming the best vitamins for kids. By following these tips your child will be well on their way to a healthy lifestyle.