Top Vitamins Your Child Needs
Learn the ABCs of vitamins, why your kids they need them and what foods contain them.
Children's bodies need vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and grow strong. Pediatricians and nutritionists agree that the best source for these nutrients comes not from a pill but from children's diets. Guide children toward getting all the nutrition they need from food by going over the ABCs of vitamins with them.
How it helps the body: Think of this vitamin as a prescription for healthy eyes. It also aids in keeping the immune system on track.
Foods containing vitamin A: Liver (that might be a tough sell with kids), salmon, leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, apricots and fortified breakfast cereals.
How it helps the body: Unlike others, vitamin B contains a whole group of different kinds, like B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 and others. "B" vitamins keep kids energized and are a building block for creating red blood cells.
Foods containing vitamin B: While it depends on the type of B vitamin, generally, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fortified breakfast cereals are good sources of this vitamin group.
How it helps the body: Vitamin C is a superhero of sorts, protecting the body at the cellular level from free radicals (the villains in this scenario that can damage the body's cells). These vitamins are powerful antioxidants that contribute in body tissue repair, like healing from injuries.
Foods containing vitamin C: Citrus fruits (yes, start peeling oranges!), tomatoes, broccoli and cantaloupe.
How it helps the body: For strong bones, your child needs to get plenty of vitamin D. This vitamin works alongside calcium (a mineral) to build up bones.
Foods containing vitamin D: Salmon, tuna and fortified milk (plus sunshine!). Note: Child health organizations do recommend that children take vitamin D supplements to ensure they're getting enough. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises 400 IU per day before the age of 1 and 600 IU for those ages 1 and above.
Along with vitamins, your child should strive to get enough calcium and iron, too.