You love your children, and you want to give them the best possible start in life. By focusing on basic health through proper nutrition, cultivating a healthy relationship with food, and ensuring that they’re getting all of the nutrients they need to grow, you can help plant strong roots for your child.
You can give your kids the nutrients they need through a healthy diet and vitamins to fill in the gaps if deemed necessary. Here are some of the most important vitamins and minerals that kids need to be healthy, and things to consider when creating a well-rounded diet.
How to Get the Nutrients They Need
The best way to give your children the vitamins and minerals they need to be strong and healthy is through a healthy diet of minimally-processed food. That being said, some kids respond better to food than others. Children who turn their nose up at their vegetables or go through periods of not feeling hungry can be worrying and frustrating for adults who strive to give them what they need to grow. That’s where vitamins and supplements come in.
Giving your kids multivitamins is a great way to fill the gaps in their diet. If you go this route, only buy from doctor trusted vitamin brands if you want quality supplements and discuss with your physician first. Supplementation might be useful to fill any gaps in your diet as well!
Nutrients to Grow On
The most important concerns when ensuring kids get the vitamins and minerals they need is strengthening their teeth and bones, fostering growth and development, and boosting their often overtaxed immune systems. Here are the vitamins and minerals that are essential for making that happen:
It’s likely no surprise that calcium tops the list when it comes to the minerals that kids need to succeed. After all, you probably have vivid memories of your own parents encouraging you to drink all your milk at dinner. Calcium aids in the growth and development of strong bones and helps promote dental health as well. In addition to getting calcium from dairy products, you can also get plenty from leafy greens (like kale and spinach) and salmon – if you can convince your kids to eat those things, of course.
Vitamin D works hand in hand with calcium to develop strong, healthy bones. Additionally, it has mood-boosting effects. It’s recommended that breastfed babies start taking Vitamin D supplements immediately after birth for optimal health. The best way for your child to get Vitamin D is by spending lots of time playing outside on sunny days (with sunscreen on). Alternatively, fish and eggs are excellent sources of Vitamin D.
Your kids will benefit greatly from all of the B-complex vitamins, particularly B12. Vitamin B12 keeps nerves and blood cells healthy and functional, and also helps prevent anemia. If you have a vegetarian or vegan family, Vitamin B12 supplementation is essential, as it is mostly derived from meat and eggs.
The other B-complex vitamins play important roles in one’s metabolism, cell growth, neurotransmission, and DNA production. Most well-rounded diets provide plenty of the other B-complex vitamins.
Children are exposed to a lot of different germs as they venture to daycare, school, and beyond. Vitamin C plays an important role in boosting immunity and preventing those germs from taking hold. Vitamin C is readily available in lots of fruit and vegetables. Be sure that you’re stocked up on Vitamin C as well; just because the kids aren’t getting sick from the germs they’re bringing home doesn’t mean you won’t.
Whether your kids eat everything they need to in order to thrive or require supplementation to make up the difference, starting your child’s life with the proper nutrients will help them grow and be healthy. What more could a parent ask for?