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Healthy food and nutrition choices help children reach their full potential during their elementary school years. A diet that features important vitamins, protein, and whole grains help young brains grow during vital formative years.
Some educational research suggests that brain development "plateaus" once a child reaches adolescence, which means childhood nutrition weighs heavily on intellectual growth. Each essential vitamin for kids aged 5 - 12 is available in at least one type of food. Parents may also use vitamin supplements to cover gaps in food-based vitamin intake.
Create a healthy menu for kids that includes the following important vitamins:
Most kids get this healthy bone-building mineral from milk, but cheese, yogurt, and tofu also offer healthy doses. Look for "calcium fortified" foods and beverages if a child has dairy allergies.
An iron deficiency makes it difficult for kids to grow strong muscles and healthy red blood cells. Meats like beef, turkey, and pork offer kids iron. Vegetarian families may also find iron in spinach and beans.
A diet that includes vitamin A boosts the immune system and ensures strong eyesight and overall growth. Yellow and orange vegetables like squash and carrots contain this essential vitamin.
Vitamin B is part of a group of vitamins that includes B2, B3, B6, and B12 and impacts many systems in the body like metabolism and energy levels. Snacking on nuts offers kids valuable B vitamins as well as meals with dairy, meat, and chicken.
Kids with a healthy diet of vitamin C benefit through important muscle growth and tissue health. Including fruits like strawberries and citrus fruit ensures kids get the vitamin C they need.
Calcium and vitamin D work together in the body to grow strong teeth and bones. 30 minutes of sunlight each day is the best source of vitamin D and encourages an active lifestyle.