There are few things that kids need in quantity per measure, similar to adults. For the most part, kids’ dietary needs are different because they are still in the growth phase. Healthy food for school-age children includes a wide variety of fresh foods from the five food groups:
- Grain foods
- Reduced-fat dairy
Each food group has different nutrients your child’s body needs to grow and work properly. Fruit and vegetables give your child energy, vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and water. They help protect your child against diseases later in life, including heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.
Parental influences have also been shown to significantly impact children’s eating patterns . So, as parents, you hold significant clout in deciding what and how your children eat. In addition to that, the exposure children have towards food also determines their eating patterns .
For example, children exposed to healthy food on TV ate healthier food in real life.
Essential Vitamins and Nutrients for Children
Calcium is the building block for bones and teeth. It is one of the most important minerals that children need in their diet . The amount of calcium absorbed into our bones is dependent on the amount of calcium that we eat and how much Vitamin D we get, which is essential for calcium absorption.
Children aged up to 8 years old require 1½-2 serves of dairy or dairy alternatives, and older children and adolescents require 2½- 3½ serves a day. From 12- 14 years for girls and 13 to 15 years for boys, there is a rapid increase in bone growth, requiring a higher amount of dairy/alternatives.
A 250mL cup of milk, a 200g tub of yogurt (most retail tubs are 150g-170g), and two slices of cheese (40g) are all examples of one serve of dairy.
2. Vitamin B
Vitamin B has a lot of uses. It is primarily used to build stronger immune systems. They are also useful for strong heart functions, better metabolism, and a stronger nervous system. Recommended intake is measured in micrograms:
- Babies: about 0.5 micrograms daily.
- Toddlers: 0.9 micrograms daily.
- Ages 4-8: 1.2 micrograms daily.
- Ages 9-13: 1.8 micrograms daily.
- Teens: 2.4 micrograms daily (2.6 micrograms for pregnant teens)
Vitamin B12 comes mainly from animal-based foods, like meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. Vitamin B6-rich foods include chicken and cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna. Vitamin B6 also is found in green vegetables and in chickpeas, which is the main ingredient in hummus.
[Also Read: 9 Best Iron Rich Foods for Kids ]
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E helps the body develop a strong immune system to fight off infections. It also helps in keeping the blood vessels clear. Vitamin E also acts as a powerful antioxidant. The recommended dosage is
- Ages 1-3 need 9 IU of vitamin E daily.
- Ages 4-8 need 10.4 IU daily.
- Ages 9-13 need 16.4 IU daily.
- Teens need as much as adults: 22 IU daily.
Vegetable oils such as sunflower and safflower oils, as well as nuts and seeds, including almonds, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds, are excellent vitamin E sources.
[Also Read: 15 Most Beneficial High Fiber foods for Kids ]
Essential Vitamins & Supplements For Kids
While food should be the primary source of all vitamins and minerals, it might not always be possible to get them from food. Vitamins intake depends on drug interactions, other health conditions, the food that is consumed, etc. In that case, it is important to get the required vitamins and minerals from supplements.
1. Nordic Berries™, Original Flavor – 120 Gummy Berries
Nordic Berries Citrus Gummy Berries provide:
- Zinc‚ in the form of zinc citrate
- Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant by fighting to destroy the cell-damaging free radicals that find their way into the human body.
- B-vitamins are a group of vitamins that help your body to function properly by aiding digestion, cell growth, muscle development, and the formation of regular sleep patterns.
- Vitamin C is a vital nutrient required for growth and repair of tissues‚ and also acts as an antioxidant.
- Vitamin D-3 helps keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong.
- Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that defends the body from the threats posed by toxins and carcinogens.
2. Yum-V’s ™ Multi-V + Multi-Mineral Formula, Milk Chocolate Flavor – 60 Bears
- Healthy Eyes.
- Immune System.
- Strong Bones & Teeth.
- Support Healthy Brain Function.
The dietary needs include
- Egg Free
- Fish Free
- Nut Free
- Peanut Free
- Soy Free
- Yeast Free
- Crustacean Shellfish Free
3. Children’s Chewable Multi-Vitamin/Mineral Wafers with Xylitol – 120 Chewable Wafers
Some of the active ingredients in each wafer include:
- Vitamin C‚ which boosts your child’s immune system‚ helps ensure a healthy supply of the collagen, which forms connective tissues like skin and cartilage‚ and supports strong teeth and bones.
- Folic acid — essential to healthy growth and development.
- Calcium‚ which helps form strong bones and keep them healthy‚ while supporting the release of certain hormones‚ nerve transmission‚ and muscle contractions
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)‚, which helps your child’s body convert fats and carbohydrates from food into energy.
- Magnesium, which helps maintain healthy bones and teeth, promotes healthy digestion, and produces energy.
4. Nordic Berries™, Original Flavor – 200 Gummy Berries
This product is
- Chewable‚ pectin-based multivitamin for ages 2+
- Provides essential nutrients-including zinc and vitamins A‚ B‚ C‚ D3‚ & E
- No artificial coloring‚ flavoring‚ or preservatives
- Dairy-free‚ gluten-free‚ and gelatin-free
The dietary needs include
- Gelatin Free
5. mykind Organics Kids Multi Gummies, Fruit Flavor – 120 Vegan Gummies
mykind Organics Kids Multi Gummies are the only Certified USDA Organic, and Non-GMO Verified fruit and vitamin gummy. They are made with nine organic whole fruits in every bottle—no synthetic vitamins.
mykind Organics Kids Multi Gummies contain no added sugar, no artificial flavors or colors, and come in two yummy flavors; organic fruit and organic cherry. Each chew is made with pectin from organic apples and organic orange peel—no pig gelatin.