As a parent, ensuring the health and well-being of your children is one of the most daunting tasks you can face.
From teaching them their first words to watching them take their first steps, every milestone in your child’s life is joyous. However, their nutritional needs become more complex as they age and navigate the world.
A balanced diet and regular outdoor activities take care of the basics; however, there are many uncertainties, diseases and what-ifs in the outside world. Equipping your child with supplementary vitamins and minerals is one of the best ways to prepare them.
Children’s supplements offer essential nutrients that perform crucial functions in the human body.
This article will explore how vitamins and minerals are crucial to your child’s overall development and well-being.
1) Promotes Healthy Growth
Every day in a child’s life is a day of growth and development. Their bodies require many nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, to support this rapid change.
The human body relies heavily on various nutrients to fuel growth and development, each playing unique and often interconnected roles. We can find these nutrients are found in balanced diets, exercise, and supplementary forms.
Vitamins and Minerals Functions and Their Deficiencies
- Vitamin A is crucial for developing and maintaining healthy skin, eyes, and immune responses. It plays a pivotal role in cell growth and differentiation, impacting vital organs and systems throughout the body.
- A deficiency in Vitamin A during childhood can lead to impaired vision, particularly in low light (night blindness), and can also increase the risk of infections and delay growth.
- Vitamins B1 through B12 are essential nutrients that play crucial roles in maintaining good health. They are necessary for energy production, maintaining healthy skin and eyes, synthesising fatty acids, producing red blood cells, and much more.
- A deficiency in any of the B vitamins can lead to various symptoms, including fatigue, skin disorders, anaemia, mood disturbances, and neurological issues.
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system, aids tissue growth and repair, and is essential for healing wounds and maintaining bones and teeth.
- Lack of Vitamin C can lead to scurvy, anaemia, gum disease, and skin haemorrhages.
- Getting enough Vitamin D is essential for maintaining strong bones.
- Children’s bones can become weak and deformed if they lack it. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to rickets, which cause soft bones and skeletal deformities.
- Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is essential for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. It’s also crucial for properly functioning the heart, muscles, and nerves.
- Adequate Calcium intake during childhood can help prevent osteoporosis later in life, a condition in which bones become brittle and fragile from tissue loss.
- Iron is a critical component of haemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to transport it throughout the body. Iron supports children’s growth and development and helps with hormone production.
- An iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency globally, leading to anaemia, characterised by fatigue and weakened physical performance.
2) Acts as a Shield Against Diseases
The immune systems of children are continually evolving and being tested. As they interact with the world, they’re exposed to various pathogens.
A strong immune system is vital for children as they grow and interact with the world around them. Their developing bodies encounter a myriad of pathogens, and a robust immune system is their best defence.
Vitamins C and D and minerals such as Zinc and Selenium are at the forefront of building and maintaining this defence system.
Vitamins and Minerals a Line of Defence
Vitamin B is a group of essential nutrients that play a crucial role in maintaining good health. Vitamin B6, B9 (folic acid), and B12, can also help to boost the immune system and act as a defense against illnesses. These vitamins have been found to play a vital role in the production and function of white blood cells, which fight harmful pathogens and infections.
Vitamin C supports the immune system as a potent antioxidant that combats free radicals, reducing inflammation and boosting the body’s ability to fight infections. It enhances white blood cell production and function, protecting them from damage.
Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that helps maintain a robust immune system. It protects cell membranes from damage and can enhance the function of immune cells. This is particularly important for children as their bodies still learn to recognise and respond to various pathogens. Vitamin E has been shown to improve immune response and protect against several infectious diseases.
Zinc is a crucial mineral that helps in cells’ normal development and function, regulating innate immunity and T-lymphocytes. A zinc deficiency can weaken the immune response and make children more vulnerable to infections. To maintain a robust immune system, ensure adequate zinc intake.
These nutrients create a multi-layered defence system within a child’s body. They enhance the body’s natural immune responses and help develop long-term immunity to protect children. It’s not just about reducing the frequency and severity of common childhood ailments; a well-supported immune system also helps children recover faster when they fall ill, ensuring they can return to their daily routines more quickly.
As children continue to grow and encounter new challenges to their health, a strong immune system will be one of their greatest assets, keeping them resilient and healthy.
3) Enhances Cognitive Development
Cognitive development in children is rapid and crucial. Specific vitamins and minerals significantly impact their brain function and neurological development.
A child’s brain development is influenced by nutrition. Nutrients like Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for enhancing brain function, including concentration, memory, and learning.
These nutrients support cognitive development in children, aiding their academic and personal growth.
Vitamin B12 is crucial for nerve cell health, DNA/RNA production, brain and nerve cell function and development. Adequate levels in childhood improve cognitive performance and prevent brain atrophy and memory loss.
Deficiencies in Vitamin B12 can result in difficulties with concentration, memory lapses, and other cognitive deficits.
Vitamin D is essential for both bone and brain health. It helps in brain growth and neural connection development. Vitamin D regulates tryptophan conversion into serotonin, which affects mood and cognitive processes like learning, memory, and problem-solving.
A shortage of Vitamin D has been associated with a higher risk of developing neurocognitive disorders.
Omega-3s, especially DHA, are crucial for children’s brain health, development, and function. Studies show that they enhance learning and memory, increase concentration and attention, and reduce symptoms of developmental differences.
Sufficient intake of Omega-3 promotes cognitive function and mental well-being in children.
Certain nutrients affect children’s learning ability, mood, and behaviour. Children must consume a balanced diet rich in these nutrients to support cognitive development or take supplements when needed.
Incorporating essential nutrients such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet can help them process information, solve problems, and adapt to new learning environments.
4) Impacts Behaviour
While physical and cognitive health often takes the spotlight, a child’s emotional and behavioural well-being is equally important.
The Role of Nutrients in Emotional and Behavioral Health
A child’s emotional and behavioural health depends on their nutrition. Vitamins play a vital role in their physical and mental well-being. Omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins are significant in maintaining children’s emotional and behavioural health.
Omega-3s offer fats for brain function and emotional well-being. They reduce mood swings, anxiety, and depression in children and improve attention and behaviour.
B Vitamins aid brain function, energy levels, mood, and cognitive processing. Vitamin B6 helps regulate mood and cope with stress, while Vitamin B12 is crucial for neurological function. Deficiencies can lead to irritability, depression, and cognitive impairments. Sufficient intake of these vitamins can enhance children’s emotional well-being and social interactions.
Mental health is as important as physical health. Certain nutrients aid brain function and regulate mood, help children manage stress, adapt to social situations and grow emotionally balanced. Comprehending the connection between nutrition and emotional/behavioural health can be a game-changer for parents, as it presents an opportunity to promote mental health through diet and reduce issues related to mood/behaviour.
A balanced diet rich in these nutrients, supplemented when necessary, can provide a solid foundation for physical growth, emotional stability, and behavioural health, contributing to a happier, more resilient child.
5) Instills Healthy Habits Early On
Teaching children the importance of nutrition and health from an early age lays the foundation for lifelong healthy habits.
Children’s supplements can help address nutritional gaps and promote health consciousness.
It’s An Opportunity to Learn
Natural supplements for kids create a chance for education. Discussing their importance and functions in the body and the benefits of a balanced diet promotes awareness and interest in healthy eating.
Let Them Take Responsibility
Supplement intake teach kids consistency and responsibility for their health. Reinforced by parents, this daily practice develops a sense of control over their well-being, which is invaluable for kids as they grow older.
Make it Fun for Them
To get kids to take a multivitamin daily, parents can make it fun by choosing exciting shapes and flavours, such as animal-shaped chewable tablets or multivitamin gummies. Letting children pick out their vitamins or reminding parents can help reinforce the habit. Parents can also lead by example by taking their vitamins alongside their children.
Set Them Up for Success
Childhood habits shape adult behaviour. Kids who take multivitamin supplements are taught to care for their bodies and are more likely to develop healthy habits like exercising and mindful eating, leading to better long-term health.
The Organic Choice
In an article by Dr Axe, he writes about the importance of a nutrient-rich diet for children, and that if a balanced diet is in place, there should be little need for supplements.
This we agree with. Multivitamins and minerals are meant to be a supplement in addition to an existing nutritious diet, not a replacement thereof. Furthermore, we agree with Dr Axe when he speaks about being conscious about the quality of the vitamins that are given to children, as these supplements should be free from additives and fillers.
Our choice at Organic Choice, regarding children’s vitamin and mineral supplements, would be Animal Parade by NaturePlus.
Animal Parade Children’s Supplements
Animal Parade Children’s Vitamins by NaturePlus are fun and easy for kids to take. They come in the form of chewable tablets that are designed as animals or in liquid form. These children’s supplements are sugar-free and are made with more than 20 organic whole foods.
The Animal Parade range is specially formulated for kids and includes unique, clean, refined, sugar-free, and allergen-free supplements. These supplements include Tummy Zyme, AcidophiKids, Kids Zinc, Immune Booster, and KidGreenz, catering to growing children’s nutritional needs.
These multi-supplements provide kids with various vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids and beneficial probiotics that support healthy immune systems, promote average growth, and provide kid-friendly nutrients. They are sweetened with xylitol to reduce the risk of tooth decay, making them a tasty and healthy choice for kids.
After reading how Children’s multi-supplements are crucial for children’s overall growth and development, consider visiting Organic Choice.
Online or at our shop.
We are your one-stop shop for all things health and wellness, especially when it comes to prioritising your little ones.