Are vitamins good for children?
Vitamins are essential for the proper functioning of the body, especially during growth throughout childhood, since it takes thousands of chemical reactions so that the cellular development of children is performed normally and, for this, are Essential vitamins.
Vitamins in Children's Diet
As its name implies, the word vitamin, etymologically derived from vita (life) and amine (chemical), means substance necessary for life. Most vitamins, except the vitamin D that the body manufactures through the skin when we sunbathe, must ingest them through food. Therefore, a healthy and balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, but also in meats, fish, and cereals provides the necessary amount of vitamins that children need. There is no food that contains all the vitamins that the body needs, the 13 necessaries for a correct body development, but there is no food that contains only one. Therefore, the varied and balanced diet plays an important role in the growth and development of children.
The Danger of Abusing Vitamins for Children
However, a vitamin abuse can be harmful, if we take into account the very characteristics of vitamins, which are divided into two groups: water-soluble and fat-soluble. The water-soluble vitamins are those that are diluted in water and the body removes the excess through the urine, while the fat-soluble ones are those that dissolve in fat and are not eliminated, accumulate in the body, specifically in the liver, and An excess may be toxic. For this reason, it is very important to refrain from offering vitamin supplements to children, without the medical recommendation. Only children with chronic illnesses, related to mal-absorption of nutrients, may need to intake vitamin supplements.
Vitamins: exceptions in nursing babies
Mention to part deserves the case of the newborns who feed on the breast, whose mother is vegetarian. Although breastfeeding provides all the nutrients needed by the baby, only strict vegetarian mothers produce milk without vitamin B12, essential for the formation of the baby's blood, and for this reason, it is important that these infants receive a vitamin supplement B12 during the lactation period.
Of course, breastfeeding also does not provide enough vitamin D to the baby, because it is a vitamin that is not acquired through eating but must be manufactured by the body through exposure of the skin to sunlight. This is why many babies receive vitamin D supplements during their first few months of life, especially if they are born in autumn and winter.
Lack of vitamins in children
The lack of vitamins can produce specific diseases, which are practically eradicated in the civilized world. Thus, lack of vitamin C produces scurvy, lack of vitamin K leads to bleeding and vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets. However, a child with a varied and balanced diet does not need vitamin supplements. Against some popular myths, vitamins do not open the appetite but allow the body to function properly because they act as catalysts of chemical processes and function as antioxidants, improving cellular activity.
Important vitamins in children's diet