Although many of us are concerned about trying to stay healthy and fit, for parents it is an especially important issue because they are responsible for the health of their children, and most parents want their kids to be happy and healthy. The food that is pushed at us these days doesn’t offer many good alternatives. Food manufacturers seem to put most of their effort into marketing unhealthy processed, fast or “junk” foods. The nutritional value of these foods is questionable at best. That’s why parents should consider providing their children with the vitamins and nutrients that they are probably not getting from the food they eat. Below are some of the most important.
#1 Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for normal growth and also has a well-earned reputation as being beneficial for good vision. It also promotes healing, and helps maintain a healthy immune system. Taking beta carotene supplements may be a good way to get the Vitamin A kids need since the beta carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A in accordance to its needs.
#2 Vitamin B
Since there are a whole family of B vitamins, it is important to be sure kids are getting the most important ones such as B-2, B-3, B-6, and B-12. Together, these vitamins help to keep energy levels up, and are also extremely important for the development and on-going health of the nervous system. The circulatory system also benefits from an adequate supply of these B vitamins.
#3 Vitamin C
Who does not think of oranges and orange juice when this vitamin is mentioned? Although someone may get an adequate supply of vitamin C from drinking orange juice all day long, most people will require a supplement to meet their nutritional requirements. Vitamin C plays a very important role in maintaining a healthy immune system, and also promotes muscle development and healthy skin.
#4 Vitamin D
The “sunshine vitamin” is one that may not be needed in supplement form if kids get adequate exposure to the sun. Sunshine prompts the body to create its own supply of vitamin D, which is also another one that is vital for proper function of the immune system. Kids are likely to need more vitamin D during the winter months due to decreased exposure to light from the sun.
This mineral is extremely important for the development of strong bones, which is especially important for children since they are developing the bone structure that they will live with for the rest of their lives. It should be noted that adequate levels of vitamin D are necessary before the body is able to properly absorb the calcium it needs.
This mineral is not only greatly beneficial for a healthy immune system ,studies have found that their could be a link between zinc deficiency and both attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHS). Zinc promotes healthy brain function and since it it tends to accumulate in the area of the brain called the hippocampus, it is likely that it can enhance memory and learning ability.
Although more and more is being revealed about the importance of having a sufficient number of “friendly” bacteria residing the the digestive system, it is still an issue that seems to be overshadowed by others, such as the need for vitamins and minerals. Taking acidophilus, either from supplements or food products that contain this beneficial bacteria is another good way to boost immune system function, as studies on children in daycare centers has shown. Kids who took acidophilus were less likely to suffer with ear infections, colds and the flu.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that we would not be able to survive without. Insufficient levels of magnesium has been linked to ADD and ADHD as evidenced by a medical research study that was conducted in Poland. Children with ADHD were more likely to be deficient in certain nutrients and magnesium in particular.