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What are vitamin supplements all about and can children take them?

Are you growing concerned about your child’s poor eating habits? Does your child avoid foods that have any health benefits? So many children don’t like the taste of healthy foods. Instead they would rather eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates, sugar and fat. Other children also don’t like the texture and flavour of solid foods.

The above mentioned scenarios can be very dangerous and can affect more than just your child’s health. Inadequate nutrition can hinder your child’s ability to learn and concentrate. Too much of the fatty and sugary foods can cause your child to become hyperactive and have uncontrollable mood swings. Other children may not have any energy and gain unhealthy amounts of weight. These are real problems, but what should a concerned parent do to ensure that their children stay healthy?

If your child has become a terror at the dinner table and refuses to eat foods that are nutritional and beneficial, you may need to resort to vitamin supplements. Although these supplements will bring needed nutrition into your child’s body, you will need to try and get your child to eat healthier. These supplements are simply not enough.
Vitamin supplements are also effective if your child is lacking energy, is often sick and is always tired. They are used to ensure that your child’s body doesn’t suffer from any deficiencies.

What are Vitamin Supplements?
Vitamin Supplements usually come in a tablet, powder and effervescent tablet form. They contain a number of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. These essential vitamins are found in organic foods, they can also come from living things like plants and animals.
Vitamins are needed in small amounts for the normal metabolism and good health. They assist in metabolising the nutrients found in food and are used to keep your body running smoothly while keeping fit and healthy. Without vitamins, our bodies will become weak, ill and prone to disease.

Your child needs to have both fat soluble and water soluble vitamins in their diet. These are as follows:

Fat Soluble Vitamins

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin K

Water Soluble Vitamins

  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Folic Acid
  • Biotin
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  • vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

How Do Vitamins Help the Body?

  1. According to the Vitamins and Health Supplement Guide, these are the specific benefits and functions of vitamin supplements.
  2. Promote normal growth
  3. Provide proper metabolism
  4. Protect against diseases and deficiencies
  5. Assist in the formation of hormones, blood cells, nervous-system chemicals and genetic material
  6. They combine with protein to form enzymes that promote many essential chemical reactions throughout the body
  7. Promote the formation of cells. They keep these cells strong
  8. Responsible for binding tissues and fighting infections
  9. Vitamins convert fat and carbohydrates into energy
  10. Vitamins also assist in bone and tissue formation and functioning

Pros and Cons
Pros

  1. These supplements help with young children’s growth and health
  2. Helps prevent disease
  3. Feeds the body the necessary nutrients
  4. Promotes a healthy body and mind
  5. Improves and develops the immune system

Cons

  1. They don’t replace an unhealthy diet
  2. Too many vitamins are bad for you
  3. There is little evidence that children’s vitamin supplements actually work.
  4. Not sure what is actually in the supplement

Vitamin Supplements and Children
It is very important to note that vitamin supplements do not replace a healthy diet. Instead they can be used if your child is not getting all the needed vitamins and nutrients, due to being picky little eaters or perhaps having an allergy to some foods.

Active children with lots of energy can benefit from these supplements as they usually use up all of the crucial vitamins while playing and running around. You should try to get your children to eat a complete and balanced diet. This can be done by offering fruits as a snack throughout the day, and introducing a variety of different vegetables in all meals.
Children also go through phases where they don’t like a certain food group, you will need to give your child a vitamin supplement for the foods he/she is lacking and denying at the dinner table. An example includes giving your child an iron supplement if they are refusing or dislike meat.

These are foods that should be introduced into your child’s diet:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean meat and oily fish
  • Nuts
  • Dairy products
  • Lots of water

Healthy Children
Vitamin supplements are very beneficial, but are not as beneficial as a healthy balanced diet. You will need to get your child to eat from all the necessary food groups, so that they can be healthy, happy and full of life. If you have tried everything in your power to get your child to eat fruits and vegetables, but to no avail, you should seek professional help. It is believed that children can develop phobias against certain foods; these children are at a risk of starving themselves.

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