A healthy child grows into a healthy adult. Looking after your children’s health is one of the best ways to ensure their future success.
Children’s health is vital because childhood is the time when the foundations and habits for life are laid down. Learning to eat healthily and to take regular exercise is an excellent basis for future life. But where do you start?
Children have health needs, too
In fact, if anything, their health needs are greater, as their bodies and organs (including brains) will develop according to the building blocks provided in their diet.
Vitamin A is needed for growth and development of bones, eyes and skin. It also helps to protect against infections.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is one of the enzymes that converts glucose to energy. Deficiency results in Beri-beri.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is involved in the repair and maintenance of body tissues. Deficiency impairs the ability to learn.
Niacin (B3) is needed for the production of red blood cells. Deficiency results in Pellagra.
Vitamin B6 is needed for the formation of the brain, nerves and blood, and also as an anti-allergen. Deficiency can result in convulsions in infants.
Biotin (B8) is used for the maintenance of healthy skin, hair and bone marrow. Deficiency in babies can lead to persistent diarrhoea.
Folic acid (B9) is used in RNA and DNA metabolism and in the production of red blood cells. It also promotes disease resistance in young babies. Folic acid requires the presence of Vitamin C.
Vitamin B12 is also involved in DNA metabolism and building nerves and blood. A deficiency results in pernicious anaemia.
Vitamin C promotes resistance to infection from viruses as well as bacteria and is involved in the formation of brain and nerve substances. Deficiency results in scurvy.
Vitamin D is essential for using calcium and phosphates, and production of bones and teeth. Deficiency results in rickets in children. However, children that play outdoors regularly are unlikely to suffer from a deficiency of this vitamin.
Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant, maintains healthy blood vessels and aids white blood cells. It protects polyunsaturated oils and vitamin A. Deficiency in children can lead to haemolytic anaemia.
In today’s world, the fast food vendor seems to have become the favoured hangout for kids. Unfortunately, though loaded with calories, fat and carbs, most fast food is very poor nutritionally. You can’t stop them liking it (that’s what it’s designed to do), but you can improve your kids’ nutritional status by adding extra fruit and other healthy snacks, and by making sure they take a well balanced supplement every day.