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Author: Dr. Kristen Bruno

Perfect world:

Diligent, hungry 6-year-old child is seated over the plate with a perfectly formed portion, which consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals and protein and a glass of milk.

The real world:

Picky, picky 6 year old looks at the plate, which you hastily put the pasta (you know he will eat them), a few pods of green beans (from which he would shy away like the plague), Apple slices (which he eats first). Next – a glass of milk, which he refuses to drink.

There are a few happy parents, whose children eat a well-balanced diet with every meal, every day. Most of us suffering with picky eaters, refusing to eat, a busy schedule or a combination of all three. Maybe a couple times a week we get a well-balanced diet, but to eat right every day, every meal – is a pipe dream!

Despite the far from imperfect nutrition, most kids could get most of the nutrients necessary for growth and development. However, if your child refuses specific foods, restricted diet or extremely picky eaters, you might want to give the child vitamins or mineral supplements. Megavitamins — large doses of vitamins — for children not suitable, since some of the vitamins and minerals in large doses can be harmful to children. Try as possible to increase the amount of nutrients in the diet of the child. To add to the child’s diet more vitamins and minerals, give preference to fresh, whole foods and strive for diversity.

Vitamin deficiency in children

The need for the introduction of additives in the diet of children may be caused by some common difficulties when feeding kids:

  • Child 1-3 years of avoiding meat. Young children often do not like meat. Most children drink a lot of milk and eat a variety of fruit, some delicious vegetables, but turn up his nose from the meat. Lean meat is an important source of B vitamins, iron, and protein. Low iron levels are associated with fatigue and cognitive and behavioral problems. Iron is especially important during periods of rapid growth and development because it participates in the construction of muscles and the development of healthy red blood cells. Vitamins are essential for energy production and maintenance of a healthy nervous system. Symptoms of deficiency include irritability and short attention span. Non-meat food sources of iron and B vitamins, which are ideal for kids, include hummus, fortified cereals, beans, dark leafy greens and peanuts. Similar to vitamin deficiency is often observed, and supporters of a vegetarian diet. If you are worried that your child doesn’t get from food enough iron and B vitamins, can be daily to give him a Supplement with iron or multivitamins for kids with iron.
  • A teenager drinking soda, and do not like dairy products. The diet of adolescents is one of the worst. Busy schedules often lead to fast food consumption with low nutrient content. In the diet of many teenagers high in fat and carbohydrates and not enough fruit, vegetables and dairy products. Often adolescents milk and water prefer sports drinks and soda. A deficiency of calcium and vitamin D is often found in children of all categories and ages, and adolescents deficiency of these vitamins often increases. Dairy products are the main dietary source of calcium and vitamin D. Both of these elements essential for the health of bones and teeth. A lack of vitamin D and calcium can lead to bone fragility, muscle weakness, slow growth and susceptibility to fractures. Children who eat enough dairy products can get calcium and vitamin D from fortified orange juice, Kale, salmon, tofu and eggs (vitamin D only). Vitamin D and calcium should be given to children who have a higher risk of low content in the diet of these important nutrients.
  • Babies. Only breast milk and formula mixture (less than 950 ml / day) do not provide infants with enough vitamin D before vitamin-enriched foods. Vitamin D supplementation are recommended for all children with breast and artificial (receiving less than 950 ml of the mixture per day) feeding.
  • The child is extremely picky about food. Many children with autism and some children-neurotypical follow a very restricted diet, which often consists mainly of carbs and sometimes meat. Such children are at risk for deficiency of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and C. a Diet high in carbohydrates and low in fruits and vegetables also do not provide a sufficient amount of fiber. Vitamin a promotes normal growth and development, useful for the skin and eyes. Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system and is useful for muscles, skin and connective tissue. Lack of vitamin C can lead to frequent infections and poor healing wounds. Fiber is important for heart health and bowel. Children, the diet not enough fiber suffer from constipation. Vitamins A and C found in vegetables and fruits. Foods high in fiber: whole fruit, legumes, raisins and some cereals. For children who do not receive with food of enough fiber or suffer from constipation, it may be useful to introduce in the daily diet supplements with fiber. Children who eat little fruit and vegetables, every day we need to give a multivitamin.

A balanced proper diet is extremely important for growth and development, from birth to old age. The habit of healthy eating, including low-fat dairy products, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables of all colors, lean proteins and whole grains, should be taught in early childhood. Set an example of healthy eating to their children. Strive to ensure that your child gets the nutrients from food, but if necessary, supplementing the diet supplements, consult your pediatrician.

This article was written by Kristen Bruno, M. D., a pediatrician from Purli, Pediatrics (Purely Pediatrics), clinical Association of the University of Washington, located in children’s hospital in St. Louis. Kristen received a medical degree and graduated at the school of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis children’s hospital. Dr. Bruno is a writer at MomDoc ChildrensMD.org is a godsend for parents, sponsored by children’s hospital Washington University in St. Louis. She gladly helps parents and children in the fight against illness, behavior problems or difficulties encountered during breastfeeding. She is the mother of two children.

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