By Dr. Stephanie Rubino BSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor& Whole Earth & Sea Expert
Are you looking for ways to support your child’s growth and development? Consuming nutritious foods is an obvious step to getting the essential nutrients needed for overall health, however not all kids like to eat spinach and broccoli! Whether they are picky eaters, on restricted diets, or think they are too busy to eat well, limited diets can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Let’s discuss key vitamins and minerals that will support the health and development of our child – starting today. (3,4)
Nutrients for Bone Support
Approximately 90% of peak bone mass has been built by age 18. (5) The importance of supporting bone health actually begins during pregnancy and continues throughout childhood and beyond. A number of different factors impact bone health, such as genetics, gender, ethnicity, exercise, and lifestyle, plus nutritional factors like calcium, vitamin D, and protein intake. In cases of dietary limitations, appropriate intake of these nutrients in supplement form may be beneficial.
Although calcium is one of the most well-known nutrients for building strong bones and teeth, other nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin D3, and vitamin K2 are also required for bone health. Vitamin D3 is needed for the proper absorption of calcium, while vitamin K2 activates osteocalcin, a bone-forming protein. Vitamin K2 also makes sure calcium is directed to the bones instead of soft tissues. In addition, multivitamin and mineral supplements often provide magnesium, an important mineral that supports over 300 enzymes, contributes to bone structure, and is involved in energy production and muscle contraction.
Nutrients for Immune Support
On average, children can have about 6–10 colds per year. (6) Current evidence suggests that nutrients such as vitamins C and D and zinc, may help prevent colds and shorten the duration and/or lessen symptoms. (7) In addition to supporting immune health, vitamin C is an antioxidant that supports the growth of teeth, bones, gums, and ligaments, along with helping to absorb iron, a vital mineral. Iron supports growth and development in children, is involved in the production of red blood cells, and plays an important role in immune function. Zinc is a key mineral involved in wound healing, growth, and development, and supports the function of immune cells.
Children’s Multivitamins: Choose Quality
Multivitamins designed for children provide an array of nutrients to support growth and development. Multivitamins with added whole-food concentrates, such as organic fruits and vegetables, provide a blend of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients, offering further support for young ones to help fill nutrient gaps. Appropriate intake of nutrients, along with movement, fresh air, and good sleep, will help provide a successful foundation of health for active and growing children.
- Haskell CF, Scholey AB, Jackson PA, et al. Cognitive and mood effects in healthy children during 12 weeks supplementation with multi-vitamin/minerals. Br J Nutr. 2008; 100:1086-1096.
- Eilander A, Gera T, Sachdev HS, et al. Multiple micronutrient supplementation for improving cognitive performance in children: systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr.2010; 91(1):115-130.
- Vitamins and minerals [Internet]. Australia: Healthdirect; 2020 [cited 13 Oct 2020]. Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/vitamins-and-minerals
- Raising Children Network. Vitamins and minerals – Suitable for 0–18 years. Australia: Raising Children Network; 2020 [cited Oct 13 2020]. Available from: https://raisingchildren.net.au/teens/healthy-lifestyle/nutrients/vitamins-minerals
- Golden NH, Abrams SA, Committee on Nutrition. Optimizing bone health in children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2014 Oct; 134(4):e1229-e1243.
- Common Cold. WebMD. USA: WebMD; 2020 [cited Oct 13 2020]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/common_cold_overview
- Rondanelli M, Miccono A, Lamburghini S, et al. Self-care for common colds: the pivotal role of vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, and Echinaceain three main immune interactive clusters (physical barriers, innate and adaptive immunity) involved during an episode of common colds-practical advice on dosages and on the time to take these nutrients/botanicals in order to prevent or treat common colds. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Apr 29; 2018:5813095.
- Keunen K, van Elburg RM, van Bel F, et al. Impact of nutrition on brain development and its neuroprotective implications following preterm birth. Pediatr Res. 2015 Jan; 77(1-2):148-155.
- Stringham JM, Johnson EJ, Hammond BR. Lutein across the lifespan: from childhood cognitive performance to the aging eye and brain. Curr Dev Nutr. 2019 Jun 4; 3(7):nzz066.
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Kids Multi contains 29 vitamins, minerals and nutrients important for children’s health, including B-group vitamins, iron, zinc, iodine and vitamin D3 delivered in a convenient and delicious berry flavoured chewable tablet. Featuring ingredients from whole food, organic sources, Kids Multi provides additional support for children with nutritional gaps in their diet.
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