Vitamin deficiencies in children are almost always avoidable if a child is being fed the proper foods and portions daily. As adults, we know and understand that if we do not eat healthy our bodies will inevitably pay the price. The effects of unhealthy eating are most commonly demonstrated physically. Unlike children, we understand and measure the consequences of not treating or feeding our bodies properly. Our little ones on the other hand are barely learning and understanding the importance of food. As parents and caretakers, we are responsible for feeding and nourishing our children while also identifying signs of distress. Here are common signs of vitamin deficiencies and solutions to make our children healthier and stronger. One of the most commonly identifiable vitamin deficiencies is Vitamin D.

Signs include:

Dry skin and hair: these signs are related to a deficiency in fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K2.
What’s the fix? Food sources for these vitamins are found primarily in dairy products and fish (salmon, tuna)!

Exposure to sunlight is also a great and easy way to supplement vitamin D deficiency. 15 minutes a day is all it takes. This tip is also a great way to keep children active and healthy.

Cavities and Tooth Decay: Normal formation of teeth is credited largely to healthy doses of Vitamin D. Should you see that your child is struggling with cavities and deformed teeth, it may be time to consider a deficiency in Vitamin D

What’s the fix? Calcium! Consuming foods rich in calcium (low-fat, non-fat, yogurt, cheese) will give your children and their bodies the strength to build enamel and increase their bone health.

Poor Cranial Structure: “Flat Head” Syndrome is credited largely to vitamin D deficiency.

What’s the fix? Animal food products and healthy fats are the way to go. That protein helps to strengthen bones and create supportive tissue and muscle. Also, a plate full of fruits, vegetables and natural protein such as carrots, strawberries and pasteurized meat!

How can we avoid vitamin deficiency?
Eating the right proportions of healthy food is usually the way to go. Your children should be able to identify 4 out of the 5 food groups on their plate for every meal.

FRUITS
VEGETABLES
GRAINS
PROTEIN
DAIRY

By incorporating these food groups into daily meals, parents and children can avoid vitamin deficiencies and also trips to the doctor. To make the transition into healthy eating easier parents and caregivers should allow their littles ones to become involved in the food making process. Meal prepping is a great opportunity to teach children about their food and the importance it plays in their health. Get them excited about eating healthy! Children will retain information faster and longer if they’re learning interactively. Educating our little ones about the food groups and involving them in the process of creating their meals will lead to lifelong routines full of positive and healthy habits.

Sources:
https://www.weedemandreap.com/nutritional-deficiencies-kids/ http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/nutrition-food-safety-health/fat-soluble-vitamins-a-d-e-and-k-9-315/ http://www.shdc.com.au/vitamin-deficiency-and-increased-tooth-decay/ https://www.weedemandreap.com/nutritional-deficiencies-kids/

 

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