Does my child need a vitamin/mineral supplement?

Most children with ill health, allergies, tummy problems or feeding difficulties will benefit from a high quality supplement. Many children with gut problems do not absorb minerals so well. Iron and zinc deficiency is very common. I am constantly asked “Does my child need a vitamin/mineral supplement?” – the answer is usually “yes”. Excellent micro-nutrition makes healthy Children.

Does my child need a vitamin/mineral supplement?

Children need sufficient MINERALS:
especially: Iron, Selenium, Zinc, Copper, Calcium, Magnesium.Children need sufficient VITAMINS:
especially: Vitamin A,  B, C, D, E and folate

For example, osteoporosis in old age leads to broken bones and serious disability. If they won’t or can’t take dairy products, then other sources are needed: Soy milk or Rice milk (fortified with calcium) or supplements are necessary. Sometimes they also need a calcium supplement.

Iron deficiency is very common. It is important to check the blood for ferritin. An iron supplement can make a big difference.
It is a good ideas to give supplements in the form as a multi-vitamin mineral supplement.

Calcium is a corner stone of bone health. Calcium supplements are given to prevent Osteoporosis. However, Vitamin D is crucial.

Calcium supplements

Calcium is a corner stone of bone health. Calcium supplements are given to prevent Osteoporosis. However, Vitamin D is crucial.

Osteoporosis in old age leads to broken bones and serious disability.

To combat this our children need to increase their peak bone mass.
This can be done by making sure that our children have enough calcium and exercise. Both are essential.

The amount of calcium recommended is 1000mg a day to give a maximal effect.  This amount of calcium is needed from the age of 6 or 7 years and given for 4 or 5 years duration.

Calcium supplementation given before puberty is the most effective.

As well as improving peak bone mass, it can also increase standing height, bone length and bone size.

A useful source of calcium is that found in milk, calcium phosphate.

BUT if they won’t or can’t take dairy products, then other sources are needed:

Soy milk or Rice milk (fortified with calcium) or Supplements.

My recommendation:-Ensure that your child is getting about 1000 mg of Calcium each day through drinks, foods or supplements, over the school years.  Lots of walking, and running and jumping is also essential. Be active.

The amount of calcium in food

Dairyamountmg
Milk (low fat, skim)1 cup  (250 ml)

300

Cheddar cheese1.5 oz

300

Yoghurt (non-fat)1 cup (8oz)

450

Grains
Oatmeal1 cup

330

Tofu1/2 cup

260

Soybeans 1 cup

175

Barley100 g (cooked)

10

Bread (wheat)1 slice

35

Brown rice (cooked)100 g

10

Wheat100 g

30

Quinoa100g (cooked)

20

Green vegetables
Bok choy 1 cup

250

Broccoli 1 cup

180

Spinach1/2 cup

150

Peas
Brussels sprouts 1 cup

56

Butternut squash 1 cup

84

Chick peas 1 cup

80

Fruit
Figs (dried) 10, medium

270

Dates (dried) 10, medium

27

Orange1, medium

60

Raisins1/2 cup

35

Beans / lentils / peas
Green beans 1 cup

60

Kidney beans 1 cup

115

Baked beans 1 cup (200g, 8oz)

100

Chick peas 1 cup (200g, 8oz)

90

Lentils 1 cup

37

Peanuts1 oz

20

Nuts
Almonds1 oz (20 whole nuts)

75

Brazil1 oz (6 whole nuts)

45

Cashew1 oz (20 nuts)

15

Hazel nuts1 oz (20 kernels)

35

Fish / meat / eggs
Salmoncanned, 3oz

90

Sardinescanned, 3oz

325

Meat1 portion 100 g   20
Eggs1, medium

60

 

Calcium is very important.  But not too much. The thinking on calcium amounts is changing, and the recommendations might be for lower levels in the future.

 

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