Essential Nutrients For Growing Kids:A Guide To Kids Multivitamins

Essential Nutrients For Growing Kids: A Guide To Kids Multivitamins

Overview

As parents, ensuring the optimal growth and development of our children is a top priority. One of the fundamental ways to support this growth is by providing them with a balanced and nutritious diet. However, the challenges of modern lifestyles, picky eating habits, and hectic schedules can often make it difficult to ensure that children are receiving all the essential nutrients they need. This is where kids' multivitamins step in as a valuable aid in bridging the gap in nutrition for kids. In this guide, we'll delve into the importance of nutrients for growing kids, the specific types of nutrients required, daily nutrition requirements, and how the best vitamins for kids can play a crucial role in filling this nutritional void. [1,2,3]


The Importance of Nutrients for Growing Kids

The early years of a child's life are characterised by rapid growth and development. Nutrition for kids plays a pivotal role in supporting various physiological processes such as bone development, cognitive function, immune system strengthening, and overall energy levels. A well-rounded diet rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and other essential nutrients contributes significantly to a child's physical and mental well-being. However, research from the National Institute for Health indicates that a large percentage of children do not meet the recommended daily intake of key nutrients through their diet alone. [4,5]


Types of Essential Nutrients for Kids [6,7,8,9,10]

 Vitamins:

Vitamins are vital for various bodily functions. Vitamin A promotes healthy vision; vitamin D is essential for bone health and immune function, and the B-complex vitamins aid in energy metabolism and brain development. Choosing a supplement that includes all the best vitamins for kids can be crucial in meeting the vitamin requirements for growing kids.

 Minerals:

Minerals like calcium and phosphorus are crucial for building strong bones and teeth, while iron supports the production of red blood cells and prevents anaemia. Zinc, found in various forms, including zinc lozenges, plays a critical role in immune function and wound healing.

 Protein:

Protein is the building block of the body, supporting the growth and repair of tissues. It's especially important during periods of rapid growth.

 Fibre:


Fibre aids in digestion and prevents constipation. It also helps maintain a healthy weight by promoting a feeling of fullness.

• Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

These healthy fats are essential for brain development and cognitive function.

 Antioxidants:


Found in fruits and vegetables, antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and support overall health.


Daily Nutrition requirement for Kids

The daily nutrition requirements for kids vary based on factors like age, gender, and activity level. The National Institute for Health provides detailed guidelines for recommended daily allowances. For example, children aged 4-8 generally need around 1,000-1,400 calories a day, while older kids aged 9-13 may require between 1,400-2,600 calories. Protein requirements range from 19-34 grams per day depending on age, while vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, vitamin D, and zinc have specific recommendations as well. [11]


The Role of Multivitamins in Filling Nutritional Gaps

While a balanced diet should always be the primary source of nutrients for kids, multivitamins can be a valuable supplement, especially when dietary intake falls short. Modern lifestyles often make it challenging to consistently provide the ideal nutrition for kids and this is where multivitamins can shine. [12,13]

Addressing Specific Nutrient Deficiencies:

Multivitamins can address specific nutrient deficiencies that might be lacking in a child's diet. For instance, if a child is not fond of dairy products, which are a significant source of calcium and vitamin D, a multivitamin can help compensate for these deficiencies. [14]

Comprehensive Support:

Kids' multivitamins are designed to provide a well-rounded spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall growth and development. They often include a balanced combination of vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, as well as minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc.

Zinc Lozenges for Immune Health:

Zinc is a mineral known for its immune-boosting properties. Zinc lozenges, in particular, can be beneficial for kids, especially during cold and flu seasons. They can help reduce the severity and duration of common cold symptoms while also supporting the immune system's ability to fight off infections. [15]

Kids Nutrition Drinks:

In addition to multivitamins, kids' nutrition drinks are another option to consider. These beverages are often fortified with essential nutrients and can be a convenient way to ensure children are getting the vitamins and minerals they need. [16]


 

Conclusion

In a world filled with distractions, time constraints, and dietary preferences, ensuring that children receive their daily dose of essential nutrients can be a daunting task. However, the importance of a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and other vital nutrients cannot be overstated. To bridge the gap between what kids, need and what they consume, multivitamins emerge as a viable solution. With a focus on comprehensive support and addressing specific deficiencies, these supplements can contribute significantly to the overall health and well-being of growing kids. As always, it's important to consult with healthcare professionals before introducing any new supplements or making significant changes to a child's diet. After all, providing the best possible foundation for your child's growth and development is a responsibility that requires careful consideration and informed decision-making


References

  1.  Taylor CM, Emmett PM. Picky eating in children: causes and consequences. ProcNutr Soc. 2019 May;78(2):161-169. doi: 10.1017/S0029665118002586.

  2.  Scaglioni S, De Cosmi V, Ciappolino V, Parazzini F, Brambilla P, Agostoni C. Factors Influencing Children's Eating Behaviours. Nutrients. 2018 May 31;10(6):706. doi: 10.3390/nu10060706.

  3.  Dwyer JT, Saldanha LG, Bailen RA, Gahche JJ, Potischman N, Bailey RL, Jun S, Long Y, Connor E, Andrews KW, Pehrsson PR, Gusev PA. Do Multivitamin/Mineral Dietary Supplements for Young Children Fill Critical Nutrient Gaps? J AcadNutr Diet. 2022 Mar;122(3):525-532. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2021.10.019. Epub 2021 Oct 20. PMID: 34687947.

  4.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics about the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

  5.  Bailey ADL, Fulgoni Iii VL, Shah N, et al. Nutrient intake adequacy from food and beverage intake of US children Aged 1-6 years from NHANES 2001-2016. Nutrients. 2021;13(3):827.

  6.  Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Fact Sheets. Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-VitaminsMinerals/

  7.  FDA 101: Dietary Supplements. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/fda-101-dietary-supplements

  8.  Uauy R, Kurpad A, Tano-Debrah K, Otoo GE, Aaron GA, Toride Y, Ghosh S. Role of Protein and Amino Acids in Infant and Young Child Nutrition: Protein and Amino Acid Needs and Relationship with Child Growth. J NutrSciVitaminol (Tokyo). 2015;61 Suppl:S192-4. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.61.S192. PMID: 26598853.

  9.  Osendarp SJM. The role of omega-3 fatty acids in child development. OCL 2011; 18(6) : 307–313. doi : 10.1051/ocl.2011.0417

  10.  Rupérez AI, Mesa MD, Anguita-Ruiz A, González-Gil EM, Vázquez-Cobela R, Moreno LA, Gil Á, Gil-Campos M, Leis R, Bueno G, Aguilera CM. Antioxidants and Oxidative Stress in Children: Influence of Puberty and Metabolically Unhealthy Status. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Jul 15;9(7):618. doi: 10.3390/antiox9070618. PMID: 32679739; PMCID: PMC7402162.

  11.  Faizan U, Rouster AS. Nutrition and Hydration Requirements In Children and Adults. [Updated 2022 Aug 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK562207/

  12.  Ip, P., Ho, F.K.W., Rao, N. et al. Impact of nutritional supplements on cognitive development of children in developing countries: A meta-analysis. Sci Rep 7, 10611 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-11023-4

  13.  Yackobovitch-Gavan M, Lebenthal Y, Lazar L, Shalitin S, Demol S, Tenenbaum A, Shamir R, Phillip M. Effect of Nutritional Supplementation on Growth in Short and Lean Prepubertal Children after 1 Year of Intervention. J Pediatr. 2016 Dec;179:154-159.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.08.100.

  14.  Biesalski HK, Tinz J. Multivitamin/mineral supplements: Rationale and safety - A systematic review. Nutrition. 2017 Jan;33:76-82. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2016.02.013. Epub 2016 Mar 4. PMID: 27553772.

  15.  Gammoh, N.Z., Rink, L. (2019). Zinc and the Immune System. In: Mahmoudi, M., Rezaei, N. (eds) Nutrition and Immunity. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-16073-9_8

  16.  Li F, Jin X, Liu B, Zhuang W, Scalabrin D. Follow-up formula consumption in 3- to 4-year-olds and respiratory infections: an RCT. Pediatrics. 2014 Jun;133(6):e1533-40. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3598. Epub 2014 May 19. PMID: 24843061
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