HOW TO SPOT THE SIGNS OF NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES IN KIDS

Kids can be especially prone to nutrient deficiencies

It can be such a concern for many parents as to whether their children are getting enough nutrients.

I would like to explore how nutrient deficiencies can affect our kids, how to spot them, and—most importantly—how to prevent them. Some of the nutrients our children may not be getting enough of include vitamins B, C, and D and magnesium.

We all know it is important to get these nutrients through our diet, but kids are notorious for not eating enough fruit and vegetables. Some are very picky eaters and will only eat certain foods. I'm sure many of you can relate to that. So let's take a look at some of the natural supplements that can help prevent some of those nutrient deficiencies in children.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are essential to many aspects of brain function, energy production, and our body’s ability to build and repair muscle mass. Deficiencies in B vitamins are most often seen in vitamin B12 (especially for vegan and vegetarian kids) and B9 (folate) which is due often to lack of vegetables.

Signs of deficiency include fatigue, weakness, anaemia, loss of appetite, weight loss as well as difficulty with concentration and focus.

If the diet is limited, supplementing with a brand such as Better You Boost B12 Oral spray is a very effective way of boosting B12 and suitable from age 3. They also have a B-Complex spray providing the range of B Vitamins.

Vitamin C

Although we often think about vitamin C when we have a cold, our children’s bodies depend on this important nutrient every day for a host of important functions including wound healing and bone health. Luckily there are plenty of Vitamin C rich foods to keep them happy like fruits and veggies. Signs of deficiency include easy bruising, bleeding gums, irritability, poor appetite and slow wound healing. There are many options around supplementation for kids which suit their particular taste including chewables, gummies, liquid and sprays. Sambucol Black Elderberry liquid for kids is very popular and an excellent source of Vitamin C.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine Vitamin, is a fat soluble essential vitamin which helps with absorption of calcium in our bodies. Because of this, Vitamin D plays a very important role in building and maintaining our bones and teeth.

Signs of deficiency include bone pain, muscle ache, dental problems, fatigue and mood changes. There are very few dietary sources of Vitamin D (oily fish and eggs) and it is often added to food like milk and yogurt.

Vitamin D sprays are easy to use over the winter months to boost levels of this essential nutrient.


Magnesium

Magnesium plays many roles in the body including blood sugar regulation, digestion, muscle and nerve function as well as helping with stress management and sleep. It has become a crucial support for kids and teenagers in helping with anxiety and sleep disorders.

It is very difficult nowadays to get enough magnesium as it is just not in the soil so food sources have become low over the past number of years. Supplementation works really well and options include powder, liquid and capsule as well as topical use for muscle aches and pains. A popular brand is Mag 365 which provides a nice powdered option for kids from age 4 upwards. Floradix Magnesium is a pleasant, fruity option and suitable from age 3.


Davina Downing Nutritional Therapist

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