Kids & Vitamins
a special feature
We know how strongly our doctors recommend daily vitamins for our own health and well-being; but have we ever sat back and thought about our grandchildren who are growing at such a rapid rate, and wondered what kind of nutrients and vitamins that they might be missing? Our GPL nutritionist Rachel Graham* shares with us her tips on children & vitamins!
If you believe the ads, and powerful marketing campaigns, every kid needs a daily vitamin. But is it true? Not necessarily so, the experts agree. However, given the reality of how busy we all are, a home-cooked meal isn’t always possible, and a child’s daily needs are not always met. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to have this kind of discussion the child’s pediatrician, who can recommend a daily multivitamin or mineral supplement.
Take note: healthy kids get their best start from what you shop for at the market.
The old saying:” we are what we eat” really applies here. So, when you have those fabulous times together grandparent & grandchild & family… make choices of food that serve up a variety of healthful gains. Good nutrition starts by supplying a wide variety of whole, fresh foods. Ideally, kids should get their vitamins from a balanced, healthy diet that includes:
1) Milk and dairy products like cheese and yogurt
2) Plenty of fresh fruits and leafy, green vegetables
3) Protein like chicken, fish, meat, and eggs
4) Whole grains like steel-cut oats and brown rice
Here’s a quick guide to what vitamins are in the food you eat:
- Vitamin A promotes normal growth and development; tissue and bone repair; and healthy skin and eyes, and immune responses. Good sources include milk, cheese, eggs, and yellow-to-orange vegetables like carrots, yams, and squash.
- Vitamin Bs. The family of B vitamins — B2, B3, B6, and B12 — aid metabolism energy production, and healthy circulatory and nervous systems. Good sources include meat, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, beans, and soybeans.
- Vitamin C promotes healthy muscles, connective tissue, and skin. Good sources include citrus fruit, strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, and green vegetables like broccoli.
- Vitamin D promotes bone and tooth formation and helps the body absorb calcium. Good sources include milk and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight.
- Calcium helps build strong bones as a child grows. Good sources include milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, and calcium-fortified orange juice.
- Iron builds muscle and is essential to healthy red blood cells, iron deficiency is a risk in adolescence, especially for girls once they begin to menstruate. Good sources include beef and other red meats, turkey, pork, spinach, beans, and prunes.
* Rachel Graham, a professional Health Coach, is a Board Certified Health Counselor (AADP), and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Her unique background in therapy, health and nutrition allows her to create individual programs for adults, children and the entire family in a one-on-one counseling environment. Her focus presents options allowing for healthier mind and body choices. Rachel earned a B.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and holds a Masters degree in Education from Columbia University. and a Masters degree in Clinical Social Work from New York University. You can contact Rachel: Rachel@livehealthynyc.com