Why is Vitamin C important for your child

Why is Vitamin C important for your child?

Biting into a wedge of lemon or orange can not only excite and refresh your child’s taste buds, but it can also supply him with the vitamin C he needs for better immunity. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble nutrient, which cannot be synthesized in our body and has to be taken orally to support overall health. Vitamin C for kids is also beneficial for forming and repairing body tissues, healing wounds, boosting bone and teeth health, and enhancing the absorption of iron from food sources. However, it tends to get destroyed by atmospheric oxidation, and hence, it is not advisable to expose cut fruits and vegetables to open air for long hours.

Recommendations for Children’s

Vitamin C is required at all stages of life, in varying doses, depending on age and gender. The recommended dietary allowance for toddlers and pre-teens is usually about 40 mg per day.

Sources of vitamin C

You will be glad to know that all fruits and vegetables are natural sources of vitamin C. Some of the food groups are mentioned below:-

  • Citrus fruits have a high level of vitamin C, like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, guavas, mangoes, gooseberries, strawberries, red and green bell peppers, and kiwis.
  • Other fruits and vegetables which provide this vitamin include cantaloupes, tomatoes, and broccolis.

As vitamin C is water-soluble, its content and potency can get reduced due to cooking and prolonged storage. It is advisable to apply a steaming or microwaving method of cooking to restore this nutrient.

Importance of vitamin C for children

Children are more prone to infections as they have developing immune systems, and hence, it is important for them to consume vitamin C regularly. Below are the benefits of consuming vitamin C:-

  • For boosting immunity: - This vitamin is required to boost immunity in children, and mainly helps in fighting upper respiratory infections like cold and flu.
  • Rich in antioxidant: - Vitamin C has antioxidant properties which protect your child’s cells against the damage caused by free radicals, a compound formed from normal body processes as well as exposure to harmful substances like smoke, air pollution and ultraviolet radiation.
  • Helps collagen formation and wound healing: - As children are more prone to cuts and injuries, regular vitamin C consumption will help to form collagen in bones, cartilages, muscles, and blood vessels. It can also heal minor wounds and protect your kid’s gums and teeth.
  • Aids iron absorption: - Vitamin C improves absorption of iron from food, which is crucial for kids for their rapid growth. Iron also helps in the formation of haemoglobin in red blood cells, which carry oxygen to different parts of the body.

Vitamin C Deficiency In Children

Vitamin C deficiency might lead to scurvy, which appears as brown spots on the skin. Other signs are roughening of the skin, thickening of the gums, and bleeding from the mucous membranes. Your child might also experience weakness or discomfort, emotional changes, poor wound healing, bone pain, bleeding gums, dry and flaky skin, inflammation of gums, and tooth enamel erosion. In later stages, scurvy might lead to jaundice, nervous problems and convulsions.

Conclusion

To wrap up, vitamin C is a vital nutrient that is required for the body’s overall maintenance and for building immunity. Infections are common in both children and babies, and so consuming vitamin C is essential. It can protect your child against common illnesses like cold, flu, fever and rashes. You should also know that in a developing country like India, vitamin C deficiency is more prominent, which has been linked to malnutrition, poor dietary practices and severe intestinal malabsorption. Also, children can be picky eaters, and hence, you should include citrus fruits and vegetables in their diet as much as possible.

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