Remember the saying: “We are what we eat”? If we say a little differently: “We are as healthy as our food is good”, then its meaning will become clearer.
Ideally, it should give us enough energy, contain the most important nutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates), and also provide us with vitamins, microelements and minerals. Experts seriously call their lack “hidden hunger”.
When it comes to kids, this idea is of particular importance, because without the participation of these elements, not a single process that is important for the development of children, and the body spends them in large quantities. That is why a lack of vitamins, microelements and minerals can lead to the fact that kids start lagging behind their more “well-to-do” peers: such children do not pick up the centimeters they are given, later they learn to crawl, walk, they become irritable, restless, they don’t sleep well, often sick, worse learn new information.
It is very difficult to provide children with useful items only through nutrition. First, they grow unevenly: they “stand” on the spot, then suddenly they “break through” forward.
Secondly, kids have their own likes and dislikes in choosing food, so some important products for them may fall into disgrace. Thirdly, not every child has a good appetite, which is why he simply “lacks” the necessary number of useful elements from products.
This idea is confirmed by the numbers. Studies conducted by pediatricians and nutritionists of the Research Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences showed that in different areas a deficiency of B vitamins is found in 30–40% of children, b-carotene – more than 40%, and vitamin C – in 70–90%.
Not less depressing indicators of calcium, iodine, iron, zinc and other minerals.
The problem of the lack of these elements is puzzled by both Russian specialists and pediatricians and nutritionists all over the world.
What is going on? Experts give several reasons:
- Deficiency can pass to the baby “inherited”: not all pregnant women and young mothers who breastfeed, care about how much nutrients they receive.
- Often parents feed their babies over age. In the first year of life, it is too early to translate into artificial mixtures, postpone or advance the terms of acquaintance with new products. And older children are allowed to get involved in refined foods, poor in nutrients (for example, bread made from high-grade flour, sugar), and also pasta, potatoes, sausage to the detriment of vegetables and meat.
- 3 In recent decades, we have begun to eat many finished products — semi-finished products, in which many useful properties are lost during production. And they began to offer them to kids! That is why children need to take vitamin and mineral complexes all year round, which will smooth out dietary errors and supply the body with everything necessary.
His task. With its help, the baby’s body absorbs calcium and lays it in the emerging bones.
In addition, this element is involved in the development of the immune system of children.
A source. Since it is not easy for the smallest to get vitamin D from natural sources (it is produced in our skin by the action of the sun) in the right amount, they should take it as a drug.
In no case do not undertake to pick it up to your “taste” – only a doctor can prescribe a medicine, much less calculate the dose.
His task. Together with phosphorus, this element forms the basis of the entire skeleton and dentin of teeth. That is why the need for it is so strong in periods of rapid growth – consumption is too large.
In addition, calcium is needed for normal functioning of the nervous system, muscle contraction and blood clotting. His work, as you remember, is closely related to vitamin D: the latter helps calcium with phosphorus to be absorbed and “deposits” them in the bones.
A source. Make sure that dairy products have a special place in the diet of the baby – they need it every day, and not once.
His task. The value of this element for our body is so great that due to its lack we can just get sick. Iron deficiency anemia is a serious problem, especially when it comes to babies.
Even a small iron deficiency, suffered by children in infancy, can delay their development: these kids are a little behind in the development of motor skills, later they begin to speak, they hardly learn.
A source. With the advent of the baby will receive iron from food: first with breast milk or a mixture, and then – with those products that you offer him.
By the way, many manufacturers of products for baby food specifically enrich them with this element.
His task. Like calcium, this element is part of the mineral base of bone tissue, and also takes part in many processes important for our body, for example, it helps provide the body with energy, produce protein, improves the functioning of the liver, heart and blood vessels, etc. Kids so quickly magnesium is consumed, that its deficiency, which, according to some data, is present in every 5th child, seems unsurprising.
Children get tired faster and at the same time, playing out, as if they can not stop, they are worried, capricious, nervous.
A source. Most of the necessary magnesium babies get with food.
His task. This element is required for the growth of tissues and bones, in addition, it plays an important role in the work of the immune system – one cannot do without its “participation” in protecting against infection and developing immunity after another vaccination.
A source. Make sure that the baby’s diet does not happen interruptions with meat and other animal products.
His task. The “sphere of influence” of this element is extensive: it supports the work of the immune system, mitigates the manifestations of infections, increases resistance to the unfriendly effects of the external environment, helps the gland to digest, and participates in the formation of certain hormones.
How to prevent shortages? Since we cannot be sure that the vegetables and fruits that come to our table contain enough vitamin C all year round, pay attention to much more reliable suppliers of this element – fortified foods or capsules “in jars”.
Only need to take vitamin C after meals, because it has the property to irritate the gastric mucosa.
His task. Iodine is necessary for the functioning of the thyroid gland, the development of immunity and the nervous system of babies, and its importance in this process is so great that a deficiency of this element can affect their mental development.
According to the WHO, iodine deficiency is the most common cause of intellectual disabilities from among those that can be prevented.
A source. Iodized salt is the most reliable of them: this practice has proved its effectiveness, since it has existed for a long time in many countries of the world.
“Multivitamins are not needed by those whose food is diverse.”
We have already talked about this. It is difficult to satisfy the needs of growing babies in all essential vitamins, minerals, trace elements only through food.
For this, it is necessary that every day in the diet of a small variety of food groups appear in the right quantities, so that he would not refuse any of them and eat with appetite. Is it possible?
Here is an example: to supply a baby with calcium, he must receive 800 mg of this element every day. This is about 4 cups of milk, 40–50 g of cheese, 50–80 g of cottage cheese. Which parent can be sure that the baby is gaining this amount?
A vitamin-mineral capsule contains a certain “portion” of useful elements, and it meets the needs of the body of children of different ages.
“In summer and autumn you can stock up on vitamins for a year.”
Despite the fact that vitamins, minerals and trace elements are so necessary for our body, it does not produce them itself and does not store. The only exception is fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and B12, but these “reserves” last for 2-6 weeks, and vitamin B12 is generally stored 4-10 days.
“Pharmaceutical vitamins are created artificially.”
The only thing that is artificial in them is a form that unites different elements together. Vitamins consist of natural components: for example, vitamin P is obtained from chokeberry or citrus peel, and vitamins B2 and B12 produce microorganisms, such as yeast.
“Vitamins are a medicine.”
You can fix a broken system, but you can not bring it to breakage. Vitamin and mineral complexes are created so that the child does not get sick. In difficult times, they will help the body cope with the scourge, but the problem itself could not be.
For example, vitamins A, B and zinc are necessary for the mucous membranes to work. Their shortage over time can lead to the fact that the mucous will no longer cope with their role of protectors.
Harmful bacteria and viruses will “take advantage of this situation,” and babies will start to get sick more often.
“We grew up without“ canned ”vitamins – and everything is in order!”
The nutrition of babies has always been supplemented with some elements: remember the fish oil, which they also fed us. Only a list of these elements varies from decade to decade. As already mentioned, our diet, the way of life itself, the environment is different from what it was 30–40 years ago, and, unfortunately, not for the better.
Vitamins, minerals and trace elements can help us cope with the problems of our time. As you understand, this help is especially needed for children, whose body is still being formed.
“Vitamins from tablets are not digested.”
The results of scientific studies have shown that children who take vitamin-mineral complexes have better health indicators than their peers who do not receive such support.