My favourite supplements to top up the levels:
Vitamin D3 Minty Spray for Babies – BetterYou D Lux Infant Vit D Oral Spray 15ml x 1
Iron Liquid Feroglobin – Vitabiotics Feroglobin Liquid – 500 ml
Omega 3 Fish oils – Super Hero 100 ml DHA Omega 3 Fish Oil for Kids
Probiotics – BioGaia ProTectis Probiotic Drops 5ml
What are they?
These are compounds that are found in foods and are needed by the body, as we don’t have them or produce them ourselves, to function properly, stave off illness and grow well.
Children are in particular need of keeping their levels up as they are growing, and building new tissue, cells, bones and systems. Often there are some that children do not get enough of, so check below to see where to get each of them from in your food. Anaemia, iron deficiency and Vitamin D deficiency are the most common in children, and often undiagnosed.
Vitamin A – Also known as Retinol builds immune system and fights infections, keeps skin and vision healthy.
Sources of Vit A: Whole milk, butter, egg yolks, liver, green vegetables, watercress, kale, spinach, prunes, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, oranges, apricots, peaches, melon and mangoes
Vitamin K – Responsible for blood clotting, wound healing and bone health.
Sources of Vit K: Green Vegetables; spinach, kale, greens, broccoli, lettuce, watercress, cabbage, brussel sprouts, liver, asparagus, oats, peas, green beans, butter, eggs, kelp
Vitamin D –
Regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, keeping bones and teeth healthy. It is very common for small children to be lacking in this, which can lead to bone pain, low immune systems, tenderness “growing pains”, bone deformities and rickets. See detailed section on this for more info.
Sources of Vit D: SUNSHINE! Salmon, sardines, tuna, shrimps, sunflower seeds, liver, eggs and mushrooms
Vitamin E – Acts as an antioxidant to protect cell membranes and a healthy immune system.
Sources of Vit E: Wheat germ oil, Almonds, sesame oil, Walnuts, Cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, linseeds, olive oil, butter, spinach, salmon, brown rice, rye flour, pecans and carrots
Vitamin Bs – These are 8 water soluble vitamins, including folic acid, that play a role in providing energy.
Sources of Vit B
Chickpeas, sunflower seeds, brown rice, fish, chicken, meat, clams, cashews, almonds, buckwheat, lentils, avocados, kale, rye, bananas, millet, oatmeal
Vitamin C – Protects cells, immune system, maintains connective tissue, helps wound healing.
Sources of Vit C
Sweet peppers, acerola cherries, kale, parlsey, citrus fruits, watercress, strawberries, cabbage, asparagus, kiwis, broccoli, brussel sprouts, melon and oysters
Folate – It’s a B Vitamin – the man made version is called folic acid – that helps new tissues and proteins form, and aids digestion and nervous system development. For pregnant women it’s crucial in preventing birth defects.
Sources of Folate
Yeast, black-eyed peas, liver, kidney beans, mung beans, lentils, walnuts. Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, cabbage, peanuts, broccoli, barley, almonds, oatmeal, figs and avocado
Iron – Makes red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body.
Sources – Kelp, yeast, molasses, pumpkin seeds, liver, sunflower seeds, millet, parsley, clams, almonds, cashews, prunes, red meat, raisins, chard, kale, dates, eggs, lentils, pulses, brown rice, dried apricots, dark/raw chocolate
Zinc – Antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-viral, wound-healing, reproductive health, growth and immune system regulator.
Sources – Oysters, ginger, red meat, nuts, pulses, egg yolks, milk, chicken, sardines, buckwheat, prawns, oily fish, white fish
Magnesium – Helps turn food into energy, DNA repair and bone health.
Sources –Seaweed, kelp, almonds, cashews, molasses, buckwheat, brazil nuts, millet, tofu, coconut flesh, spinach, brown rice, dates, apricots, prawns, sweet corn, avocados
Calcium – There is more of this than any other mineral, its crucial for children for building strong bones, teeth, nerve and muscle function and heart beat regulation.
Sources – Kelp, seaweed, dark leafy greens; kale, spinach, milk, cheese, almonds, parsley, corn, watercress, tofu, figs, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, sesame seeds, olives, broccoli
Manganese – Helps make and activate enzymes in the body, bone and ligament formation.
Sources – Nuts, barley, buckwheat, split peas, wholemeal flour, spinach, oats, raisins, rhubarb, beans, avocado, Brussels sprouts
Potassium – Controls fluid balance, nerves, hormones and heart muscle function.
Sources – Seaweed, red meat, chicken, potato, banana, sunflower seeds, dates, figs, almonds, mushrooms, squash, carrots, yams, garlic, millet and pulses
Selenium – Antioxidant, reproductive health, DNA repair.
Sources – Butter, brazil nuts, cider vinegar, scallops, prawns, lobster, barley, oats, crab, chard, red meat, milk, fish, garlic, eggs, mushrooms, alfalfa
Common Deficiencies in Children
By giving your family a diet of varied, delicious and fresh foods, the vitamin content will naturally be high, and the body’s ability to absorb and use nutrients from natural occurring vitamins and minerals is much greater than synthetic pills and powders. So first off think of nutrient dense foods like any of the recipes on here as vitamin pills in themselves. Smoothies are a great way of adding a boost of goodness particularly if children are ill, or off their food.
However, there are certain areas that children, particularly can have deficiencies commonly. And in order to ensure they are covered, almost as a back-up, the following are the most commonly deficient in children and are a good idea to supplement.
Vitamin D3 –
Higher Nature 13ml Vitamin D Spray
Bone, Immune and nervous system health. See separate post on Vitamin D
We take the delicious minty spray above, every day to keep levels topped up.
Helps the body move oxygen from the lungs to the muscles and round the body. It is essential for growth and development of children. Usually without symptoms, lots of children can be low in iron. Babies use up their iron store by 6 months and from then on require consistent levels to maintain rapid growth and health. Lethargy, pallor, irritability and fussy eating are all symptoms of a depleted iron store. A good source to keep levels up is Feroglobin liquid, above.
Omega Fatty acids –
Super Hero 100 ml DHA Omega 3 Fish Oil for Kids
Particularly DHA and EPA for brain, hormone and nervous system development. A good source of topping up levels is Bare Biology’s Superhero Fish oil
These are crucial for the lining of the gut to maintain a healthy immune system and are depleted by poor diet and too much sugar. The bacteria in the gut is responsible for 70% of the bodies defence system, and children have immature digestive systems that need more help than others. These bacteria also help with the production of some vitamins. Supplementing with these is especially important if taking antibiotics. Make sure to stagger the two, probiotics then antibiotics with at least a 2/3 hour gap. I really like Zita West x MyBaba Strawberry Powder that tastes deliciously strawberry-like and you can sprinkle on yoghurt or add to smoothies.
These are to ensure they’re covered on all bases but do remember that the most important thing is that they have a really colourful, varied diet rich in fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, beans, meat and fish. There are lots of recipes to choose form here. All bursting with vitamins and minerals and specially designed for kids to get maximum nutrients from.
If you are worried about any deficiencies do go to your GP.