Vitamins and minerals (A-Z) for kids and teens to stay healthy
It’s easy enough to ensure that your child gets the essential nutrients through diet. Children need to get adequate amounts of nutrients, perhaps, the full alphabet of vitamins and minerals, to grow well and stay healthy. Good nutrition will also make your child’s skin healthy and glowing from within.
Healthy skin is a sign of good nutritional status – and the same applies to your child as well. So, inculcate in them a habit of enjoying better and nutritious foods like fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc. Junk foods loaded with sodium or added sugar can be harmful to your little one’s skin, brain, and overall health.
To help you and your child follow a healthy eating plan, Ms Pariksha Rao, Co-Founder and Chief Nutrition Officer at Lil Goodness sCool Meal, Bengaluru, makes a breakdown of the essential vitamins and minerals, from A-Z, that kids and teens need for different areas of growth, including where to find them.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is important for healthy skin and normal growth, it also helps vision and tissue repair. Vitamin A can be found in rich quantities in yellow and orange vegetables, dairy products, spinach, fenugreek leaves, papaya, etc.
Vitamin B complex: Vitamin B is important for the normal growth and development of children. A deficiency in vitamin B can massively affect the skin as it can cause hypersensitivity and make the skin more sensitive to products, external aggressors and climate – leading to redness, acne or dry, flaky skin, as well as causing the lips to dry and crack. The richest sources of vitamin B come from green peas, sesame seeds, spinach, mushrooms, soy, eggs, whole grains.
Vitamin C: This vitamin is the body’s magic pill for healing and fighting off infection. It also strengthens tissue, muscles, and skin. For healthy doses of vitamin C, look to citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, brussels sprouts, spinach, and broccoli.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps the body form and maintain strong teeth and bones. It assists with the absorption of minerals such as calcium. Vitamin D is not found only in a few varieties of foods such as fish and other fortified dairy products. Adequate exposure to sunlight is also a way to get enough vitamin D. Unhealthy skin can make vitamin D absorption poor.
Vitamin E: It protects from UV rays and helps to regenerate new skin cells and can lighten brown spots or scars. Vitamin E makes the nerves stronger and helps in nourishing your skin from within. Good sources are all nuts and seeds.
Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral with anti-inflammatory effect. It helps in the fast recovery of damaged skin cells, especially in dry or very hot weather. You can add pumpkin seeds, black eyed peas, chickpeas, and nuts (such as cashews and almonds) to your child’s daily diet.
Additionally, make sure your child drinks about 6- 8 glasses of water every day. Add 1 glass of water or coconut water for every hour of outdoor activities. It will help flush out toxins, help them stay hydrated and keep their skin glowing.