Your little one’s growth is paramount through their early years as it sets the course for their health and their body’s progress for the rest of their lives. A sickly child could result in a sickly adult and one crucial element you will discover coming to your aid is Vitamin C. The stuff boosts immunity and health across the board.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a soluble vitamin found in the body and in various edible items. It promotes health benefits such as immunity, formation and maintenance of connective tissue as well as the promotion of collagen with the benefits of being an antioxidant thrown in.
Vitamin C Benefits For Children
Since your child’s little body is still building its immunity and itself to stand up against the world, vitamin C is one element that will drive a massive help in their well-being. It helps reconstruct and regenerate tissues so when they tumble off their bike or scrap another tree, you will not worry but know it will be fine before they know it. It also helps the absorption of iron and most popularly, prevents scurvy. Yes, only sailors are famous for having scurvy but so can your little one.
Your body cannot produce vitamin C on its own and as it is a soluble vitamin, it is flushed out the moment you flush any liquid out of your body. Consequently, your child needs a little help boosting their vitamin C content and access the variety of benefits that await them.
1. Increased Immunity
Your child’s body will be thankful and fight off a whole range of diseases as vitamin C is found in concentration in the immune cells of the body. We have all heard of how orange juice helps fights off the flu, well this is why.
2. Fight Cancer
A lot of research displays results that show vitamin C may help protect against cancers as it combats free radicals and neutralises the effects of preservatives that certain packaged foods contain and increase the risk of certain cancers.
3. Fight the Flu
When your child is down with a cold or flu, vitamin C supplements could reduce the period of illness and help their body fight off the virus. It could even combat the symptoms and make them feel less miserable.
4. Build a Strong Body
It is important in the formation of a variety of body parts including collagen, cartilage, muscles, neurotransmitters and carnitine (a chemical that aids the breakdown and transfer of fat for energy generation). You need your tiny tyke to have the energy to climb that jungle gym, so hand them a glass of orange juice.
Daily Vitamin C Dosage for your Child
A daily dose of vitamin C is a great idea for your growing child and will ensure they reap the benefits but it depends on the child’s size and their age. Make sure to consult a doctor when wondering how much vitamin C to give to kids. A good guideline for them is found below:
Ages 1 to 3 years
15 milligrams (mg) daily
Ages 4 to 8
25 mg daily
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Plenty of fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C giving you the added benefit of putting anything on your kid’s plate and watching them devour a nice helping of vitamin C.
- Citrus fruits
- Green peas
- Lean meat
- Baked potatoes
Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency in Kids
While it is unusual, chances of a deficiency cannot be ignored in children as they could refuse to eat fruits and vegetables and deny themselves this helpful vitamin. Signs of scurvy and other deficiencies should not be ignored and you should take your child to the doctor for a check-up.
- Slow healing time
- Complaints of gum inflammation
- Gingivitis-like symptoms
- Frequent cold and cough
- Poor immunity
- Dry hair with split ends
- Dry and flaky skin
- Tooth enamel erosion
- Bleeding gums
- Bleeding nose
Can Vitamin C Prevent Cold in Kids?
There is no substantial evidence to prove vitamin C can prevent colds in kids as it swings either way. But one thing for sure, it helps reduce the duration and helps them cope with the illness better. Haven’t you felt so much better after a glass of orange juice when down with a cold? Do not rely on it to protect your child from colds as it boosts immunity but does not outright prevent illness.
What If your Child Consumes too Much Vitamin C?
Too much vitamin C also has its own side-effects and can have your little one feeling under the weather. While these symptoms are quite mild and at times short-lived since the body washes it out, they include:
- Abdominal cramps
Things To keep in Mind
- Always consults your child’s doctor regarding their health.
- If they complain of any of the above symptoms, do not hesitate to get them checked.
- Your little one may not report symptoms so keep an eye out for gingival and skin symptoms.
Vitamin C is an essential component for overall development and it is best if you provide your child with a good source of natural Vitamin C in his daily diet.