Why Is A Healthy Diet Important For Children?
Every age benefit from a healthy diet, but children, especially as they are continuously developing. A nutrient-rich diet allows your child to reach their full growth potential and maintain their energy level. The improvement of mental health, attention span, and brain development are all benefits of proper nutrition. Proper nutrition will also support their immune system to fight off infection and enable children to recover quickly from illnesses.
"A well-balanced diet protects them from malnourishment, prevents obesity, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases," Dr Ong Sik Yong, Consultant Paediatrician at Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur explained.
Are vitamins and supplements necessary for healthy kids?
Children who are healthy and eat a balanced diet typically do not require vitamins or supplements. Most kids, even finicky eaters, obtain adequate vitamins from their diet. In addition, foods like milk and cereal have essential elements like calcium and vitamin D added to them.
However, vitamins and supplements may be required in children that:
- Follow vegetarian or vegan diets - e.g., vitamin B12 since it's only found in animal-based foods
- Have food allergies - e.g., milk allergy Vitamin D and Calcium supplements required
- Are underweight or have faltering growth
- Have chronic illness - e.g., chronic malabsorption
|Vitamin B complex*|
*Vitamin B complex includes: Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7 and B12.
Types of vitamins & supplements for children and their benefits
Toxicity may develop from excessive intake. Conversely, water-soluble vitamins pass through the bloodstream and are excreted in the urine as opposed to being preserved.
|Folate (Vitamin B9)|
Vitamin and supplement benefits and examples
If it is advised that a child take vitamins, one should opt for vitamins/supplements that are devoid of fillers, artificial flavours, food colours, and preservatives. The medication should be designed specifically for children and use the suggested dosage.
Risks of vitamin deficiency and overdose in children
If necessary, one supplement can be sufficient on its own as long as it contains the recommended amount of vitamin D. Some kids could consume too many vitamin pills, particularly if they taste and look like sweets. In order to minimise unintentional supplement overconsumption, it is best to keep vitamins out of young children's reach and talk to older children about adequate vitamin intake.
How to ensure that your child is getting enough nutrition through their diet?
Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur