Essential Vitamins For Babies

Vitamins play a big role in a person’s health development.

This makes it important for parents to incorporate vitamins into their babies’ food and lifestyle.

Here are some important essential vitamins for babies, that you should take note of.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is crucial in bone development and immunity against autoimmune diseases.

Deficiency can cause rickets, which is detrimental for babies as it can negatively affect the formation of bones and joints.

The easiest way to have vitamin D intake is through sunlight. However, this is only recommended for older children and above.

You can bring them out for sunlight once they are older, but always have them with you so you can see whether it is time to head back inside. Too much sunlight is just as bad as too little.

Since babies’ skin is more sensitive, they need to avoid direct contact with sunlight. This creates a problem as they still need a lot of vitamin D to avoid this deficiency.

They will need to get their vitamin D through different means.

The easiest way to get  vitamin D intake is from milk.

Breast milk contains vitamin D. If your infant only sticks to breast milk, it might not be enough for them. So they can take additional vitamin D through supplements, 400 IU to be exact for children below 12 months old.

  • IU: international unit for measuring vitamins and minerals.

This won’t be a problem if you feed your infant baby formula. Vitamin D is also found in baby formula and is typically fortified.

Babies can also take vitamin D through food. These include fatty fish such as tuna, sardines, and salmon. They can also be found in egg yolk and mushrooms.

It is not recommended to buy whole milk since it is not suitable for an infant. Their stomachs are too sensitive to handle the minerals present in the milk. Whole milk should only be given once they reach twelve months old and above.

Another efficient way of giving your child vitamin D is through supplements. This is recommended during winter when the sun’s presence isn’t strong.

It is only recommended to give your child vitamin D through whole foods, whole milk, and supplements once they are past twelve months.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is another type of vitamin that is essential for infants and young children.

This type of vitamin is known for improving vision. Specifically, it helps adjust your eyes to dark areas. This helps you see in the dark and supports your overall eye health.

Apart from vision and eye health, they also help with white blood cell production and activity. They are crucial for keeping your skin and linings in your body healthy.

They are commonly found in vegetables like broccoli, spinach, cabbages, and, more famously, carrots.

They aren’t just found in vegetables. You can also find them in fruits like mangoes, papaya, apricots, and tomatoes.

Vitamin C

Citrus and Kiwi / Essential Vitamins For Babies

Vitamin C is vital for the general health of the infant.

Most of the benefits are prevention measures from illness and diseases, which is essential to start forming at a young age.

The main reason behind this is that vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable atoms with the potential to damage cells and cause illness.

Examples of fetal illnesses that vitamin C intake helps prevent are high blood pressure, heart disease, and osteoarthritis.

Another health benefit that vitamin C can provide is increased iron intake. This helps children lower their chances of having iron deficiency or anemia.

Unlike other vitamins, your body does not create its own vitamin C. This means you have to take them solely on external sources.

This can be found in many citrus fruits like oranges, kiwis, and strawberries.

Vitamin C takes can also be taken through tablets. However, this isn’t recommended for babies as they should only take vitamin C through breast milk, infant formula, and whole foods.

Anything beyond that is considered too much and can lead to vitamin C toxicity. Tablets are only recommended for older children, teens, and adults.

There is no solid proof that vitamin C can cure illnesses like the common cold. But it is still important because it strengthens the immune system which helps the body become strong enough to prevent illnesses from occurring.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B comes in three types. These are Vitamin B1, B2, and B3.

What they essentially do is convert food into energy. Vitamin B2 has the added bonus of cell protection.

The vitamin B that infants should get the most is vitamin B12. This nutrient helps in brain development. Having a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause serious consequences.

Vitamin B12 can be found in animal products such as chicken, pork, beef, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

Since infants below twelve months old aren’t able to consume whole foods, they can get it from breast milk. This is possible, granted that the mother consumes animal products.

Consult your doctor regarding vitamin B12 intake if the mother is on a vegan/vegetarian diet.

Vitamin K

Babies do not have that much vitamin K, but this is just as important for them to have.

Vitamin K helps in creating blood clots, which can prevent excessive bleeding.

Like other vitamins, vitamin K is found in breast milk. Likewise, it is not enough to prevent vitamin K deficiency.

This is why babies are given a vitamin K shot in order to compensate for the low levels of vitamin K they take. This isn’t required, but it is recommended to prevent deficiency.

Vitamin K can be found in green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, turnips, and cabbages.

When Should Vitamins be Given to Babies?

Breast milk and early baby food should be enough for babies during the first five to six months. Once they reach past that, they can start taking in whole foods.

This is when you can start incorporating vitamin supplements. The exception to this is Vitamin D since this is the vitamin they get the least. But even then, you should be attentive to their nutritional requirements.

Only give extra amounts if you feel that your child is lacking in vitamins. But even then, always consult your doctor when it comes to these things.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ensure that my baby is getting enough vitamins?

A surefire way is for them to eat all kinds of food from different food groups.

If they are still below twelve months old, they should be getting the optimal amount of vitamins from breast milk, with the exception of vitamin D.

You can also check if your child is feeling any symptoms related to vitamin deficiency.

What are the common symptoms of vitamin deficiency?

Vitamin D – A common symptom could be frequent bone fractures and muscle cramps.

Vitamin A – Your child may have difficulty seeing in dim light.

Vitamin C – Your child could be experiencing bleeding gums too often.

Vitamin B – Since this comes in many forms, different symptoms come with it. A general symptom is the formation of ulcers.

Vitamin K – Excessive bleeding

How can I tell if vitamin drops are okay for my child?

Feeling a little uneasy when it comes to feeding your child anything outside breast milk and whole foods is normal.

The best way to be certain is to consult your doctor on which vitamin drops to get.

Feed them the optimal amount of vitamins, as you do not want to exceed the required amount.

Conclusion

Vitamins are important for the development of your child’s health. They should be taking them into their systems as early as now.

If you want to ensure your child grows up strong, healthy, and immune to life-threatening illnesses later in life, start giving them the appropriate amounts of vitamins.

Keep this up, and you will help your child guarantee a healthy future.

Always check with your heath care professional for advice and concerns!

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