Monday, October 3, 2016

How to Spot Nutritional Deficiencies in Children

Today is National Child Health Day and we wanted to share a little knowledge to keep your little ones happy and healthy! We know how hard raising little ones can be..they never seem to want to eat what is good for them. If only we could make broccoli and spinach taste as good as candy and ice cream! 

Nutritional deficiencies can be easier to remedy if they are caught earlier. Here are a few listed early warning signs below:

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is critical both in its own right, as well as for its role in the absorption of calcium. Both Vitamin D and calcium are vital in growing strong bones and teeth.
Our skin produces Vitamin D when exposed to natural sunlight. Children with little sun exposure or that live in higher latitudes might not get enough this way.
The earliest symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are bone and muscle soreness. If the deficiency is not corrected, it can lead to serious skeletal deformities and a condition known as Rickets.

Iron Deficiency (Anemia)

Iron makes it possible for red blood cells to transport oxygen to our vital organs and throughout the body.
Symptoms of iron deficiency, or anemia, include: tiredness, pale skin (especially around the hands, nails, and eyelids), rapid heartbeat or a heart murmur, irritability, low appetite, dizziness, or even a condition known as pica (eating non-food items such as dirt).

B Vitamin Deficiency

The B Vitamins are needed in every area of our body and help maintain a strong immune system and optimal mental function.
Symptoms of B Vitamin deficiencies may include: nausea, abdominal pains, vomiting, loss of appetite, bad breath, indigestion and constipation. These symptoms are easily confused with other medical conditions. If you’re having trouble figuring out the cause of health issues, this could be the missing link.
Especially important for children, a diet that is lacking B vitamins can affect a child’s ability to learn and focus at school. 

Zinc Deficiency

Zinc is a trace mineral that is often forgotten in terms of discussions about nutritional needs. It usually takes a backseat to other well-known minerals like calcium and magnesium. However, zinc is equally important for growth and healthy development in children. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include poor appetite, weight loss, and changes in the sense of taste and/or smell. If left unchecked, zinc deficiency can lead to stunted growth, poor wound healing and hair loss.
A healthy diet may not always be the solution to these problems. Make sure your little ones have a daily vitamin to help out! We want to make sure our next generation is full of happy, healthy kiddos. 
Do you have advice about how you keep your children healthy and happy? Share in the comments below! We'd love to hear.
Special thanks to The Soccer Mom Blog for her advice!

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