Growing kids need the right vitamins and minerals to ensure optimal health. Vitamin C is one example of a crucial vitamin that aids your child’s good health and development. Keep reading to find out all about vitamin C for your children — what is it, the health benefits, good sources of vitamin C and more.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a vitamin found in specific food sources such as citrus fruits, broccoli, red pepper, tomato juice and more. You can also find it as a dietary supplement.
What are the health benefits?
Vitamin C plays a key role in our body. It helps in the formation of collagen, blood vessels, cartilage, muscles, red blood cells and more. All these help form healthy skin, ligaments, teeth and bones as they grow.
Our bodies cannot produce vitamin C so we depend on food sources such as tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits and more.
How much vitamin C is enough?
Luckily, vitamin C is readily available in many of the foods we eat. However, if your little one is a picky eater, they might not be getting enough vitamin C. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke need more vitamin C to help repair cell damage from cigarettes.
The amount of vitamin C that is required varies on your little one’s age and gender. Here’s what NZ Nutrition Foundation recommend:
- 1 to 3 years should get 35 mg/day
- 4 to 8 years should get 35 mg/day
- 9 to 18 years should get 40 mg/day
Worried about giving them too much? Vitamin C is water soluble, meaning that any excess is flushed out from their body in your child’s urine. However, take care not to give them a megadose as that can cause nausea, diarrhoea, kidney stones, and gastritis.
Vitamin and mineral precautions for children
Because most of the common foods we eat have vitamin C, it is not necessary to give them supplements. If you’re concerned about your child’s vitamin C intake, consult a healthcare professional first to see whether you need to boost their intake.
Remember to keep vitamins and supplements out of reach from toddlers and younger children, and consider discussing healthy vitamin intake with older children in order to prevent overdosing on supplements.