The Importance of Child Health

Doing what’s best for your child seems to be every parent’s priority. It’s important to give children the nutrients necessary for developing strong, healthy bodies during the times when growth and health patterns matter most. Providing your child with essential vitamins and minerals can play a crucial role in the beginning years of their life. With their picky-eater habits and appetites for processed treats, children seldom get a well-balanced diet containing all the nutrients required to develop a body that can stand fortified against prevailing health problems. These early years matter most when it comes to a lifetime of health.  

Ten Requirements for a Healthy Body and Mind

#1 – Calcium

The importance of calcium:

Did you know that 90 percent of bone density is developed before the age of 18? It’s crucial that children get adequate amounts of calcium in childhood to develop strong, healthy bones. With 80 percent of bone density being genetically determined, we have control over the other 20 percent. Maximizing bone density can significantly reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Sources of calcium:

Foods:  Yogurt, cheese, pudding, milk (even skim), spinach, kale, almonds, and calcium fortified juices

Calcium Supplements:

Sunshine Heroes Calcium Plus D3—Soft Chews

Sunshine Heroes Multiple Vitamin and Mineral—Soft Chews

Recommended amount:

1-3 yrs: 500 mg/day

4-8 yrs: 800 mg/day

9-18 yrs: 1,300 mg/day

#2 – Omega 3

The importance of omega 3:

The body cannot produce essential fatty acids (EFAs) like omega 3, so it is crucial to have a diet including this vital nutrient. Omega 3 is a key component in the development of the brain and retina. EFAs stimulaIronte metabolism and help to increase energy production. Learn-ing patterns can be greatly affected if a child reaches a state of omega 3 deficiency. Such a state can also cause dry skin, dry hair, asthma, ear infections and hyperactive tendencies.

Sources of omega 3:

Foods: Cold-water fish, omega 3 eggs, nuts, seeds, flax oils and fish oils.

Tip: Mix these oils with applesauce, a smoothie, yogurt, butter etc.

Omega 3 Supplements:

Sunshine Heroes Omega 3 with DHA—Soft Chew

Recommended amount:

1-12 yrs: 200 mg/day

#3 – Iron

The importance of iron:

Iron helps blood deliver oxygen to the body’s tissues. Starving cells of oxygen can cause a paleness of skin, shortness of breath, fatigue and heart palpitations. Iron deficiency can cause decreased alertness and inhibit learning ability. It also puts a child at risk for being anemic. Iron also plays a key role in regulating metabolism, and synthesizing brain chemi-cals, DNA and white blood cells.

Sources of iron:

Beef, chicken, turkey, tuna, kale, spinach, beans, soybeans, lentils, apricots, Prunes, and raisins, eggs, peanut butter, molasses, and baby formula with iron.

Tip: Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron

Iron Supplements:

Sunshine Heroes Multiple Vitamin and Mineral—Soft Chews

Recommended amount:

1-3 yrs: 7 mg/day

4-8 yrs: 10 mg/day

9-13 yrs: 8 mg/day

#4 – Magesium

The importance of magnesium:

This mineral is important for every organ in the body—particularly the muscles, heart and kidneys. Magnesium contributes to the body’s regulation of zinc, vitamin D, copper, potas-sium and other essential nutrients. Deficiency of this mineral can cause anxiety, restless leg syndrome, nausea, sleep disorders, abnormal heat rhythms, weakness and even seizures.

Sources of magnesium:

Foods: Tofu, whole grains, wheat bran, leafy greens, peanuts, beet greens, spinach, oatmeal, bananas, baked potatoes (with skin), and cocoa powder

Magesium Supplements:

Sunshine Heroes Multiple Vitamin and Mineral—Soft Chews

Recommended amount:

1-3 yrs: 80 mg/day

4-8 yrs: 130 mg/day

9-13 yrs: 240 mg/day

#5 – Zinc

The importance of zinc:

Zinc plays a significant role in immune system function, cell division, DNA synthesis and wound healing. Without zinc, taste and smell can be obscured. Children need this mineral in order to develop and grow at a normal, healthy rate. It’s important to note that the body does not have a way to store zinc, therefore children must receive the proper daily intake.

Sources of zinc:

Foods: Oysters, beef, crab, pork, chicken, lobster, fortified breakfast cereals, yogurt, milk, cheese, baked beans and roasted almonds

Zinc Supplements:

Sunshine Heroes Multiple Vitamin and Mineral—Soft Chews

Recommended amount:

1-3 yrs: 3 mg/day

4-8 yrs: 5 mg/day

9-13 yrs: 8 mg/day

4-18 yrs: 11 mg/day

#6 – Vitamin A

The importance of vitamin A:

Vitamin A plays a vital role in boosting the immune system. It also helps maintain healthy skin and healthy mucous lining in the nose and lungs. Deficiency of this vitamin can make a child far more susceptible to common infections such as the cold and the flu.

Sources of vitamin A:

Foods: Milk, cheese, liver, spinach, carrots, squash and sweet potatoes.

Tip: Cooking carrots to tender-crisp actually increases the amount of vitamin A.

Vitamin A Supplements:

Sunshine Heroes Multiple Vitamin and Mineral—Soft Chews

Recommended amount:

1-3 yrs: 300 mg/day

4-8 yrs: 400 mg/day

9-13 yrs: 600 mg/day

#7 – Folate/Vitamin B

The importance of folate:

Folate is a member of the vitamin B family. Maintaining a proper diet rich in folate can help prevent anemia. Folate deficiency may lead to diarrhea, depression, anemia and the development of cardiovascular disease

Sources of folate:

Foods: Broccoli, lentils, green peas, asparagus, spinach, beans, sunflower seeds and liver

Vitamin B Supplements:

Sunshine Heroes Multiple Vitamin and Mineral—Soft Chews

Note: Folate is referred to as Folic Acid when listed in supplemental form.

Recommended amount:

1-3 yrs: 150 mcg/day

4-8 yrs: 200 mcg/day

9-13 yrs: 300 mcg/day

#8 – Vitamin C

The importance of vitamin C:

Vitamin C is an acid. This molecule is a potent antioxidant that is vital for collagen synthesis, which helps build healthy skin, bones, and other connective tissue. As an antioxidant, it helps fight against damaging free radicals, playing a very important role in the body’s immu-nity. Studies have shown that vitamin C helps combat the common cold. Among other things, vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy—a fatal condition.

Sources of vitamin C:

Foods: All citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, mangoes, guava, black currants, brussels sprouts, green peppers, kale, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, cabbage, and spinach

Tip: Cooking these foods greatly diminishes their vitamin C value.

Vitamin C Supplements:

Sunshine Heroes Multiple Vitamin and Mineral—Soft Chews

Recommended amount:

1-3 yrs: 15 mg/day

4-8 yrs: 25 mg/day

9-13 yrs: 45 mg/day

#9 – Vitamin D

The importance of vitamin D:

Vitamin D deficiency can interfere with proper bone mineralization and can lead to rickets—a disease that causes skeletal deformity. This vitamin is also the major regulator for intestinal calcium and phosphorus absorption, ultimately determining the body’s skeletal minerali-zation. In adults, vitamin D deficiency is linked to cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, cancer and hypertension, which proves why it’s important to give kids a healthy head start with the adequate amounts of vitamin D required to combat these diseases.

Sources of vitamin D:

The Sun: There are very few dietary sources of vitamin D, so the most efficient, natural way to get this vitamin is from the sun. UV-B rays actually trigger these vitamins to be syn-thesized in the skin. As skin cancer awareness rises, parents tend to lather their children in sunscreen to help protect them from the harmful effects of UV-B and for-get the importance of these rays. Because vitamin D production is diminished with sunscreen, it doesn’t mean that parents should abandon sun protection—there are other ways to receive adequate levels of vitamin D.

Foods that contain small amounts of vitamin D:

Milk, salmon and tuna

Vitamin D Supplements:

Sunshine Heroes Calcium Plus D3—Soft Chews

Recommended amount:

1-18 yrs: 400 IU/day

#10 – Vitamin E

The importance of vitamin E:

Vitamin E supplies the body with antioxidants—elements that defend the body against harmful free radicals that are produced at a rate of ten thousand every day. Free radicals are elements that cause aging, slow down immunity and increase chances of cancer. It’s essen-tial to fully arm the body with the necessary antioxidants to combat harmful elements.

Sources of vitamin E:

Foods: Roasted hazelnuts, almonds, roasted peanuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, kiwi, mango, tomato, spinach, avocado, eggs, milk, sunflower oil, vegetable oils, wheat germ and whole-grain foods

Vitamin E Supplements:

Sunshine Heroes Multiple Vitamin and Mineral—Soft Chews

Recommended amount:

1-3 yrs: 6 mg/day

4-8 yrs: 7 mg/day

9-13 yrs: 11 mg/day

14-18 yrs: 15 mg/day

Browse our selection of children health supplements

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Posted: 09/18/2010 at 05:15 PM
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Posted: 09/18/2010 at 05:15 PM
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