How to Give Your Kids Vitamins and Minerals the Natural Way
Vitamin A1 of 7
Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision. It promotes normal growth and development and also helps keep the immune system up and running. Colorful fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamin A. Good sources include milk, eggs and veggies, such as carrots, yams, and squash. Try this recipe for squash "drumsticks" to spice up your dinner routine.
Vitamin B2 of 7
Vitamin B comes in a family of eight, including B2, B3, B6 and B12. These vitamins help metabolism, energy production, and healthy circulatory and nervous systems. Vitamin B comes in many forms, such as red meat, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs and beans. Snack time doesn't have to mean cookies or chips. Try offering snacks that are rich in vitamin B, such as apricots or nuts.
Vitamin C3 of 7
A built-in Band-Aid with Neosporin to boot, Vitamin C helps heal wounds, prevent infection and builds tissue that helps keep bones and muscles in the right places. It's available in so many foods (not just OJ) that deficiencies are pretty rare. Look for no-sugar-added citrus fruits and juices with strawberries, mangoes, papaya and cantaloupe. Bell peppers, tomatoes and broccoli are also good sources of Vitamin C.
Vitamin D4 of 7
Even though it just takes going outside in the sun to get a power up, most adults and kids don't get enough of this vitamin. Vitamin D helps form strong bones and teeth, and it also helps the body absorb calcium. Milk and dairy products, egg yolks and fish like mackerel and salmon are chockfull of Vitamin D. Try these tips to guide your child from a picky eater to a fish-loving foodie.
Iron5 of 7
Stay strong with iron, which builds muscle and helps sustain healthy red blood cells. Iron levels are especially important as young girls reach puberty and begin menstruation, as a lack of iron can cause anemia, with symptoms of fatigue and weakness. Since iron can be found in beef and other red meats, turkey and pork, children eating vegetarian diets need to focus on eating iron-rich veggies like spinach, lentils, black beans, soybeans and other legumes. For vegetarian kids, make sure they're also eating foods high in vitamin C to boost iron absorption.
Calcium6 of 7
About 99 percent of the body's calcium is stored in the teeth and bones, so as kids grow, they need a steady supply of the mineral to keep them healthy. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, calcium-fortified orange juice and tofu are all calcium-rich foods. Some unexpected foods to find calcium include molasses, tahini and whole-grain bread. Quick tip: Use evaporated milk in place of regular milk in recipes, since it has nearly twice the calcium of whole milk.