Nutrition problems are very common in toddlers. Every parent tries their best to give their child everything they need for a peaceful and happy life. Food comes first on that list. But the question is, are the children getting enough nutrition from the food they are eating? We have heard parents complaining that despite eating a heavy meal their child looks weak and has few nutritional deficiencies.
The nutrients that children require are quite different from adults as they are growing. You need to concentrate on the nutrients that help them in their growth. Making sure that your child is receiving all the required nutrients can be quite a task as it is influenced by their likes and dislikes. It can get even more difficult for children who are choosy eaters. And, you will have to search for an alternative nutrient if your kid is allergic to some kind of food.
Five common nutritional deficiencies in toddlers
Here are some common nutritional deficiencies toddlers have:
If infants have vitamin D deficiency it means they were born to mothers with low vitamin D. In toddlers this deficiency is caused due to avoiding them from sun, milk allergies or giving them strict vegan food. Every day, in the early morning hours, let them have few minutes under the sun; it will help boost vitamin D.
Vitamin K is necessary for proper blood clotting and stopping blood flow. Infants are at more risk as they don’t receive enough vitamin K from breastmilk. However, they overcome this as they grow. Bleeding from nose, gut, irritability, and vomiting are the common signs toddlers with vitamin K deficiency exhibit. It’s advised to immediately seek medical advice and take required supplements.
Pre-mature babies are at a greater risk of developing this deficiency. Hence, they are given iron-fortified formula after birth. Deficiency of iron can lead to anemia. Start introducing iron-rich foods as soon as they start solids. Kids who just eat vegan foods are at a greater risk. If your kid looks pale and bruised easily then it’s better to consult a doctor. Prunes, apricots, meat, eggs are said to be rich in iron.
Vitamin A is crucial for eye health and boosting the immune system. It helps to prevent blindness in children. Milk, eggs, carrots, spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, papaya, peaches, apricots are the food items rich in vitamin A. Include these foods in your toddler’s meals every day or every alternate day.
It is necessary for your baby to develop strong teeth and bones. If your kid has calcium deficiency symptoms won’t be seen immediately. Weaknesses, numbness, low memory, are the possible symptoms seen in toddlers. All dairy products are rich sources of calcium. Give them on a daily basis.
Signs of nutritional deficiency in toddlers
The signs mentioned below are the possible symptoms of nutritional problem witnessed in toddlers. Few of these can be genetic. It is always a good option to seek expert advice to know the exact cause
Delayed speech can be due to a deficiency in B12. Natural foods are a good option than giving supplements. Chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, shellfish are rich in B12. There are no vegan sources of B12.
Hyperactivity in children might be due to poor bacterial flora and digestion. It makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients. And, even digestion problems can be seen. In such cases, removal of processed food is recommended. Include foods that help in the process of digestion. Broths, soups, and food with high fiber should be given to your toddlers.
Dry skin and hair are considered as a sign of deficiency due to lack of vitamin A, D, E, and K2. Add fat-soluble vitamins to your kid’s diet. Liver oil, eggs, salmon, milk, and yogurt are the ideal foods.
Frequent colds and flu’s
To protect your kid from catching a cold or flu it is importantto give a well-balanced meal which includes a bit of every nutrient. And, boost your kid’s immune system by encouraging him to play outdoors more often. Bit dirt does no harm.
For mood stabilization omega3 acids are vital. Salmon, coconut oil, and butter help to protect omega3 in the brain. Carrots absorb extra estrogen in the body and balance the hormones.
When one doesn’t consume high nutrition food, they get hungry very often. The same thing is applicable to kids when they eat processed foods while they are hungry; it helps them develop extra bad fat in their body.
Solutions to tackle nutritional deficiencies in toddlers
1. Plan meals that include your child’s favorite food.
2. For snacks don’t go for packed ships or drinks, instead give them high-calorie snacks such as yogurt, eggs, pudding, cheese, sandwiches, breadsticks, cheese, etc.
3. Garnish your food with parsley, red and yellow peppers to make it look attractive.
4. Avoid sugars and try to implement more protein and fat.
5. Give smaller meals and snacks more frequently.
6. Encourage them to play more so that they get hungry.