Nurturing Little Ones: Addressing Nutrient Deficiencies in Toddlers
Toddlers may be at risk for toddler nutrient deficiencies due to their picky eating habits, limited food choices, and erratic appetites. The common deficiencies among them include iron, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can affect growth, development, and immune function. Parents can ensure that their child's nutrient needs are met by offering a variety of healthy foods, including different sources of protein, iron-rich foods, dairy products, as well as fruits and vegetables.
Do you have a toddler at home? Are you struggling to get them to eat anything other than chicken nuggets and mac and cheese? If so, believe us, you are not the only parent who is struggling with this and concerned about whether your child is getting all the nutrients they need for healthy growth. Toddlers can be notoriously picky eaters, and it is not uncommon for them to have nutritional deficiencies. From iron and vitamin D to calcium and omega-3 fatty acids, these essential nutrients are crucial for supporting your child's growth, immune function, and overall health. But how do you know if your child is indeed having a nutritional deficiency? And if you do, then what do you do about it? Do not worry; there are plenty of ways to ensure that your child is getting the nutrients they need either from food or from toddler nutrient supplements, even if they turn their nose up at most foods.
Nutritional Deficiencies in Kids
Proper nourishment and nutrition for toddlers is crucial for ensuring healthy growth and development during the formative years of life.1 Poor intake of various food groups can easily lead to nutritional deficiencies, in particular for crucial micronutrients and macronutrients. These are necessary for essential functions like growth of new cells and repair.1
Toddler nutritional deficiencies can result in long-term health issues such as skin disorders, digestive problems, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and impaired bone growth. Additionally, it can negatively impact mental and cognitive development.1
Why Are Nutrient Deficiencies Very Common?
In many cases, toddler nutritional deficiencies begin during pregnancy. Insufficient intake of vital nutrients such as folic acid, calcium, omega-3, vitamin D, and iodine by the mother can lead to deficiencies in the newborn. Therefore, maternal nutrition must be prioritized to avoid such problems.1
Inadequate nutrition for toddlers, is often caused by poor food intake, unhealthy eating habits, frequent or chronic illnesses, and picky eating behaviours. Certain medical conditions can also hinder the body's ability to absorb nutrients from the consumed food.1
Apart from these factors, nutritional deficiencies can also result due to the following:
- Not eating enough vegetables and fruits
- Allergies or intolerances towards specific foods like gluten or lactose
- Restricted diet due to independent food choices
- Being overweight2
Signs and Symptoms of Nutritional Deficiencies
Signs of toddler nutrient deficiencies in children may include the following:
- Being underweight
- Being overweight or obese
- Constipation or changes in bowel habits
- Appearing pale or lethargic
- Tooth decay
- Exhibiting poor physical growth
- Behavioural problems
- Sleep issues
- Emotional and psychological development challenges
- Poor concentration
- Academic difficulties2
Tips to Tackle Nutritional Deficiencies
Deficiencies of calcium, fibre, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, protein, and vitamins E, B12, and D are among the most frequently occurring toddler nutrient deficiencies.1 The most common tip to tackle nutritional deficiencies is to consume a well-balanced diet. You must give your child foods that are rich in essential nutrients. The following are nutrients and their sources that you can include in your daily diet.
- Iron – lentils, beans, peas, dark green leafy vegetables, dry fruits, eggs, seafood, fortified cereals.
- Protein – animal-based foods such as fish, meat, eggs, dairy products, almonds, peanuts, chia seeds, beans, etc.
- Calcium – milk and milk products, dark leafy green vegetables, fish like salmon, sardines, tofu, fortified milk, white beans, chickpeas, nuts, seeds, etc.
- Vitamin D – fatty fish, fish oils, fortified juices, milk, cereals, sunlight exposure, etc.
- Zinc – animal-based foods such as meat, eggs, dairy products, shellfish, plant-based foods like nuts, whole wheat bread, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grain cereals, etc.
- Vitamin B12 – animal-based foods like eggs, meat, dairy, etc.
- Potassium – Leafy greens, beans, lentils and nuts, bananas, dairy foods, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and squash 3
- Fibre – fruits like apples, pears, raspberries, etc., vegetables like broccoli, green peas, etc., oatmeal, whole wheat bread, beans, lentils, etc.1
Apart from foods, supplements like Wellbaby that contain recommended doses of various nutrients that are recommended for nutrition for toddlers can help overcome nutritional deficiencies.
While there are a variety of toddler nutrient supplements available in the market, choosing the right one is essential, one you can completely rely on. One such multivitamin is the Wellbaby Multivitamin Liquid by Vitabiotics, the world’s No. 1 multivitamin company. It contains 14 essential vitamins and minerals that aid in the growth and development of kids during their growing years. Among the vitamins it contains, vitamins A, C, and D contribute to boosting the immunity of the child. Wellbaby liquid also contains iron which supports cognitive development of children. Children up to 12 years can have Wellbaby multivitamins. So, give your kids delicious Wellbaby Multivitamin Liquid which are easy to take for children compared to tablets.
Why wait to watch them grow strong and healthy? Visit vitabiotics.in and order your pack of Wellbaby Multivitamins Liquid today!
- When your child is not getting enough nutrients [Internet]. [cited 2023 May 9]. Available from: https://hospitals.aku.edu/nairobi/AboutUs/News/Pages/Nutrients-deficiency-in-children.aspx#:~:text=The%20most%20common%20deficiencies%20are,vitamins%20E%2C%20B12%20and%20D
- Nutrition – school-age to adolescence [Internet]. The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne [cited 2023 May 9]. Available from: https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Nutrition_older_children/#:~:text=Avoid%20buying%20or%20offering%20sugary,nutrients%20they%20miss%20out%20on
- Potassium [Internet]. Harvard – The Nutrition Source. 2023 [cited 2023 May 16]. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium/ Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium/