Kids are notoriously picky eaters. Most of the time it’s not a problem for them to get the vitamins and minerals they need, but you should still be on the lookout for nutritional deficiencies in your kids. Do you know how to spot them? Well, here’s what you need to keep an eye out for to know if you children are getting everything they need in their diets!
Depression and Anxiety
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins in the body that help to create neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. A lack of amino acids can result in unhappiness or depressed mood in kids because the happiness hormones aren’t being produced as they should. A diet rich in complete proteins like eggs, milk, yogurt, meat, poultry, fish and seafood can help to correct any imbalance. Remember that protein is essential in supporting healthy growth, brain development and healthy bones for your child, so it’s very important that they get enough of it.
Every child is going to get cranky from time to time – it’s inevitable! But random moods swings and crankiness beyond normal can be a sign of iron deficiency, which is actually one of the most common deficiencies in young children. You can also spot iron deficiency in your child by their pallor, brittle nails and a loss of appetite. By making sure that your child has a diet full of animal proteins, legumes, dark-green leafy veggies like spinach, dried fruits and fortified cereals will help to combat this deficiency.
Sounds a bit strange, but excessive head sweating (especially in newborns) is a known sign of a vitamin D deficiency. Achy bones and fatigue are also telltale signs of this issue. Fish like herring, mackerel, sardines and tune are packed full of vitamin D, as is fortified orange juices. Making sure your child has enough vitamin D is important in protecting them against infections, autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular disease.
Speech and Language Delays
Deficiencies in vitamin B12 can cause developmental delays in children, and that can put them at risk for permanent brain injury. B12 is important in the formation of the myelin sheath that covers nerves and helps to conduct nerve impulses. You may think you don’t need to worry about this, but a B12 deficiency is actually quite common. Making sure that your child gets enough beef, poultry, seafood, dairy and eggs are great ways to combat this deficiency.
As a parent, all you can do is to make sure your child has access to healthy foods. Try to stay away from processed foods and instead go for fresh fruits and veggies for your little one.