Vitamins and minerals are important for growing children as they
provide all the essential nutrients required to support a child’s
activities and development as he grows.
Human body is not capable of manufacturing the vitamins
necessary for healthy development, which is why they must be
supplemented via healthy diet. There are various vitamin and
mineral-rich foods that are easily available in market such as milk
and dairy products, meat, eggs, strawberries, mangoes, broccoli,
tomatoes, carrots, green leafy vegetables and more. These can be
cooked as delicious meals for fussy eaters to provide the required

Importance of Vitamins

Vitamin A for Toddlers –

Vitamin A is important for toddlers as it helps in the development of
cells and tissues in the body.

1. Benefits

  • Strengthens eyesight
  • Improves skin, nails and hair
  • Helps in growth and development of bones
  • Strengthens immune system and fights infections

2. Daily Amount

  • 1 to 3 years old – 300 micrograms
  • 4 years and above – 400 micrograms

3. Sources
Milk, cheese, eggs, orange and veggies such as carrots and sweet
potatoes are rich in Vitamin A.

4. Deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin A can lead to a medical condition called
xerophthalmia. Dry skin is one of the symptoms of vitamin A
deficiency, while it also increases the risk of diseases and death
from severe infections.

Vitamin B for Toddlers –

The family of B Vitamins are helpful in improving metabolism and
production of energy in the body.

1. Benefits

  • Vitamin B1 helps in releasing energy from food and proper
    functioning of nervous system.
  • Vitamin B2 helps in the breakdown of fats, proteins and
  • Vitamin B3 helps in the absorption of food and promotes
  • Vitamin B6 helps in the breakdown of proteins into energy, brain functioning and also RBC production.

2. Sources
Milk, meat, cheese, yeast, nuts, eggs, fish, beans, wholemeal
breads, whole grain foods and cereals are some Vitamin B rich
foods. In order to gain benefits of vitamin B, all types of B vitamins need to function in tandem with each other and it is vital to obtain all types of B vitamins in proper amounts.

3. Deficiency
A diet deficient in different types of B vitamins can cause the nervous system to function poorly in children and adults alike. It affects their ability to learn, poor memory, moodiness, confusion etc. Skin conditions like dry skin and oily skin, acne can be the signs of vitamin B deficiency.

Vitamin C for Toddlers –

Vitamin C is essential for healthy muscle and tissue growth as well
as improves the skin.

1. Benefits

  • Helps in building collagen
  • Fights against infections
  • Absorbs iron from food
  • Keeps teeth, bones and gums healthy

2. Daily Amount

  • 1 to 3 years old – 15 milligrams
  • 4 years and above – 25 milligrams

3. Sources
Orange, kiwi, strawberry, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers and other citrus foods are rich sources of Vitamin C.

4. Deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin C can cause scurvy that leads to formation of brown spots on the skin, spongy gums, and bleeding from all mucous membranes.

Vitamin D for Toddlers –

Vitamin D aids in regulating the immune system, production of
insulin and growth of cells in the body.

1. Benefits

  • Helps in absorption of calcium
  • Keeps bones and teeth strong and healthy

2. Daily Amount

  • 1 to 3 years old – 10 micrograms
  • 4 years and above – 15 micrograms

3. Sources
Sunlight, oily fish, egg yolks and butter are good sources of Vitamin D.

4. Deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin D leads to rickets in children that weakens the bones and also causes diseases related to bones.

Vitamin E for Toddlers –

Vitamin E helps fight against germs and ensures free blood flow
through the vessels.

1. Benefits

    • Boosts the immune system
    • Helps in the development of eyes and healthy skin

2. Daily Amount

  • 1 to 3 years old – 6 milligrams
  • 4 years and above – 7 milligrams

3. Sources
Sunflower and canola oils, margarine and nuts are some Vitamin E rich foods

4. Deficiency
Severe deficiency of Vitamin E in toddlers can cause chronic lever disease, slow growth, mild anemia, muscle weakness dryness of skin and hair, drooping upper eyelid, leg cramps etc.

Importance of Minerals

The two most vital minerals for the healthy growth of children are iron and calcium.

Calcium for Toddlers –

1. Importance

  • Helps in building strong bones and teeth
  • Helps in healthy functioning of nerves and muscles in the body
  • Is vital for blood clots
  • Helps in converting food into energy

2. Daily Amount

  • 1 to 3 years old – 500 milligrams
  • 4 years and above – 800 milligrams

3. Sources
Milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu and calcium-fortified orange juice are some rich sources of calcium.

4. Deficiency
Deficiency of calcium can cause bone development problems like bow legs in kids. Moreover, it can cause muscle cramps, numbness, poor appetite, paresthesia (burning or prickling sensation), petechiae (formation of tiny red dots due to bleeding under the skin).

Iron for Toddlers –

1. Importance

  • Vital for making haemoglobin and myoglobin
  • Necessary for avoiding anaemia
  • Helps in the development of the brain

2. Daily Amount

  • 1 to 3 years old – 7 milligrams
  • 4 years and above – 10 milligrams


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