As children grow and develop, nutrition plays a big role. Vitamins, Minerals, Macronutrients, Micronutrients…How do you know they are getting what they need? Regular check-ups help and it is always a good idea to seek professional advice if you suspect deficiencies. But, here are some signs to be aware of that could indicate nutritional deficiencies…
Spot Potential Nutritional deficiencies
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and they help produce neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. These are all happy hormones! A lack of amino acids, which are richly present in animal proteins, can lead to unhappiness in our young ones because those hormones are not being readily produced. A diet with a fair amount of complete proteins will help correct this imbalance. Sources of complete proteins are eggs, milk, yogurt, meat, poultry, fish and seafood. Protein is incredibly important in aiding growth, brain development and healthy bones in young children. ~SkinnyMom
Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium in the gastrointestinal tract. Deficiencies in vitamin D can lead to hypocalcemia and hypophosphatemia, leading to rickets in children. Pediatric patients with vitamin D deficiency are generally asymptomatic, but can present with secondary hyperparathyroidism and changes in growth plates. Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include prolonged breastfeeding without vitamin D supplementation, breast-feeding mothers who are dark-skinned, breastfeeding mothers who are vitamin D deficient, and low sun exposure.
Additionally, there has been evidence that suggests that vitamin D deficiency has a role in immune function independent from the calcium metabolism pathway. This implies that vitamin D deficiency could be involved in the development of allergies and atopic diseases, tuberculosis and other respiratory infections, and autoimmune diseases such as type I diabetes mellitus, asthma, and multiple sclerosis.
The characteristic laboratory finding of rickets due to vitamin D deficiency is elevated serum parathyroid hormone concentrations. There can also be radiologic findings in severe rickets. Treatment involves daily vitamin D supplementation at doses ranging from 1000-5000 IU depending on the age of the child. Once there is radiographic evidence of bone healing, this dose of vitamin D can be reduced to 400 IU. Calcium supplementation should be concomitant at 1000 mg per day. Patients can be followed-up with a test for urinary calcium, which should become detectable after three months of treatment. Other tests used to follow-up these patients include serum calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, and urinary calcium/creatinine ratio. ~LearnPediatrics
Crowding Of Teeth?
This is a sore subject for a lot of people, because honestly, nobody wants to feel responsible for their child’s crowding of teeth. However, the relationship between crowded teeth and nutritional deficiencies is well-recorded in Dr. Weston A. Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. His travels around the world, visiting traditional cultures untouched by modern foods, helped him discover the link between good dental spacing and good nutrition. He found that even twins who ate different foods developed different dental spacing depending on the foods they ate. Those who ate modern, processed foods or whose mothers ate poorly during pregnancy, had children who developed poor dental structure and spacing. Those who ate a traditional diet full of rich fats, complete animal proteins, and properly prepared carbs across the board developed even spacing of teeth and even had enough room for wisdom teeth. ~WeedEmAndReap
Forgetfulness & Moodiness?
Could need some B’s.
B vitamins have a huge impact on good mental health and are necessary for essential mental functions, as well. Typical vitamin B deficiency symptoms that affect the ability to learn are widely found in today’s children. In fact, most nutritionists could tell you that the mass of worldwide studies that looks at children’s nutritional status often find some type of nutrient deficiency; B vitamin deficiencies are usually at the top of the list. ~SmartyPantsVitamins
Iron transports oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, muscles and brain. It is essential for immunity and for creating energy from food.When kids are lacking iron (microcytic anemia) they are low in energy, are often sick and can have a foggy brain. Oftentimes kids with ADD and ADHD are anemic. Iron is found in meats (lamb, pork, poultry, liver), nuts and seeds, legumes, vegetables, dried fruit and molasses, among other foods.
Pay attention if you have a sore throat, any cracks or sores on the lips and at the corners of the mouth, redness of the tongue and skin inflammation, which are all possible signs of riboflavin deficiency. Also called ariboflavinosi, riboflavin deficiency usually occurs when other water-soluble vitamins are lacking. The risk is higher in alcoholics, people who are lactose intolerant and those who are very physically active, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. ~LiveStrong