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Why is Vitamin A Important in A Child's Diet?

This wonder vitamin is important for all of us, but in particular, your little children. It helps to prevent everything from eczema to other inflammatory skin issues like dry skin or rashes and aids in repairing the damage that these conditions may have caused. Vitamin A comes in many different forms and can have varying positive impacts on your child's health. You will be able to boost vitamin A for kids with a well balanced diet full of nutrient rich foods. Preformed vitamin A occurs in meat and dairy products, Provitamin A comes from fruits, vegetables and other plants based products and Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A that is present in dark coloured and oily fruit like avocado. Last but not least is Retinol, which is the most predominant active form of vitamin A and is stored in your blood.

Signs and symptoms: Is your child deficient in vitamin A?

Hypovitaminosis A or a deficiency in vitamin A can be caused by a whole host of things including, lack of a well balanced diet, liver disorders, malabsorption of fat or other underlying conditions yet to be diagnosed. If your child has been unwell or you have noticed any other changes, you may need to have them checked by your GP or other child focussed healthcare provider. Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for: 

  • Ocular effects such as sensitivity to light, severely dry and itchy eyes, irregular patches in the whites of the eyes, blurry vision and night blindness
  • Skin complaints such as poor wound healing, extremely dry skin, rashes, breakouts, and dry scalp with hair loss
  • Recurrent infections, poor immune response, or throat and chest infections
  • General fatigue and increased lethargy
  • Slowed growth and development for the age group of the child
  • Anemia (lack of healthy red blood cells)

Benefits of a vitamin A rich diet 

Why is vitamin A important in a balanced diet for your child? It is one of the most essential vitamins that our bodies cannot produce itself. The only way we are able to get this nutrient we need is through a healthy well balanced diet rich in antioxidants, fruits and vegetables. Vitamin A has a distinct role as a micronutrient in the body and aids with healing and maintenance of many different organs. The benefits of a vitamin A rich diet are as follows:

  • Maintaining eye health and vision
  • Helps to maintain healthy bones, teeth and soft tissues
  • Supports growth in line with the development milestones of your child’s age group
  • Increases the integrity of skin and helps fight common skin conditions
  • Facilitates wound healing
  • Combats different types of infections
  • Helps to maintain a healthy and functioning immune system
  • Aids in optimal heart, kidney, lung and brain function

Find Vitamin A in foods you eat every day

Vitamin A rich foods are easy to include in your child’s diet and they are most likely already in a lot of the meals you cook and eat regularly together. The following food items are rich in Vitamin A and will get you on your way to a balanced diet in no time:


Vegetables

  • Sweet Potato
  • Turnip Greens 
  • Carrot 
  • Sweet Red Pepper
  • Winter Squash
  • Kale
  • Collard Greens
  • Swiss Chard 
  • Spinach
  • Romaine Lettuce

Animal Products

  • Beef Liver 
  • Lamb Liver 
  • Cod Liver Oil 
  • King Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Bluefin Tuna 
  • Goat Cheese
  • Butter
  • Cheddar 
  • Camembert 
  • Hard-Boiled Egg
  • Trout 
  • Cream Cheese
  • Feta Cheese 

A balanced diet will provide Vitamin A for your kids

In conclusion, it is absolutely imperative to your children’s health and immune function that you provide them with the most nutrient and antioxidant dense diet possible. In particular, healthy eyes for great vision and healthy skin for wound healing are linked with optimal levels of Vitamin A. With that in mind, we know it isn't always easy to make sure they eat their fruits and vegetables, which is why we have produced a range of snacks that can help. Incorporating dairy products, fish, and a range of different coloured vegetables can help boost your child's vitamin A intake.

Consult your healthcare provider for more information on how to recognise vitamin A deficiency in children.

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