“There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” This was the famous line from the cartoon character of the late 60’s and early 70’s. He would also say when he was tired with exhaustion “In the secret compartment of my ring I fill with an underdog super energy pill.” Then he would be energized for his noble work. This makes me think of vitamins for children and the importance of taking care of yourself physically. Childhood is a good time to focus on their health and to develop the right habits. Let’s focus on three area’s that will help our children develop properly.
Their food: Eating good nutritious food is vital but often neglected. It is important that parents set the right example in the home and have the right kind of food in the house. Thoreau once wisely said, “What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.” Well cooked meals are very important and it is good for the family to eat the evening meal together. It is a good practice which fosters communication and helps provide good nutrition instead of eating on the run.
Their fitness: Obesity is a major problem with our youth today. When children are doing a nose dive into a bag of potato chips, drinking soda, and playing video games they get no exercise except for their wrist and jaw. I remember as a young child after my homework was done and dinner was over I would play outside until it got dark. It was a lot of fun and great exercise. It is good to encourage exercise and to get them involved in wholesome activities that will promote fitness. Try doing something fun as a family to help them get started. The more things you do with your children the closer you will be with them.
The facts: With sporadic home-cooked meals, fast food, processed foods, and finicky eaters we have many children missing vital nutrients. Children drink a lot of carbonated sodas, which can deplete vitamins and minerals from their bodies. Getting good supplements is very important. Let’s look at some vitamins children need:
- Vitamin A: Aids normal growth and development, tissue and bone repair, and is good for the immune system. Good sources include milk, cheese, eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupe, and green leafy vegetables.
- Vitamin B: Aids in energy production, healthy circulatory and nervous systems. Good sources include: meat, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, and beans.
- Vitamin C: Promotes healthy muscles, connective tissue, and skin. Good sources include: citrus fruit, strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, and green vegetables.
- Vitamin D: Promotes bone and tooth formation and helps the body absorb calcium. Good sources include: milk and other dairy products, and fish oil. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight.
- Calcium: Helps build strong bones as a child grows. Good sources include: milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, and calcium-fortified orange juice.
- Iron: Builds muscle and is essential for healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency is a risk in adolescence, especially for girls once they begin to menstruate. Good sources include beef and other red meats such as turkey, pork, spinach, beans, and prunes.
- Omega 3: Getting Omega 3’s is essential for your kids’ neurological development and has many great health benefits.
Remember, “there’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” Get a good multivitamin for your child, eat at least one home-cooked meal as a family each day, and make sure they exercise. Developing the right habits as a child will pay great dividends throughout their life.
By Kurt LaCapruccia, DR Vitamin Solutions