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Natural Ways to Provide Vitamin C to your Toddler

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Natural Ways to Provide Vitamin C to your Toddler

Monday, February 25, 2008

Natural Ways to Provide Vitamin C to your Toddler

Vitamin C is one of the most well known nutrients out there. We all know it is good for us and helps keep us healthy, but I was surprised at how much I didn’t know. Here are some basics about vitamin C. It:
  • is also called ascorbic acid
  • is a water soluble vitamin
  • is very sensitive to air, water, and temperature. Cooking decreases the amount in foods ~ Fresh is best!
  • is easily excreted when not needed
  • regenerates supply of vitamin E
  • increases the absorption of iron
  • acts as a protector for our body ~ protecting skin and gums; prevents cardiovascular diseases, cancers, joint disease, etc.
  • can be especially good for children with asthma and autism
  • protects cells from free radical damage

Though some will give a lower number, most sources I’ve seen list the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C for our toddlers (1-3 years old) at 40 mg per day. What is important to note is that, although fat soluble vitamins like vitamin E can be evaluated over several days, your toddler needs 40 mg of this water soluble vitamin every day!

Fortunately for us as parents, there is a very long list of foods that provide our toddlers with vitamin C! Take a look! I loved reading that a single orange each day more than takes care of the daily requirement. Do we have an orange each day? No. In fact, we have run out of oranges (and frankly they aren’t cheap in the winter months), but there are so many more options available! Here are my tips... some of the foods I try to include in my little one’s diet on a regular basis (I just got lucky on some of these… who knew they had vitamin C?!?)

  • ¼ cup steamed broccoli = fulfilled requirement!
  • ½ orange (we usually share one) = 35/40 mg!
  • Whole banana (he wants one of these every day!) = 10 mg
  • ¼ cup green peas = 5 mg
  • ¼ cup pineapple = 5 mg
  • 1/8 cup spinach (mixed with scrambled egg) = 2 mg

I can’t wait until summer when all those yummy fresh fruits are plentiful, ripe, and on sale! The options are endless.

There is one more thing I cannot dismiss in the way of getting vitamin C into your little one. Juice! Check those labels when purchasing your juice, as many “juice” products are cocktails with very little real fruit juice in them at all. In order to avoid the excess sugar juice is known for, pick out something that really is 100% juice! We drink Juicy Juice in our home, but I have to tell you that my son has probably had a TOTAL of 2-4 ounces of diluted juice in his entire 14 ½ months of life. Now that I see some of my vitamin C short comings, I may give him an ounce or two of juice (diluted with water to make a 4 ounce cup) on days when he is consuming less vitamin C rich foods, but still, I try to steer away from juice as a rule to avoid the sugars! My little one loves milk and water and I love that!

How do you work vitamin C into your toddler’s diet???



At February 26, 2008 at 12:24 AM , Anonymous Donna said...

I only have one remaining 'picky' eater.

Fruit slushes and smoothies have always worked for me!

Tossing apple slices in lemon juice to 'kick it up a notch'.

Dried fruits...grapes sometimes sliced in half for the real lazy eater.

Lemon and/or lime in water in their sippy cups.

Hope that helps ya some!


At February 26, 2008 at 3:53 PM , Blogger Sonshine said...

Thanks for the tips. I have been looking into finding out how many calories and the different vitamin requirements are needed for a toddler. I love your insight!

At February 27, 2008 at 1:30 AM , Anonymous Donna said...,,3b1k,00.html

Have U looked at the above site? I know that there are likely to be a dozen different views, perhaps ask your baby's doc or local health department; they often have brochures too.


At February 27, 2008 at 1:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this book at our local Goodwill and found it interesting.

At February 27, 2008 at 8:43 AM , Blogger ~Babychaser~ said...

Thanks for the link Donna! That site seems to have a lot of the same numbers I've seen too. Nice to have it all in one place! Thanks for the resource!


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