Why do we have to supplement our children with calcium in winter?
Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a pivotal role in the physical development of young children. It forms the main structural component of human bones, joints, and teeth, while also participating in vital bodily functions, such as coagulation, immune system strengthening, and nervous system and muscle activity. As such, ensuring children receive adequate amounts of calcium is critical for their growth and overall well-being.
However, simply supplementing with calcium is not enough; parents must also ensure their children receive sufficient vitamin D. Without this critical vitamin, the body is only able to absorb a mere 10% of calcium intake. Vitamin D acts as a facilitator, allowing the body to effectively absorb and utilize calcium.
Fortunately, children can synthesize vitamin D through sun exposure, which transports calcium to the necessary "targets." Unfortunately, during winter, low temperatures and minimal sunlight make it difficult for children to obtain the necessary amount of vitamin D. Many parents also restrict their children's outdoor activities in cold weather, further limiting their exposure to sunlight. This results in a significant risk of calcium deficiency in children during the winter months.
Thus, mothers should be particularly vigilant about supplementing their children's diets with calcium during the winter season. Doing so will not only help ensure that their children stay healthy but will also contribute to their optimal growth and development, even in the face of harsh weather conditions and limited opportunities for sun exposure.
Supplementing children with calcium in winter is very important to their health.
How to supplement children with calcium in winter
Providing children with adequate calcium throughout their developmental stages is crucial for their optimal growth and development. However, in winter, it is particularly important to pay extra attention to this process.
Mothers must first determine how much calcium is appropriate for their children's individual needs. Infants aged 0 to 6 months require 300 mg of calcium per day, while those aged 7 to 12 months require 400 mg per day. Children aged 1 to 3 years need 500 mg of calcium daily, while those aged 4 to 6 years require 600 mg per day. Children aged 7 to 9 years require 700 mg per day, and those over 11 years old require 1200 mg per day.
To supplement their children with calcium during winter, mothers have two options: through foods or dietary supplements. Foods rich in calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, and leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach. Calcium-fortified foods, like breakfast cereals and juices, are also good options. Additionally, dietary supplements, such as calcium tablets or chewable gummies, can help ensure that children receive their daily recommended dose of calcium.
It is important to note that while calcium supplementation is crucial for children's health, excessive intake can lead to adverse effects, such as constipation and kidney stones. As such, mothers should consult with their pediatricians to determine the appropriate dosage for their children's specific needs. By providing children with adequate calcium intake during the winter season, mothers can help ensure their children stay healthy and continue to grow and develop optimally.
There are many ways to supplement children with calcium in winter.
To ensure sufficient calcium intake for children during the winter season, parents can supplement their children's diets with a variety of calcium-rich foods. Some examples include milk and dairy products, seafood, such as shrimp and fish, vegetables, such as amaranth and cabbage, fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines, and beans. Not only do these foods provide ample calcium, but they can also stimulate children's appetites.
Dietary supplements can also be effective options for proper calcium supplementation during the winter months. Height growth supplements are particularly suitable, as they are formulated and calculated to provide sufficient calcium intake while minimizing the risk of calcium excess, which can have adverse effects on children's health. Additionally, height growth supplements often contain other nutrients that support children's physical and mental development.
It is important to note that children's bodies absorb calcium most easily in the morning. On the other hand, carbonated beverages, tea, coffee, and alcoholic beverages can cause calcium loss in the body, so parents should minimize their children's consumption of these products.
While it is crucial to provide children with sufficient calcium, excessive intake can be as dangerous as calcium deficiency. Therefore, parents should avoid letting their children consume excessive amounts of calcium-rich foods or indiscriminately use calcium supplements. In summary, with the proper balance of calcium-rich foods and supplements, parents can help ensure their children receive sufficient calcium intake during the winter season while also promoting their overall health and well-being.
How to build healthy habits?
Consistency is the key when it comes to maintaining healthy habits, including calcium intake. Make it a daily commitment to incorporate calcium-rich foods into your child's diet. By doing so, you provide a steady supply of this essential mineral, supporting their growth and overall well-being. Consistency also fosters predictability, which can make it easier for children to embrace new dietary choices.
Track calcium intake
Tracking your child's calcium intake may initially sound daunting, but it can be an enlightening and effective practice. Consider using a food diary or a mobile app designed for nutritional tracking. By monitoring calcium consumption, you gain insights into your child's dietary patterns and can identify areas that may require adjustments. Additionally, keeping track can be a motivating factor for both you and your child, as it allows you to celebrate achievements and identify areas for improvement.
Involve children in food choices
Empowering children to be active participants in their dietary choices can be a game-changer. Encourage them to explore the world of food, learn about the nutritional value of various items, and develop preferences for calcium-rich options. Take them grocery shopping and involve them in meal planning and preparation.
Encourage physical activity
While nutrition is a critical component of promoting healthy growth, physical activity is equally vital. Engaging in regular physical activity not only supports overall health but also aids in calcium absorption and bone development. Encourage your child to participate in age-appropriate activities that they enjoy. From outdoor play to organized sports, staying active not only contributes to calcium utilization but also fosters a healthy lifestyle.
Reduce winter screen time
Winter often brings colder weather and shorter daylight hours, which can lead to increased screen time for children. While technology has its benefits, excessive screen time can detract from physical activity and may be associated with unhealthy snacking habits. Encourage balanced screen time limits and offer alternatives to sedentary activities. Consider indoor games, creative projects, and family activities that promote both bonding and physical movement.
The winter season may bring its own set of challenges, but when it comes to supplementing children with calcium, it can also be a time of creative solutions and nourishing habits. We've explored a range of strategies, from understanding the importance of calcium to tackling common concerns, special considerations, and the development of healthy habits.
By embracing the power of consistency, tracking calcium intake, involving children in food choices, prioritizing physical activity, and managing screen time, you have the tools to ensure your child's calcium needs are met, even when the days are short and chilly.