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Cabarrus Magazine

Vitamins: What Parents Need to Know

May 01, 2017 08:30AM ● By Jason Huddle

Vitamins: What Parents Need to Know


Vitamins and minerals are essential for pre-natal care and ensuring proper development in young children. Angela Cawa of Cannon Pharmacy explains what you should know before taking or administering them.

Expectant mothers should take pre-natal vitamins. The three most important components are folic acid, which helps prevent birth defects of the baby’s brain and spinal cord; iron for delivery of oxygen to the baby and preventing anemia in the mom; and calcium, which helps build the baby’s bones and prevents bone loss in the mother.

However, Cawa says expectant mothers should use caution when taking more than the recommended dosage of pre-natal vitamins. “If you take too much of some vitamins (A, E, D and K), they can build up in your body and cause problems.”

After the child is born, Cawa says there are plenty of natural sources to get vitamins young ones need:

• Vitamin A promotes normal growth and development, and can be found in milk, cheese, eggs, and yellow-to-orange vegetables like carrots, yams and squash.

• Vitamin Bs (B2, B3, B6 and B12) aid metabolism and energy production; they are found in chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, beans and soybeans.

• Vitamin C promotes healthy muscles and is prevalent in citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes and green vegetables like broccoli.

• Vitamin D promotes bone and tooth formation and helps the body absorb calcium. Milk and fatty fish are good sources, but the best source is sunlight.

• Calcium helps build strong bones. Milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu and calcium-fortified orange juice are great sources.

• Iron builds muscle and is essential to healthy red blood cells. Good sources include beef and other red meats, turkey, pork, spinach, beans and prunes.

Milk, orange juice and many cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals to increase the chances of children getting what they need. Parents who decide to give their children vitamin and mineral supplements should consult their physician first.

By: Jason Huddle and Angela Cawa


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