One of the things emphasised during child health days held by the Ministry of Health with help from Unicef is that children need an adequate amount of vitamin A in their diets for the proper functioning of their bodies. Here are a few reminders on how to ensure that your child is getting enough vitamin A.
Vitamin A plays an important role in vision and bone growth and helps protect the body from infections. Vitamin A also promotes the health and growth of cells and tissues in the body, particularly those in the hair, nails, and skin. Vitamin A is crucial for good health and development. Read on to find out how much vitamin A your child needs, the best sources, and how to avoid getting too little or too much.
How much vitamin A does your child need?
Ages 1 to 3 years: 1000 IU, or 300 micrograms (mcg) RAE (retinol activity equivalents), of vitamin A per day
Age 4 years and up: 1320 IU (or 400 mcg RAE) per day
Your child doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to get the recommended daily amount of vitamin A every day. Instead, aim for that amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week.
Breastmilk is rich in vitamin A and exclusive breastfeeding reduces infection and vitamin A losses. Colostrum is the essential first milk produced for the newborn. It is three times richer in vitamin A and ten times richer in beta-carotene than mature milk. Because of its high levels of vitamin A, antibodies, and other protective factors, colostrum is often considered the babyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first immunisation. Transitional breastmilk contains nearly double the Vitamin A of mature milk. The high vitamin A content of both colostrum and transitional milk matches the needs of the newborn. Mature breastmilk in well-nourished mothers contains an average of 250 international units (IU) of vitamin A per 100 ml.
Other sources of Vitamin A are: Colourful fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamin A. Here are some of the best sources:
1/2 cup carrot juice: 22 567 IU
1/4 cup cooked sweet potato: 12 907 IU
1 raw carrot (7 1/2 inches): 8 666 IU
1/4 cup cooked carrots: 6 709 IU
1/4 cup cooked spinach: 5 729 IU
1/2 cup canned vegetable soup: 2 910 IU
1/4 cup apricots, packed in juice: 1 031 IU
1/4 cup red bell pepper: 720 IU
1/4 cup raw spinach: 703 IU
1/4 cup sliced mango: 631 IU
1/2 cup instant fortified oatmeal, prepared with water: 626 IU
1/4 cup cooked broccoli: 603 IU
1/4 cup cooked peas: 525 IU
1/2 cup tomato juice: 546 IU
1/2 cup fortified milk: 250 IU
1/4 cup canned peaches, packed in juice: 236 IU
1/2 large egg, scrambled: 160 IU
1/2 ounce cheddar cheese: 142 IU
1/4 cup green bell pepper: 137 IU
1/4 cup fresh peaches: 125 IU
1/4 cup papaya: 83 IU
The amount of vitamin A in a food will vary somewhat, depending on the size of the fruit or vegetable or the brand of product. Kids may eat more or less than the amounts of food shown, given their age and appetite. You can estimate the nutrient content accordingly.Ã¢â‚¬â€Www.babycentre.com