5 Common Nutritional Deficiencies Found in Children

July 7, 2023by Yuvraj Patil19

Nowadays, doctors highly advise most parents to start introducing their kid’s right after 6 – 8 months to solid food. The reason behind this is, children often don’t get adequate nutrition for sound and steady development. Deficiencies are common in children, all thanks to the changing eating patterns that have taken place in the last few decades. For instance, the kids relish consuming sweetened drinks, chocolates, and wafers rather than curd, milk, fresh fruits, and veggies. Some of the most common nutritional deficiencies found in children are as follows:

1. Iron deficiency

Iron is one of the common nutritional deficiencies spotted in children. Iron acts as an important component of haemoglobin that aims to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest parts of the body. To boost iron in children, it is essential to incorporate dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, lentils, cereals, dried foods, and other iron-fortified foods. This helps prevent iron deficiency in children who are suffering from iron deficiency. If left untreated, children may suffer from anaemia, which can eventually affect the cognitive development of children, especially between 6 to 24 months.

Here is the list of the RDA of Iron for different stages;
6-12 months would need 3 mg/day
1-3 years would need 8 mg/day
4-6 years would need 11 mg/day
7-9 years would need 15 mg/day

2. Vitamin D deficiency

This fat-soluble vitamin is crucial to maintain excellent tooth, bone, and immune system development in children. It also plays an important role in absorbing nutrients such as phosphate, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Inadequate Vitamin D obstructs nutrient absorption while causing rickets (weaker bones) in the long run. Also, those mothers who have darker skin or are less exposed to sunlight are responsible for passing Vitamin D deficiency to their children.

Here is the list of RDA of Vitamin D for different stages;
6-12 months would need 400 IU/day
1-3 years would need 600 IU/day
4-6 years would need 600 IU/day
7-9 years would need 600 IU/day

3. Zinc deficiency

Zinc is one of the most needed minerals that have the ability to heal wounds, maintain a healthy gut, support cognitive development, and boost the immune system. Usually, the content of zinc is high in those who consume breast milk, although this eventually decreases after six months. Hence, it is better to consume zinc-rich foods such as zinc fortified grains, dairy products, meat, fish, and legumes. These food items will help children to meet their nutritional needs.

Here is the list of RDA of Zinc for different stages;
6-12 months would need 2.5 mg/day
1-3 years would need 3.3 mg/day
4-6 years would need 4.5 mg/day
7-9 years would need 5.9 mg/day

4. Calcium deficiency

Calcium is important to build strong teeth and bones while maintaining a healthy heart rate and blood pressure. Those suffering from calcium deficiency suffer from Hypocalcaemia. Calcium deficiency is common in those who are premature or born with low birth weight.

Here is the list of RDA of Calcium for different stages;
6-12 months would need 300 mg/day
1-3 years would need 500 mg/day
4-6 years would need 550 mg/day
7-9 years would need 650 mg/day

5. Fibre deficiency

Those kids who fail to consume enough veggies, whole fruits, and whole grains might not get enough fibre. The fibre deficit meals could further lead to constipation while increasing the risk of heart disease in the future. To get a healthy amount of fibre on a regular basis, kids should start pondering on fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C.

Here is the list of RDA of fibre for different stages;
1-3 years would need 15 g/day
4-6 years would need 20 g/day
7-9 years would need 26 g/day

Yuvraj Patil


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