Most mothers are constantly worried about their little one’s health and wellness. For most babies, breast milk is the primary source of nutrition. Fortunately, that is most often enough for babies.
But does your baby need additional vitamin C? Let’s find out!
Why Is Vitamin C For Babies Important?
Wondering why exactly your baby needs vitamin C? Vitamin C helps the body perform many crucial functions.
Here are the many health benefits that this important vitamin offers:
1. Aids The Production And Repair Of Red Blood Cells:
- Vitamin C for babies is important as one of the vital functions of vitamin C is to help in the production and repair of red blood cells in the body.
2. Keeps Gums Healthy:
- Vitamin C is important if you want to keep your baby’s gums healthy (1).
3. Strengthens Blood Vessels:
- Babies are prone to falls and injuries. A healthy dose of vitamin C can strengthen your baby’s blood vessels and minimize bruising (2).
4. Boosts Immunity:
- Babies have a fragile immune system. Even small infections can cause serious damage to your baby’s health. That is why it is important to strengthen your baby’s immunity. Vitamin C keeps the body’s immune system strong and helps prevent infections (3).
5. Aids The Absorption Of Iron:
- Your baby needs iron to stay healthy. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron (4).
How Much Vitamin C Does A Baby Need?
Vitamin C for babies is important.Your baby needs very small amounts of vitamin C to stay healthy. From ages one to three, a baby needs 15 milligrams (mg) of this vitamin daily. While older kids need about 25 mg daily.
Can A Baby Develop Vitamin C Deficiency?
Vitamin C is widely available in nature, and it is extremely rare for babies to develop vitamin C deficiency. But it is possible!
Some of the factors that may lead to a deficiency of vitamin C in babies include:
- Picky Eating: Some kids are picky eaters. They don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, which can lead to a deficiency of vitamin C in their bodies.
- Secondhand Smoke: Babies who live around secondhand smoke need an additional dose of vitamin C to repair their damaged tissues (5).
Symptoms Of Vitamin C Deficiency In Babies:
Low levels of vitamin C can lead to Scurvy. The symptoms of scurvy in babies include:
- Weakness: Babies with scurvy usually suffer from weakness and lethargy.
- Bleeding: Scurvy can also cause bleeding of the skin, gums, and joints.
- Pain: Some other symptoms of scurvy include pain and swollen joints. Babies with scurvy are unable to walk in many cases.
- Rashes: The disease also leads to bruise-like rashes on the body.
If you suspect that your baby has scurvy, contact your doctor. Untreated cases of scurvy can even prove to be fatal.
Treating Vitamin C Deficiency In Babies:
The only way to treat vitamin C deficiency is to ensure that your baby is getting adequate amounts of the vital nutrient in her diet. In some cases, your doctor may even prescribe vitamin C supplements.
Best Sources Of Vitamin C:
The best way to prevent a vitamin C deficiency is by adding rich sources of the essential nutrient in your baby’s diet! But do consult your doctor before you introduce any new food to your baby to avoid any allergic reaction.
Here are the best sources of vitamin C for infants:
- Guava: A 1/4 cup of Guava provides about 82.5 mg of vitamin C!
- Orange Juice: Citrus fruits, especially orange, are full of vitamin C. Offer your baby some orange juice and let her enjoy the goodness of vitamin C.
- Papaya: Papaya is another nutritious fruit that should be a part of your baby’s diet!
- Strawberry: Is your baby eating strawberries yet? It may be time to introduce her to the yummy goodness of this fruit!
- Mango: Mangoes are tasty as well as nutritious. Just ¼ cup of mango will give your baby 11 mg of vitamin C.
- Spinach: What’s not to like about spinach? It is full of vitamin A as well as vitamin C – the perfect baby food!
- Potato: Potatoes too are a good source of vitamin C.
- Banana: Baby vitamin C is found in this food. So the ever popular banana is a must-have for all babies!
Overdose Of Vitamin C – Side Effects:
In most cases, the excess amount of vitamin C is flushed out of the body through urine. But in some rare cases, a megadose can cause some side effects.
Some of the side effects of a vitamin C overdose include:
- Kidney stones
Fortunately, a vitamin C overdose is unlikely to be something you need not dread.
Chances are that your baby is already getting adequate amounts of the vitamin. But if you think she needs to increase her vitamin C intake, just include the foods mentioned above in her diet!
Does your baby get enough vitamin C? What is her favorite source of vitamin C? Share with us.