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Why does your child need micronutrients anyway?

Why does your child need micronutrients anyway?

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There are a lot of important factors in ensuring your child’s healthy growth and development. One of the key factors is ensuring your child’s diet contains an adequate, consistent amount of important micronutrients, especially iron!

10/12/2015 - 10:02

There are a lot of important factors in ensuring your child’s healthy growth and development. One of the key factors is ensuring your child’s diet contains an adequate, consistent amount of important micronutrients, especially iron!


Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that we all require in trace quantities for cognitive, motor and socio-emotional development as well as your child’s future physical health. When a child is born, his brain is about 25% of an adult’s brain. By the end of the first year, the brain reaches 70% of its adult weight, and 80% by 2 years of age1,2,3. That’s where micronutrients are needed, helping your child’s body do its job well.


Iron deficiency can lead to anemia and poor brain development and poor immunity. Iron, especially non-heme iron is more readily absorbed by the body when combined with vitamin C4,5. Iodine is another important early brain development building block6 and important to thyroid function. There are also essential fatty acids (EFAs) and vitamin B1 (thiamine), equally important to your child’s development. Many aspects of your child’s development are supported by adequate micronutrient intake. With a little planning and the right diet of the right baby food, you can support your child in the growing years.


References
1. Dekaban, A. S., Changes in brain weights during the span of human life; relation of brain weights to body heights and body weights, Annals of Neurology, 1978 4(4), pp. 345-56
2. Knickmeyerm R. C. et al., A Structural MRI Study of Human Brain Development from Birth to 2 Years. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2008, Volume 19, pp. 12176-12182
3. Lieberman, J. A. et al., Antipsychotic drug effects on brain morphology in first-episode psychosis. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2005, Volume 62, pp. 361-370
4. WHO/FAO. Guidelines on food fortification on micronutrients. Edited by Allen L de Benoist B, Dary O, Hurrell R. WHO/FAO 2006
5. EFSA, 2014, Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to vitamin C and increasing non-heme iron absorption pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC No 1924/20061, EFSA, 12111, p. 3514.

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