How to Fight Mineral Deficiency in Children Between 12-15years? : The major concern of working parents, especially mothers is whether her growing up preteen or teen is eating healthy food or not. Working mothers are often laden with this guilt.
While all the efforts are maintained to ensure that the child develops healthy eating habits, what parents tend to forget is that children learn by imitating. They do and say things they perceive around them.
So, if you are not eating healthy, your child will not start eating magically. There is no magic involved. Did you see the problem now? I am sure you did. Let’s go step-by-step.
Problem Area: Identifying the Problem!
Nuclear family set-up, working parents, children brought up by nannies – all add up to the problem.
Reasons: Numerous! From the age of the child to the nannies who couldn’t care less.
Result: The growing preteen take this is an opportunity to gorge on foods that are laden with too much of everything – from salt and sugar to oil.
Solution: The Healthy Way to Nutritious and Tasty Delights!
The fine act of balancing the nutrition and scrumptiousness is required here. Since unhealthy diet can lead to various deficiencies in growing children, here we are going to talk specifically about the mineral deficiencies in children.
Mineral deficiencies in growing up children is common, especially in this era.
Unhealthy food choices…
But before we explore the deficiencies let’s read more about what are minerals, and why are they important for our overall health.
Minerals – The definition, and It’s importance!
Minerals, as defined by National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, are the elements that are found on the earth and in our food, which our bodies require to both develop as well as function properly.
Let’s take a look at the minerals that are essentially responsible for the overall health of your child.
The minerals include – Iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, magnesium, zinc, iodine, chromium, fluoride, manganese amid others.
What foods are rich in minerals? While minerals and trace elements are found in numerous foods – majorly minerals are found in these food items –
- Milk and dairy products
- Fruits and vegetables
Interestingly, the mineral deficiency is not just because of unhealthy eating habits. The other main cause of mineral deficiency in growing children is most of the families are either vegetarian or vegan. While being vegetarian or going vegan is good in some way, it could lead to deficiencies as well.
But why are Minerals important for our growth? Minerals have three essential functions in our body –
- Minerals help in strengthening our bones and teeth.
- Minerals also helps to transform the food you eat into energy.
- Last but definitely not the least, minerals control body fluids inside and outside cells.
We have learnt what are minerals and their importance, now let’s understand what are mineral deficiencies and how to overcome them?
Before we go further, it is important to understand that any deficiency whether mineral or vitamin happens over a period of time. The reason could be any – some of the common ones include – difficulty in absorbing the mineral from the food that you eat, lack of mineral in the diet, and an increased requirement for the mineral.
How can you identify mineral deficiencies in your children?
Some of the common health problems due to mineral deficiencies include – extreme fatigue or tiredness; decreased immunity; and weak bones.
When you growing child complains of tiredness don’t overlook it as an excuse for not going out to play. There could be a mineral deficiency at play.
It is also important to understand mineral deficiencies fall under five major categories and each category has symptoms that helps the doctor to identify the correct mineral deficiency. The categories include –
While the symptoms may vary as per the deficiency of a particular mineral, the severity of the symptoms also vary depending on the amount of deficiency. Some of the common symptoms of mineral deficiencies include –
- Bloating or commonly known as abdominal pain, or constipation
- You can also experience diarrhoea or loose motion
- Decreased immunity is another common symptom of mineral deficiency
- Loss of appetite is not to be taken lightly as it is one of the common symptoms of any type of mineral deficiency.
- Muscle cramping, numbness or tingling in the extremities are another common symptom of mineral deficiencies.
Other symptoms include weakness, tiredness, nausea, and vomiting in addition to poor concentration.
Fight the mineral deficiency in your growing child by supplementing their unhealthy diet with a healthy one.
- Instead of sodas, or colas, give them smoothies – both vegetable and fruits – easy to make, loaded with health and taste.
- Instead of canned juices give fresh fruits or you can also make popsicles with fresh fruits – children love them irrespective of the age.
- Include green leafy vegetables in the diet – doesn’t eat green veggies – steam all the veggies, knead them in a dough and make delicious paranthas or even rotis.
- Include nuts in the diet. You can chop the nuts and use them in your smoothies.
- Make porridge with oats, broken wheat, top it with nuts and dry fruits.
- Reduce the intake of sugar by replacing it with honey or jaggery that too in limited quantities.
With these few steps you can prevent mineral deficiencies in your growing child, however, if the symptoms are severe, seek a medical advice for an informed guidance.