Top 10 Vitamin C Rich Foods For Children
Inclusion of Vitamin C rich foods in children’s diet is very important, because it helps in growth and repair of skin, ligaments, tendons, muscles, cartilage, bones, and teeth. Children are prone to getting hurt and catching cold and vitamin is a natural wound healer. It also helps to prevent colds and infections and boosts immunity. Deficiency of the vitamin results in scurvy which causes bleeding gums and skin discoloration due to ruptured blood vessels. Vitamin C is a water soluble which makes toxicity very rare.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
So, how much vitamin does you child actually need? Find out from the RDA table given below.
Infants 0-6 months
Infants 7-12 months
Children 1-3 years
Children 4-8 years
Children 9-13 years
Boys 14-18 years
Girls 14-18 years
Food Sources of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is abundantly available in vegetarian sources like broccoli, bell peppers, kale, papaya, chard, cabbage, spinach, kiwi, cantaloupe, oranges, cauliflower, strawberries, lemons, mustard greens, turnip greens, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus, celery, pineapple, lettuce, watermelon, fennel, parsley, and peppermint. Some animal products like liver, calf liver, beef liver, oyster, cod, pork, and lamb liver are a source of vitamin C. Fresh milk from human, camel and goat also contains limited amount of the vitamin.
Certain very good sources of vitamin C like green chillies have not been included in the Top 10 list given below as the list is one that would suit a child's palate
Top 10 Vitamin C Rich Foods
1. Guavas: No one would have figured that a non-citrus fruit like guava would provide almost 228mg of vitamin C per 100g serving.
2. Bell Peppers: Bell peppers can be added to any recipes and children love them of their assorted colors. Yellow bell peppers contain 184mg/100g serving; green peppers contain the least amount of the vitamin.
3. Fresh Herbs (Thyme & Parsley): Fresh herbs like thyme (160mg/100g) and parsley (133 mg/100g) can be a good source of vitamin C, especially when they are used in their raw form in salads, etc.
4. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables can be incorporated as creamed greens and salads in kids diet. Kale (120mg/100g), Mustard Greens (70mg/100g), and Garden Cress (69mg/100g) are very good sources of Vitamin C.
5. Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts: Raw broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels Sprouts provide 89mg, 46mg, and 75mg of vitamin C per 100g, making them excellent sources of the vitamin.
6. Kiwi: Kiwi’s are commonly used as a garnish and as an ingredient in desserts and salads, 100 g of this tasty fruit contain 93mg vitamin C.
7. Papaya: Papaya an omnipresent fruit contains 62mg vitamin C per 100g serving.
8. Grapefruit: Grapefruit juice provides almost the same amount of vitamin C as green peppers. 3/4 cup of the juice has 50-70 mg vitamin C
9. Oranges and Clementines (Tangerines): Citrus fruits are a very good source of the vitamin especially oranges (59mg) and clementines (49mg).
10. Strawberries: Kids love strawberries, and they can be used in innumerable recipes giving 59mg of vitamin C /100 g serving.
How To Incorporate it in Children’s Diet
Vitamin C is extremely heat sensitive and oxidizable, thus cooking and processing reduces vitamin content of food items. Thus, it is best if the above mentioned foods are served raw as salads, milkshakes and juices.
Note: Children, especially ones under 2 yrs are prone to food sensitivity and allergy. Introduce any new food slowly and cautiously. If you are aware of you child's food allergies avoid the any food that contains that particular allergen completely.
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