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Children's Health

Quiz: How Can You Get Kids the Vitamins They Need?

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plate of fruit and veggies

Some vegetables are healthier for your child than others.

plate of fruit and veggies

Some vegetables are healthier for your child than others.

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There's no such thing as a bad vegetable. But some have more vitamins and minerals. When packing your child's lunch, pick bright-colored veggies such as peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and carrots; they have more nutrients than cucumbers and celery. A healthy lunch is in the bag if you also add a protein, a fruit, and a whole grain. Send the whole fruit -- an apple rather than apple sauce -- so your child gets the extra vitamins from the peel. If your child buys lunch or snacks at school, teach him to make healthier choices. School lunches now have less salt and fat and more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

plate of fruit and veggies

Which food is a good source of calcium for your child?

plate of fruit and veggies

Which food is a good source of calcium for your child?

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When you think about calcium, you probably think about dairy: milk, cheese, and yogurt. But don't worry too much if your child isn't a milk drinker. Almonds, red and white beans, and orange juice with calcium are also good sources. Kids need calcium to build strong bones and teeth, but most kids 9 to 18 don't get enough; that's because many kids drink more soda than milk. Talk to your doctor about a supplement if you're worried. Your child also needs enough vitamin D -- found in oily fish, cheese, and egg yolks -- to absorb calcium.

plate of fruit and veggies

Which breakfast will give your child the most energy?

plate of fruit and veggies

Which breakfast will give your child the most energy?

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It's fine to give your child whole-grain cereal, low fat milk, and fruit for breakfast, especially if you're in a hurry. But omelets and other foods with protein will keep your child's energy level up longer. Eggs aren't the only good protein source for the mornings; try offering whole-grain bagels or waffles with peanut butter and fruit, or a breakfast smoothie with yogurt, fruit, and a teaspoon of bran.

plate of fruit and veggies

How can you make sure your child gets enough iron?

plate of fruit and veggies

How can you make sure your child gets enough iron?

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Your child needs iron to make enough red blood cells and give tissues and organs oxygen. Kids need different amounts as they grow. Red meat, tuna, salmon, eggs, and dried fruits all have a lot of iron. Serve them with foods that have vitamin C, such as broccoli, tomatoes, oranges, and strawberries; this helps the body absorb iron. Also, limit your child's milk to two to three glasses a day (16 to 24 ounces); milk makes it harder to absorb iron.

plate of fruit and veggies

If my kid is a picky eater, should I worry that he's not getting all the vitamins he needs?

plate of fruit and veggies

If my kid is a picky eater, should I worry that he's not getting all the vitamins he needs?

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Most parents have heard their kid declare, "I'm full," despite a barely touched plate. But you'd be surprised at the small amount of food your child needs to get enough vitamins and minerals. So unless this happens every day, he's probably OK. But for kids who just won't eat, or who eat just a few things, you may want to consider a daily multivitamin. Always talk to your pediatrician before you give your child any vitamin or supplement.

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