What does Vitamin C do?
Vitamin C has a number of important functions in the body. One is that vitamin C is needed to help the body make collagen, which is an important structural component of bone, ligaments, tendons and blood vessels. Vitamin C also functions as an important antioxidant. Antioxidants are nutrients that work in the body to help keep cells healthy by preventing oxidative cell damage and help support a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is often thought to be effective against the common cold when consumed in high doses. This has not been proven, and high doses of any vitamin or supplement can be dangerously unsafe for children. Never give your child a dietary supplement without consulting your pediatrician.
What foods have vitamin C?
Adequate vitamin C for your child is easy to get from healthy fruits and vegetables. The regulated Daily Value for vitamin C for preschoolers is 40mg. Each preschooler serving of the foods below provides at least 80% of the Daily Value for vitamin C:
- 1/3 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup cooked, chopped broccoli
- 1/3 cup chopped red peppers, soft cooked
- 1/3 cup diced kiwifruit
Here’s how you can help your preschooler include Vitamin C in her diet
- Offer a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables throughout each week at mealtime or snack time
- Look for foods labeled as a good or excellent source of vitamin C (10% Daily Value or more)
- Look for products that are formulated to include vitamin C like 100% juices such as Gerber Harvest Juices or Graduates Fruit Twists.